Following a healthy diet can be tricky as well as expensive. However, maintaining a well-balanced diet is of utmost importance as nearly 1.7 million Indians die every year due to diseases caused by dietary risk factors and obesity, says ‘State of India’s Environment 2022: In Figures’, the statistical summary published every year by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). The data mentioned in the CSE report also reveals that 71 per cent of Indians cannot afford a healthy diet.
However, a diet which consists of fruits, vegetables and whole grains is very important to reduce the chances of respiratory ailments, diabetes, cancer, stroke and coronary heart disease. The good news is, there are many ways you can follow a healthy diet without taking too much financial stress.
Follow these six simple steps:
Include inexpensive grains in your diet
You can include grains like Bajra in your diet. Bajra is often referred to as the poor man’s staple for nourishment. Bajra is rich in resistant starch, soluble and insoluble dietary fibres, minerals, and antioxidants.
Take a diet which consists of pulses like Moong dal
Moong dal, one of the most affordable food items in India, is packed with proteins and fibres. Low on calories, the inclusion of Moong dal in the diet can help you in weight loss. You can also include chickpeas in your diet. Chickpeas are rich in protein and are an economical alternative to meat, poultry, and seafood. Loaded with fibre, vitamins and minerals, chickpeas offer a variety of health benefits, such as improved digestion.
Avoid buying highly processed food
Avoid food items like cookies, pre-packaged meals and sugary drinks. These expensive food items often lack beneficial nutrients and are high in sodium or added sugar. By avoiding processed foods, you can spend more on nutrient-rich food options like fruits and vegetables.
Eggs are a powerhouse of essential amino acids and are one the most nutritious food items. In India, the cost of one egg ranges from 4 to 6 Indian rupees.
Buy seasonal fresh produce
Buying seasonal fruits and vegetables is a smart strategy to ensure that you don’t spend too much on a healthy diet. Purchasing seasonal fruits and vegetables from the local market is cost-effective.
Include peanuts in your diet
Dry fruits are an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet. However, dry fruits like almonds and walnuts are very costly. Peanuts are a great alternative to these nuts as they contain good fats, protein, and minerals.
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