As it turns out, you can put together delicious and nutritious meals on a daily basis just by keeping a few simple and cheap items in stock at all times.
Eating well isn’t an easy task, as many a dieter has learned the hard way. Eating out at restaurants doesn’t help either. Not only is the nutritional information not listed, but you also have zero control over the portion size. In fact, individuals who eat out regularly not only spend considerably more money on food, but are also more likely to be overweight than individuals who prepare their own meals. To ensure that you can whip up a tasty meal at any time of the day or week, stock up on the following items.
1 Protein Sources
Canned salmon and tuna are both extremely cheap sources of protein that pack minimal saturated fat and tons of nutritional value. Both are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which do everything from helping you to lose weight to ensure that your heart and brain function properly. They are also some of the leanest protein sources you can find, and they make excellent substitutions for red meat.
Natural peanut butter is great for flavoring foods. It can be added to everything from smoothies to veggie dips. The natural variety also boasts a lot of benefits over the processed kind; significantly less sugar, more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and less sodium and artificial ingredients.
Almonds are some of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. They are high in good fats, low in saturated fat, and high in protein and vitamins. The fiber will help keep you full for hours whilst the amino acids are great for your heart. Eat them as a snack, or chop them up and throw them in salads.
2 Fruit and Vegetables
Apples are amongst the most antioxidant rich foods on the planet, and have proven disease-fighting capabilities. They can be turned into pies, thrown into salads, or simply eaten on their own as a snack.
Sweet Potatoes are an excellent alternative to the regular kind. They’re packed with antioxidants and fiber and have a variety of uses. Even better, they’re only about 40 cents a serving.
Garlic, which only costs about 5 cents a serving, is an excellent flavoring agent for a variety of foods. Avoid the powdered or canned kind if you can. The fresh variety boasts an incredible ability to prevent blood clots and lower blood pressure.
3 Grains and Carbohydrate Sources
When it comes to versatility, few foods can compare to whole wheat pasta. It can fulfill every function of regular pasta, and it packs a dozen times the nutritional value. At just 45 cents a serving, you are getting an incredible amount of fiber and nutrients for a rock-bottom price.
Popcorn, the unsalted and unbuttered variety, is often overlooked when cheap and healthy foods are discussed. That’s a shame, because popcorn actually has minimal fat and plenty of fiber. Even better, it’s one of the cheapest foods you can buy. Sprinkle it with some sea salt, or add some olive oil, and you will have a tasty and nutritious snack whenever you please.