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By Dr. Kristina L Sargent, D.C.

February 27, 2010--In this economy, finances are a stressor, and the food budget is one place you may be able to cut expenses. But what is the wisest way to accomplish that goal? Making poor food choices actually increases your risk of diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure; so when you cut your food budget, don't cut out necessary nutrients.

Here are some tips for low-cost nutrition:


* Stay on the Perimeter: To choose the healthiest foods, stay on the perimeter of the store. You don't really need to make your way into the aisles - where the processed stuff is located - why tempt yourself to spend your money on food without nutrients, that stresses your body.


* Cut out processed foods: foods, chips, muffins, cookies, soda, sports drinks and other beverages. Most of those foods don't have many nutrients, like vitamins and antioxidants, and they actually rob your body of nutrients as your body tries to process them.


* Meal Plan: Start by planning a week or so's worth of meals, be sure to include breakfast, lunch if you pack your own, dinner and snacks. You can save time by building up a recipe file with your favorite dishes. You can use cookbooks, print out recipes you find online or keep copies of recipes in a special folder on your computer. Grab the advertisements for your local grocery store to see what's on special -- you can save even more money by planning some of your meals around those sale items.


* Buy frozen foods: With frozen foods you don't have to worry about spoilage and you will be getting more of the nutrients your body needs to combat stress.


* Buy in bulk: Buy chicken and ground meat in bulk, freezing it in family-sized


* Cut Coupons: Look for online coupons as well as the coupons in newspapers and magazines.


* Choose Cheap Meat: Choose cheaper, leaner cuts of beef. You will reduce the amount of saturated fat in your meals (which is better for your health). The cheaper cuts of beef need to be cooked at lower temperatures and longer periods of time. They are perfect for beef stews, soups and in crockpot meals.


* Use your own Water: Buy a water-filter pitcher instead of expensive individual bottles of water.


Your body doesn't need any more stress - choose to de-stress by feeding your body an anti-stress diet, and reducing your grocery bill at the same time.

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