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Miraculous Misconceptions: Oh brother: Healthy eating privilege of the rich?

I just love when I get questions or blog ideas from my Kindred Community and have to give my husband kudos for forwarding this study to me and asking me what I think.  Today a study was mentioned on Yahoo titled “Healthy Eating Privilege of the Rich?”  The study focuses on the food pyramid changes in 2010 recommending an increase in consumption of potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin D, and calcium rich foods.  Two thousand individuals in the state of Washington participated in a telephone survey which then led to the request for a printed survey to be completed.  Only 1300 of the printed surveys were returned.  The information provided in this article states that the printed survey focused on food eaten.  Nutrients were then analyzed and estimated in cost. 

Conclusions from this study state that the more money spent on food, the closer the people were to meeting the food pyramid guidelines of potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin D, and calcium which then led to a request for the government to do more to help consumers eat healthier. 

I have a lot of questions regarding this study since I could not get my hands on it, but I’ll keep those to myself.  I agree with Parke Wilde, Associate Professor at Friedman School of Nutritional Science and Policy at Tufts University who states it is not expensive to get all nutrients and that diets get more expensive with the more rules they have.  I also love a comment I saw from a reader stating “A multipack box of Twinkies costs $3. A bunch of bananas or a pound of apples can be had for half of that. So cost isn't the issue, choice is.”

There are many less expensive foods that are affordable for most. When I look at potassium one can focus on pinto beans and lentils, bananas, raisins, oranges or orange juice, baked sweet potatoes, canned peas, and mushrooms.  You can receive vitamin D from fortified cereal, dairy products, eggs, and mushrooms.  If you are looking for calcium rich foods focus on yogurt, fortified OJ, milk, and kale.  Fiber is provided in most fruits and vegetables, fortified cereals, beans and legumes. 

Most of these items are relatively inexpensive and can even be grown in a home garden or purchased at farmers markets.  If you don’t have access to either of these, you can most likely utilize sales and specials to purchase the most economic products towards your weekly budget with a little planning and forethought. This article focuses on food stamps not allowing the purchase of potatoes.  I agree that is unfortunate, however do they allow for the purchase of fortified cereals, bananas, and milk?  This just was not that great of an argument for me.

My recommendation is if you are on a limited budget but you want to get your nutrients in, I say gat an egg in for breakfast with ¾ cup of a high fiber fortified cereal and ½ cup of milk.  Try adding bananas, raisins, oranges, baked sweet potatoes and mushrooms throughout the day and also, sunlight is free.  Just ten minutes a day in the sun can help with your vitamin D recommendations. 

What do you think about this study?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.


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