Are healthy foods really more expensive? It depends on how you measure the price

Most Americans do not eat enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to meet federal dietary recommendations. A commonly cited reason for this deficiency is that healthy foods cost more than less healthy options. However, a recent study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that nutritious foods – such as grains, vegetables, fruit, and dairy – typically cost less than items high in saturated fat and added sugars.

Researchers compared the prices of 4,439 “healthy” and “less healthy” foods examining price per calorie, price of edible weight, and price per average portion.

When price of edible weight or price per portion were used to determine costs, the researchers found healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, and low-fat milk were less expensive than most protein foods (chicken breast, canned tuna) and other foods that are high in saturated fat, added sugars, or sodium (fruit flavored yogurt, macaroni and cheese).

To learn more about the study and download the full report, visit: http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/eib-economic-information-bulletin/eib96.aspx

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