Eat Cheap: Top Ten Healthy, Low-Cost Foods

(Good Day Alabama, 19 July 2010)
 
Grab you pen so you can make your grocery-shopping list for the week of the healthiest and cheapest foods around! You can watch the segment on Good Day Alabama as well.

1. Starchy Beans (like pinto beans, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans, northern beans)

  • Why? They're high in cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber, protein, and low in fat. Instead of fat back add garlic, onions, Canadian bacon or lean ham to flavor the beans.

2. Cabbage

  • Why? Cabbage is loaded with fiber, vitamin C and it's a cruciferous vegetable - the cancer fighting family of vegetables.

 3. Potatoes

  • Why? Potatoes are the kings of potassium - beating out bananas and orange juice. Plus, they're easy to cook - just scrub them up and pop them in the oven. Most of the fiber and a good chunk of the potassium are in the skin so don't peel your potatoes.

 4. Canned Salmon

  • Why? It's a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and a great, low-fat protein source. Canned salmon is much less expensive than fresh. Check out this great recipe for Salmon Salad.

 5. Oatmeal

  • Why? Of course it's the kind you have to cook that's the cheapest but it's high in cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber and it's a whole grain!

 6. Eggs

  • Why? They're versatile and egg protein is the highest quality protein around.

 7. Frozen Vegetables

  • Why? They're less expensive than their fresh counterparts are and there is much less waste because you only take out the amount you need. Add to that the ease of microwaving preparation and you've got a winner that's not just cheap and healthy but takes almost no preparation and just minutes to cook.

 8. Bananas

  • Why? They're pre-wrapped, high in fiber and potassium - a perfect afternoon snack!

 9. Brown Rice

  • Why? Pair this with the starchy beans & you've got a quality protein without adding meat! It's a whole grain and oh-so-easy to cook!

 10. Turnip & Collard Greens

  • Why? They're loaded with cancer fighters, fiber and they even have some calcium. And of course, nothing is more southern than greens.

Beth Kitchin, MS, RD
Assistant Professor
UAB Department of Nutrition Sciences