Successfully added to your cart!

The True Cost of Eating Healthy

by Dr. David Minkoff August 18, 2021 5 min read 0 Comments

The True Cost of Eating Healthy

It is probably safe to say that most people would choose to be healthy and fit, considering that diet and exercise were part of over 58% of recent New Years' resolutions, according to statistica.com. Sadly, the rising obesity rate tells us that these resolutions and most diets are failing.

Today we're going to talk about one of the biggest perceived reasons it is hard to be healthy: the cost of healthy food.

And yes, I said "perceived" – because the cost of food does not have to be a barrier. Almost anyone can turn a diet around without paying more for your food – and in fact, will end up saving money in the long run.

The reasoning behind this is simple:

  1. Many unhealthy foods stimulate hunger, which makes you think you need much more food than your body actually needs.
  2. Unhealthy foods provide little nutritional value and reduce the much-needed energy and vitality that can lead to higher pay (not to mention enjoying life)
  3. Poor diets are one of the primary causes of type 2 diabetes, heart attacks, obesity, and many other conditions that can cost you tens of thousands in medical care and lost earnings.

But the question remains for most people – how do you eat healthy without breaking the bank?

The answer is to start slowly and apply basic nutritional science.

[1]

Empty Carbs = Hunger Stimulation

The average American consumes 3,600 calories per day, up from 2,880 in 1961 - compared to the recommended daily intake of 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men. Unsurprisingly, the correlating rates of heart disease and obesity have skyrocketed on a parallel track.

And while there are likely many causes, a major one (which is highly relevant to our topic today) is the hormonal disturbance caused by sugar and empty carbs.

Your metabolic appetite is primarily regulated through the hypothalamus, which has a complex set of hormones and neural pathways. To boil it down, however, we can look at two highly relevant hormones: ghrelin and leptin.

Ghrelin, also known as the "hunger hormone," is created by your stomach when it is empty or your body's blood sugar is low – both of which are natural responses to ensure the body gets the nutrients it needs. When you enjoy a healthy, balanced diet, this hormone does its job well, and your body lets you know when you need food. However, when you add fructose and high-GI foods to the equation, you get an unbalance that leads to an ever-increasing appetite.

Two of the most common ways that ghrelin can become unbalanced are:

  1. Fructose, in all its various forms (high-fructose corn syrup, for one), directly stimulates ghrelin production and increases serum ghrelin levels. And yes, high-fructose corn syrup is everywhere – think salad dressings, frozen foods, bread, sweetened yogurts, and of course – candy, bakery goods, and pop.
  2. The entirety of empty-calorie and high-GI foods trigger fluctuations in blood sugar, which can trick your body into producing extra ghrelin and making you think that you're hungry – even when your body does not need food.

Leptin, on the other hand, is produced by fat cells once they reach a certain "fullness," and it tells your brain that you are "full," naturally decreasing your appetite. Unfortunately, numerous studies have shown a vicious cycle in which people become desensitized to the effects of leptin and less able to experience the sensation of being "full."

This all ties directly into the cost of food, considering that eating healthy and nutritious foods helps to keep the ghrelin/leptin system balanced – which can greatly reduce your appetite.

The more you eat low-quality food, the hungrier you will be. Translate that into cost, and you can see that cheaper foods in higher quantities can easily cost the same (or more) than healthier foods in smaller amounts.

[2,3,4,5,6,7]

Metabolic Appetite vs. Hedonic Appetite

Over the last few decades, studies have recognized that there are two distinct appetite mechanisms: Metabolic (your body being hungry) and Hedonic (a desire for the pleasure of eating).

While we aren't going to dive too deep into the science behind these two types of hunger, it is particularly important to understand that eating junk food not only disrupts the hormonal balance of your metabolic appetite but can also cause a "food addiction" through dopamine stimulation.

The more junk food you eat, the more you want to eat, and the more your body craves the pleasure sensation of consuming sugars and other tasty but very unhealthy foods.

[6]

Nutrient Value and Your Health

The last and most crucial factor in the cost of healthy eating is the health ramifications, both long and short term.

In the short term, a healthy diet gives you the physical energy and feeling of wellbeing to thrive in life. A poor diet may appear cheaper at the grocery store, but it inevitably results in fatigue, lack of energy, and an inability to live life to the fullest.

Extending that concept over years and decades of life, the healthcare costs and physical limitations associated with type 2 diabetes, heart attacks, and the thousands of other symptoms caused by a long-term poor diet can be astronomical.

One statement from The American Heart Association really puts this in perspective:

"… study that analyzed the effects of 10 dietary factors, including consumption of fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds and processed meats. The study found the annual cost of cardiometabolic diseases caused by poor diet is about $300 per person, or $50 billion nationally. A poor diet accounted for 18% of all heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes costs in the United States."

[8]

Summary

A comprehensive study done on the actual cost of eating healthy indicated that it costs, on average, $1.50 per day per person more than eating junk.

When you factor in the health risks, your health in general, and the ability to gradually wean yourself to a more reasonable quantity of food to restore a healthy hormonal balance, I would argue that it is significantly less expensive to eat healthy for the long term.

Eating healthy doesn't have to be complicated. You can apply tips and tricks such as:

  • Create a weekly meal plan of nutritious meals and snacks, and then shop for those items.
  • Go to local farmer's markets and purchase foods that are in season and locally grown. You might be surprised by how affordable it can be.
  • Plan meals and snacks high in fibers and healthy fats, both of which can help you feel full for longer and provide clean-burning energy.
  • Don't buy into marketing fads that attempt to charge you two to three times the price for something because of a label. Simply look at how the food is sourced, buy organic where you can, and focus on ensuring you buy foods with good nutrient content.

All in all, taking the plunge to switch to a healthier, more nutritious diet might have a small upfront investment, but believe me – neither you nor your bank account will regret it.

[9]

 


References:

  1. https://www.statista.com/statistics/953560/new-years-resolution-us/
  2. https://www.businessinsider.com/american-calorie-intake-last-52-years-diet-food-eating-increase-science-2017-6
  3. https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/food-and-diet/what-should-my-daily-intake-of-calories-be/
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm
  5. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/your-hunger-hormones
  6. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-sugar-and-fat-trick-the-brain-into-wanting-more-food/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4429636/
  8. https://www.heart.org/en/news/2020/03/27/eating-well-can-benefit-both-your-health-and-your-bank-account
  9. https://www.webmd.com/parenting/raising-fit-kids/features/healthy-food-cost

*This website, including products, articles, and educational content are not intended to diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. This website does not provide medical advice. The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only.

Dr. David Minkoff
Dr. David Minkoff

Dr. David Minkoff graduated from the University of Wisconsin Medical School in 1974 and was elected to the “Phi Beta Kappa” of medical schools, the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Medical Fraternity for very high academic achievement. He then completed both a Pediatric Residency and Fellowship in Infectious Disease at the University of California at San Diego.

He worked at the University of California and Children’s Hospitals in San Diego as an attending physician in infectious disease while conducting original research on Ribaviron, a broad spectrum anti-viral agent to fight disease. He also co-directed a neo-natal intensive care unit and worked in emergency medicine.

In 1992, Dr Minkoff’s wife Sue, a Registered Nurse, became interested in nutrition and health and began to go to lectures from some of the experts in the field. At the time, Dr Minkoff was pretty fixed in his view of traditional medicine and it took a lot of convincing to get him to come to one of these lectures. After hearing Dr Jeffrey Bland speak, Dr Minkoff had a eureka moment and began pursuing the alternative field with a vengeance. Based on this new knowledge Dr Minkoff and his wife set up a small clinic in 1997 to help some friends with their medical problems. What began as an experiment blossomed into Lifeworks Wellness Center, one of the most successful clinics for complementary medicine in the United States. In the process, he gained expertise in Biological medicine, integrative oncology, heavy metal detoxification, anti-aging medicine, hormone replacement therapy, functional medicine, energy medicine, neural and prolotherapy, homeopathy and optimum nutrition. He studied under the masters in each of these disciplines until he became an expert in his own right. Dr Minkoff is one of the most in demand speakers in the field and wrote an Amazon best selling book called The Search For The Perfect Protein.

The demand for the products and protocols he discovered became a catalyst for founding BodyHealth.Com, a nutrition company that now manufactures and distributes cutting-edge nutritional solutions for the many health problems of today. Dr. Minkoff writes two free online newsletters, “The Optimum Health Report” and ”The BodyHealth Fitness Newsletter”, to help others learn about optimum health and fitness.

Dr. Minkoff is an avid athlete himself and has completed 44 Ironman Triathlons. To keep his fitness maximal, he lives the lifestyle he teachers to others and tries to set an example for others, so they can enjoy a life free of pain and full of energy.



Also in BodyHealth

‘Why am I so tired?’ – 6 Common Habits That Drain Your Energy
‘Why am I so tired?’ – 6 Common Habits That Drain Your Energy

by Dr. David Minkoff September 14, 2021 6 min read 0 Comments

If you don’t wake up feeling bright in the morning, suffer from the usual “afternoon crash,” or generally feel sleepy, you’re not alone. According to a recent survey, only 16% of Americans feel bright and awake every day. Over 50% of those surveyed reported feeling tired between three and seven days each week – with women accounting for a majority of those who suffer.

Today we’re going to talk about six common and easy-to-remedy habits that might be draining your energy.

Read More
The Truth Behind H2 and Athletic Performance
The Truth Behind H2 and Athletic Performance

by Dr. David Minkoff September 02, 2021 4 min read 0 Comments

Supplemental molecular hydrogen, also known as H2, is becoming increasingly popular for many health concerns due to its effective and safe action as a targeted antioxidant.

And while everyone can benefit from H2, it is particularly beneficial for athletes. Not only can it improve VO2 max levels, but it also helps to reduce muscle fatigue, helps maintain peak performance for longer and speeds healing of soft-tissue injuries.

Today we’re going to dive deeper into how and why H2 affects athletic performance.

Read More
PerfectAmino Mocha Boost: The Healthiest Way to Power Your Day
PerfectAmino Mocha Boost: The Healthiest Way to Power Your Day

by Dr. David Minkoff August 04, 2021 4 min read 0 Comments

With today’s busy lifestyle, it can be challenging to have enough energy to make it through the day, let alone spend time in the gym or go for a run. It’s no surprise that 90% of Americans drink some form of caffeine each day and that the market for energy drinks has exploded in the past decade.

In looking at the ideal solution for a true, natural energy boost to get you through the day and workout while supporting overall health, I distilled it all down to two requirements...

Read More