Question: Dieting is expensive. How can I diet with a low income?
(from reader Jesse Jenner)
Answer: Don’t let your budget come between you and your health. Contrary to popular belief, many healthy foods are no more expensive than junk grub, according to a study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service.
“Losing weight doesn’t need to be all about organic vegetables and grass-finished beef,” says Mike Roussell, Ph.D., a Men’s Health nutrition advisor.
Plus, many good-for-you foods such as lean meats, whole grains, and vegetables are rich in nutrients, like protein and fiber, that keep you fuller longer than highly-processed packaged snacks that contain heaps of sodium, added sugars, and refined carbohydrates.
Or consider water—replacing soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks will help you slash calories and lose weight. The best part? It’s free! Put these foods, which rank among some of the least-expensive "diet foods," on your shopping list—having a list will reduce impulse buys and save you cash:
• Fruits: Banana, apples, grapes
• Vegetables: Frozen and canned vegetables (if canned opt for low sodium version)
• Grains: Brown rice, oats
• Protein: Milk, eggs, beans
This article originally appeared on Men's Health US.