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Statistics show that the majority of Americans are overweight. Likewise, obesity is a contributing factor in increased levels of coronary artery disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Unfortunately, many people have a false belief that eating healthy is expensive. While eating fast food may be cheaper in the short term, the long term health effects, and the ensuing health care costs, can be devastating.

Eating healthy does not need to be costly or complicated. Let’s explore a few simple ways you can improve your health, while not breaking the bank.

Cook at Home

Creating your own simple meals from wholesome ingredients is certainly the best way to start eating healthy. Base your cooking on fresh vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. While shopping, read the labels; avoid any products that contain chemicals and artificial ingredients. Likewise, go organic as you can afford it.

Increase Your Intake of Fresh Fruits and Veggies

Incorporating more vegetables and fruits into your everyday diet can be a challenge. However, there are some easy ways to do it; you can easily blend baby spinach and any type of fruit into a smoothie. Likewise, you can add vegetables to your pasta dishes or an omelet. Get into the habit of snacking on fresh fruits. Your body will thank you!

Eat Whole Grains

Whole grains have not been stripped of their bran and germ, ensuring you get a daily dose of fiber. Switch to brown rice rather than white rice, and choose whole-grain bread over white bread. Also, if you suffer from digestive problems, you might look into going gluten free; gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. For some people, gluten can cause health issues. While gluten-free foods are more expensive, they may save you money medically in the long run, if you do have an issue with gluten intolerance.

Increase Your Protein

While a steak may have loads of protein, it also has lots of saturated fat, and it’s expensive. However, there are plenty of non-meat protein sources that are not only healthy, but also inexpensive. Eggs, beans, lentils, and dairy products are also good sources of protein and other nutrients that won’t break the bank.

A few simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference in your health, without breaking the bank.