Limited budget need not be a barrier to healthy eating
A limited budget need not be a barrier to eating healthily, as five portions of fruit and vegetables can cost just 80p a day, says a nutritionist.
The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) is concerned the credit crunch will see shoppers ditching healthy food items. But the WCRF’s Nathalie Winn said shoppers should buy in season and also use cheaper tinned and frozen produce.
Fruit and vegetable consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of some types of cancer. Eating a variety of fruits could decrease the risk of developing cancers of the stomach, mouth, pharynx and larynx by nearly a fifth, and of the the oesophagus by 5%. Foods containing lycopene, such as tomatoes, have been shown to decrease the risk of prostate cancer by 20%.
Increases in food prices, and pressures on the family budget because of continuing economic problems, may prompt people to buy less fruit and vegetables because they think they are too expensive and are worried about wastage, they warned.
Ms Winn put together a daily menu to prove it is possible to get the recommended five portions a day for less than £1. ‘The fact is that fresh fruit and vegetables can sometimes be expensive,’ she says. ‘But if you shop carefully there is no reason why you cannot have plenty of fruits and vegetables even on a very limited budget.
Professor Alan Maryon-Davies, president of the Faculty of Public Health, said there is a public perception that a healthy diet was an expensive diet.
‘You can eat quite healthily relatively cheaply, especially if you go for the special offers. Some people don’t realise that a glass of fruit juice is a portion, and some people think it just has to be fresh fruit and vegetables.’
See how five portions can only cost you 80p a day:
Banana (with porridge) for breakfast – 14p
Apple (for mid morning snack) – 22p
Baked beans (on a jacket potato) – 29p
Frozen peas as part of evening meal – 8p
Frozen sweetcorn along with the peas, fish and new potatoes – 7p