Good Food on a Tight Budget

Source: http://www.ewg.org/goodfood/

The Environmental Working Group swoops in to help us again! This time with a free guide to ensure you’re eating good food… and doing it on the cheap!

In their words: “Stretching your dollars to get a month’s worth of healthy, filling food is a challenge. EWG assessed nearly 1,200 foods and hand-picked the best 100 or so that pack in nutrients at a good price, with the fewest pesticides, contaminants and artificial ingredients.”

Please, though, disregard their advice on fats and oils. The polyunsaturated oils they recommend are actually the least healthy. Both because of the damage done to the delicate oils during processing and the high amounts of omega 6 fatty acids, these oils are not the best choices.

“Damaged oil” is another way of saying “rancid oil.” Manufacturers cover the rancidity up with deodorants and bleaches. Both damaged oils and too much omega 6 causes inflammation. Inflammation is the cause of 70% of chronic disease (according to the CDC).

Best to go with butter, ghee (clarified butter), coconut oil and/or fat reserved from cooking beef. Olive oil is fantastic but shouldn’t be used for cooking- the heat damages the oil. Organic sesame oil is a good choice because its omega 6 fats are packaged along with high levels of antioxidants. 

This may seem like revolutionary advice that conflicts with what everyone else is saying… but BuzzNutrition delivers the most cutting-edge advice to keep you healthy. An Oil Change may be just what your pantry needs! And this is a place where spending a bit more money is well worth it. 🙂

Some highlights of the EWG guide (with my nutritional recommendations in italics):

  • Freeze raw, full-fat cheese that starts going bad. Defrosted cheese tastes best melted. Don’t buy shredded cheese — shred it yourself.
  • Substitute full-fat yogurt for cream and sour cream in recipes. Drain yogurt in a coffee filter to thicken. To cut cost and packaging waste, buy in large containers and measure out small servings.
  • Cut and freeze fresh fruit when it’s on sale or overripe. Use later in smoothies, oatmeal, or yogurt. To eliminate clumping, lay pieces on a tray in the freezer or freeze pureed fruit in ice-cube trays. When frozen, transfer to a bag.
  • Don’t be fooled. Read the label. Make sure the word “whole” is in the very first ingredient listed. “Multigrain” or “wheat” isn’t enough. Just because it looks brown doesn’t mean it’s whole grain. Better yet, get sprouted wheat bread (Ezikiel’s or alvaradostreetbakery.com). Buy when it’s on sale and store in the freezer. Better yet, avoid bread altogether, as wheat is very hard for most people to digest and refined gluten-free grains are also tough on the Food Tube.
  • Buy in bulk and stock up during sales. Make your own oatmeal. Packets cost more and are often loaded with salt and sugar. Buy brown rice in bulk and mix with white rice if needed to lower cost.
  • Add nuts to oatmeal, cereal, salads and stir-fries for a healthy, hearty meal. Raw nuts are often cheaper. Roast them for a delicious snack. Nuts stay fresh longer in the freezer.
  • Whole or cut-up bone-in chicken can be a money saver. Bake extra and use all week. Buy family-size packs on sale and freeze. Plus, when you cook meat along with the bones and fat, you boost the nutritional value 5 million-fold!
  • Soak and cook dried beans to save money. Canned beans save time, but rinse them before using and be sure to use BPA-free cans (see my blog post on BPA).
  • Vegetables about to go bad? Freeze them or make soup.
  • Stock up on long-lasting vegetables and store them in a cool, dry place. Potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, calabaza, and sweet potatoes taste great for several weeks after you buy them. Frozen vegetables and cabbage keep well, too.
  • Remember to disregard the advice on oils and contact me for more info.

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