We’re often urged to eat healthier diets — because they’ll help us live longer, because they’ll help us stay slimmer, because, abstractly, they’re good for us. But eating healthy is gonna cost you — $550 a year.
That’s the average amount of money a healthy diet costs over an unhealthy one, according to a new study published in the medical journal BMJ Open. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health studied healthy and unhealthy diet patterns in ten wealthy countries and found that across the board, diets rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and nuts, cost more than those heavy in processed foods and refined grains. On average, the healthiest diets came in at $1.50 more per day.
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Still, say study authors, $550 per year is a small price to pay, compared to price so many people pay for eating poorly. Paying more for food, explained senior study author Dariush Mozaffarian, “would represent a real burden for some families, and we need policies to help offset these costs.” But on the other hand, “this price difference is very small in comparison to the economic costs of diet-related chronic diseases, which would be dramatically reduced by healthy diets.” Not to mention the years that eating healthy will add to your life.
So yeah, we probably won’t think twice about picking up those organic apples at the grocery store.