When you shop for food, and you, for example, compare two cereal bars, do you automatically think that the more expensive one is healthier, or tastier? Recent research suggests most people do assume that. The truth is that the more expensive choice is often not the healthier food, nor the better choice.
The newest study in this regard will be published in the Journal of Consumer Research, and involved hundreds of undergraduate college students who were presented with 5 different experiments. The various experiments tested how they would select healthier food, and if price was an important factor.
The results showed that the volunteers consistently thought that the more expensive option was healthier. For example, in one of the experiments, they were presented with two different sandwiches, and told to select the healthier one. A majority of volunteers selected the more expensive one, even when the prices were switched between the two sandwiches. They didn’t select on how the sandwich looked; they selected on the belief that the higher priced one was better.
Similar results were published in the journal Appetite in 2013, and explained in a blog post from the US Department of Agriculture. The conclusion—more expensive food does not mean healthier food.
1) More expensive does not mean healthier food
2) Look at the bottom of the store shelves
Stores often display the higher priced foods more prominently and hide the less expensive but just as good options in harder-to-see places. It’s worth it to look beyond the flashy locations and packages.
3) Be skeptical of claims like “healthy” or “natural”
These terms on the package do not necessarily mean that that the food inside is really healthy or natural. Ignore those terms on a label and instead follow the next hint.
4) Read the “nutritional information” on the label
Unfortunately manufacturers often make the print very small, so bring reading glasses if you have any problems with small print. First look at the portion size to see if it is reasonable for you. Reading “nutritional information” takes practice, and you will get better with time, but some of the most important things to look for are:
-0% trans fat
-low in saturated fat and sodium
-low in sugars (carbohydrates) or added sugars
-high in fiber
-nutrients such as vitamins A, C, D, calcium, iron, and potassium
5) Shop strategically for vegetables and fruits
Try to buy more that are in-season. They often taste better and cost less. Avoid pre-cut or sliced fruit. You will pay more for perhaps less nutrition. Don’t be afraid of slightly bruised or oddly shaped items; they may be cheaper but just as good.
6) Throw away less food
Many people throw out vegetables and fruits that can still be used. If you have extras, freeze them, and they will retain their nutrition. Or use extra vegetables in a soup, which you can also freeze. Finally, avoid shopping when you are hungry; this often leads to buying too much and buying things you don’t really need.
Read also in ProcuraMed:
Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)