Consumers Association of Penang

Giving voice to the little people...since 1970

Eating well with less money

Can we get well with less money?  It's not only possible. It is true that good food is cheaper because processed foods can be very expensive. Natural and fresh foods are also more nutritious. They also have no food additives which are added not for eating, but for longer shelf-life; replace lost colours and flavours; and other needs of the food industry.

 

You can get more vitamins, minerals, and proteins at low cost. Here's how.

1.     Protein foods. Beans, peas, lentils, and other similar foods (called legumes) are a good, cheap source of protein. If allowed to sprout before cooking and eating, they have more vitamins. Eggs are one of the cheapest sources of animal protein. And some fish are often cheaper than other meats and are just as nutritious.

2.     Grains. Rice, wheat, and other grains are more nutritious if their outer skins are not removed during milling.

3.     Fruits and vegetables. The sooner you eat fruits and vegetables after harvesting, the more nutrition they have. When you store them, put them in a cool, dark place to preserve vitamins. Cook vegetables in as small an amount of water as possible, because vitamins from the vegetables go into the water during cooking. Then use the water in soups or drink it.

The tough outside leaves or tops from vegetables like carrots or cauliflower contain many vitamins and can be used to make healthy soups.

Many wild fruits and berries are rich in vitamin C and natural sugars, and can provide extra vitamins and energy.

4.     Avoid spending money on packaged foods or vitamins. If parents took the money they often use for sweets or fizzy drinks and spent it on nutritious foods, their children would be healthier for the same amount of money.

Since most people can get the vitamins they need from food, it is better to spend money on nutritious foods than on pills.