Healthy vs. Processed?

As Americans we have probably heard over and over that fruits and vegetables are essential for a healthy diet.  So why are the majority of us not getting an adequate amount of servings per day?  There is an overwhelming stigma surrounding these colorful food options and that is that they are expensive.  Consumers would rather spend their dollars on foods, mostly processed, that are cheaper at first glance.  The Center for Science and the Public Interest recently compared the per serving cost of produce and common processed foods and overall they found that the average per serving cost of fruit and vegetable snacks was $.34 and the average cost of unhealthier snacks was $.67!  As if that is not exciting enough to hear, fruit and vegetable options were also proven to be lower in calories, sometimes up to 260 calories less!
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Hopefully this information changes some stubborn view points about the low accessibility of these necessary fruits and vegetables.  They were found to more often than not, be “nutritional bargains” and the same price, if not cheaper, per serving when compared to their boxed, high-sodium, processed counterparts. So think twice before ruling out the produce section at your local grocery store!  Keep your family healthy by serving them these delicious fruits and veggies.  Check out this article for more cost comparisons that will open your eyes to purchasing healthier options for your family and learn more about research that is being done to support fruit and vegetable purchase and consumption! http://cspinet.org/healthybargains.pdf

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Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

North Carolina State University
Agricultural and Human Sciences Department

Cooperative Extension at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES)