Staying Healthy on a Budget
Want to stay healthy on a budget? Are you feeling like you need to be a millionaire just to maintain your health? You are not alone. Trying to stay healthy on a budget can be a huge challenge. I have also done several videos on my YouTube Channel on this very subject. To see the video you can click here!
As a naturopathic doctor working in Los Angeles, I work with a wide variety of people from all walks of life. They all want to stay healthy, but they often are on a tight budget. In fact, one thing most of my patients have in common is that they are busy, over-worked, and worried about their health and finances.
If you are trying to pay down debt, and if you are on a tight budget, than eating right and taking care of your health, can be a huge juggling act. So in addition to helping people feel empowered in their health choices, I also try to make staying healthy as simple and affordable as possible.
I have found over the years that sometimes the most simple changes to diet and lifestyle can have the most profound effect. Staying healthy does not have to be expensive or over-whelming. You can stay healthy on a budget. And I always start with the diet. To place someone on an extreme diet rarely works. Namely, because people rebel, and complain that their diets are too restrictive. I have even seen people become downright depressed. However, I feel that even the most simple changes can yield dramatic results.
Budgeting Health: Plan Your Meals
To reduce food waste, take the time to plan meals. The best way to do that, is to find out what you already have in your home, and build a weekly menu based on that. Planning meals can dramatically reduce food waste.
Over-loading your pantry with prepackaged foods may seem like a bargain. But the truth is, these foods are not healthful, and what you do not pay for now, you will pay for later with your health. So avoid purchasing prepackaged foods. The truth is, cheap food is not healthful, and ill health is expensive. Your kitchen should contain minimal amounts of products in them. Do not horde food. Plan meals responsibly; to dramatically reduce cost.
When in Doubt, Treat the Cause
One of the main principles of naturopathic medicine is the idea that we must treat the cause. So, when it comes to health, I tell people to avoid sweets in the form of sugar and corn syrup. I truly believe that eliminating foods, that contain these ingredients, people see the most dramatic improvement to their health. Yes, it is true that calories in and calories out can determine how quickly a person can lose weight. However, that is only a small part of what it takes to help a person maintain good health.
Eat Nutrient Dense Foods
So what is the most sensible way to stay healthy on a budget? There are other factors that go into maintaining good health. Besides simply staying at a healthy weight, we want people to eat foods rich in nutrients. And if you are loading up on sugary soft drinks and snacks—that are devoid of any nutrition whatsoever—it is not surprising that you may not be getting adequate nutrition. Eating junk food places us at tremendous health risk, not just because we can become over-weight, but because we lack proper nutrition.
Choose Foods With a Low Glycemic Load
High glycemic foods, like sugar and corn syrup, can disrupt the formation of a healthy microbiome in the digestive tract, creating inflammation, and poor digestive health. Also, look at the total glycemic load. The glycemic load of a food is determined by the glycemic index combined with the amount of food consumed.
Foods with high glycemic loads, like sugar and corn syrup, place unnecessary stress on the organs. For example, the pancreas, must pump out large amounts if insulin—in response to the high amounts of unopposed sugar found in junk food. Over-time, this stress on the pancreas may lead to poor pancreatic function. When that happens, a person may experience gas, bloating, and trouble digesting their foods—especially foods that contain carbohydrates.
I see a lot of poor pancreatic function and IBS in people that have a past history of eating too much sugar.To stay healthy on a budget you may also simple consider the glycemic index of the food you are consuming. To stay healthy on a budget you may also simple consider the glycemic index of the food you are consuming.
Do Not Over-Eat
Simply eating more nutrient dense foods, and not over-eating, can dramatically improve your health. If you are making large meals, if you are consuming too many calories—and the food you are eating is not nutrient dense—than you are harming your health. The truth is, by buying less food, and wasting less food, can save you a ton of money; that would be better spent on higher quality food choices. Less food, more nutrient dense, and higher quality will not only save you money, but improve your health as well.
Keep it Simple
Meals that are nutrient dense, and not particularly complicated, are always your best bet. when in doubt, keep it simple. Your waste will thank you, and so will your pocket book.