The anti-crisis diet: how to spend less to lose weight in health

Spesa supermercato

Eat in season, choose eggs and legumes to expensive meat and fish, plan and read the labels. All the tips to save on weekly shopping.

Pasta, bread, pizza, focaccia … and the weight goes up. On the other hand, following a varied and balanced weight loss diet often becomes expensive and for many people is a limit. It is no coincidence that the literature data associates the higher prevalence of obesity, sedentary lifestyle and in general of incorrect nutrition with the most disadvantaged groups of the population.

As stated in the most recent Guidelines for a healthy diet, in fact, the availability of foods with a high caloric density, low price and very palatable (french fries, sauces, sausages, salty or sweet snacks, chocolate, sugary drinks, etc.) it is very high and the choices of the consumer, especially those with fewer cultural and economic means, are often oriented precisely on this type of product. On the other hand, foods such as fruit and vegetables, fish and extra virgin olive oil are perceived as either too expensive or too difficult to prepare.

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However, a correct diet that includes all the nutrients helps to stay healthy, helps to avoid nutritional deficiencies (as a monotonous diet based on the same foods can lead to imbalances), provides adequate reserves of energy and nutrients for the maintenance of functions of the body and proves to be a great ally in preventing chronic non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, tumors, cardiovascular diseases, etc. favored by excess weight.

Foods must therefore be eaten every day of the week taking into account the different food groups: cereals and tubers, fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, milk and derivatives, and condiment fats since it is each food that contributes, with the specific nutritional properties , to ensure a complete ratio of all the substances necessary for the proper functioning of the organism.

But how to save while following a varied and balanced diet from a nutritional point of view?

Seasonal fruit and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables, often referred to as expensive products, are not expensive if you choose certain products. Find offers of fruit and vegetables in all markets and supermarkets throughout the year. In addition, by eating in season, you will certainly spend less.

Alternate the proteins

Meat and fish, usually considered as very expensive foods, can be alternated with eggs and cheese or legumes associated with cereals.

Among meat, poultry is generally cheaper and has a high nutritional profile, with quantities of noble proteins, vitamins and mineral salts comparable to those of red meat.

Mediterranean fish such as sardines, anchovies, paddlefish, tunas and mackerel generally have a lower cost than others. Even preserved or processed fish, especially in the natural version, can be a good alternative for ease of access and low cost.

Eggs are perfect, in which positive nutritional connotations prevail, such as the high density of nutrients among which a very high quality protein kit with a low energy content, the richness of functional components, practicality, versatility, low cost , and last but not least, the advantage of promoting the sense of satiety by virtue of the protein content.

Also excellent are legumes – to be combined with cereals – which combine a high nutritional value with a low cost and therefore their inclusion in the diet represents an added value also in terms of economic sustainability. Their use, moreover, is characteristic of our Mediterranean tradition, in which they lend themselves to several typical recipes (pasta and beans, rice and bisi, ribollita, chickpeas and cod, macco di fava).

Among cheeses and dairy products, yogurt and ricotta are cheap products within everyone’s reach, they represent excellent sources of calcium, among the cheapest, as well as having high biological value proteins and low fat.

Avoid buying pre-packaged foods

In the supermarket counters we can find a wide range of pre-washed and cut ready-to-cook foods, which have the advantage of reducing preparation times for those with limited minutes, but at the same time have a higher cost. The same goes for ready-made dishes, which are not only often high in fat, but also not exactly cheap. Take advantage of your free time to prepare a series of dishes which you will then freeze in individual containers so that you can use them comfortably throughout the week.

If you have little time to shop, remember that frozen products have been cleared through customs for some time: they are safe from a hygienic point of view and retain all the nutritional aspects. So, if you are short on time, buy frozen vegetables and fish, even if the fresh and seasonal product is always recommended.

Plan your purchases

Organization first of all: checking the foods you already have at home allows you to draw up a list of those you only really need. Designing a weekly menu before shopping allows you to buy food according to real consumption needs and allows you to have a clear idea of ​​the quantities you will need during the week. An added benefit of planning is to shop on a budget.

Watch out for offers

Always compare different products before buying them, taking into account the relationship between price and quantity, take advantage of the offer and look for the best price.

Avoid waste

The wide range of products on the market often leads us to buy and consume more than necessary, a condition that not only can affect our health – unbalancing the caloric intake introduced with respect to the actual energy needs – but which can also negatively impact our wallet. It is estimated that, on average, 35% of fresh produce, 19% of bread and 16% of fruit and vegetables are thrown into a home. Planning purchases avoids buying more than necessary and in this way also reduces waste. By calculating the portions, if the quantities are appropriate, there should be no leftovers and if there are any, the advice is to reuse them with imagination.

Read the labels

Get into the habit of reading the back of the package and always choose packaged foods with the longest expiration date. Often food and drinks are thrown away because the date on the label has passed or because the information on the package has not been interpreted correctly. Remember that “to be consumed by” indicates the limit beyond which the product must not be consumed; “To be consumed preferably by” indicates that the product after the reported date may have changed some organoleptic characteristics such as taste and smell, but it can still be consumed quickly without risk to health.

Category: Welfare
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