Cooking - Cutting Vegetables - iStock - sergeyshibut

How to eat healthy, even as food prices rise

© iStock - sergeyshibut
Eric Tegethoff

(Oregon News Service) Higher food costs are a concern for many people, but one health expert said people can still manage to eat healthy.

Chelsea Warren, health coach manager for Providence Health Plan and an American Heart Association volunteer, said a healthy diet is balanced, with plenty of fruits and vegetables, some whole grain products and high fiber proteins. However, those foods might feel too expensive at the moment.

"It may feel like heart-healthy eating is off the table," Warren acknowledged. "I think this is a good time to rethink our strategy around what we eat and meal planning."

Warren urged people to plan out their meals for the week and search for savings through loyalty programs and coupons. She also advised people to compare prices while shopping and buy in bulk when possible.

Warren pointed out there are ways to save on produce as well, noting some of the cheaper fruits and vegetables stay fresh for a long time. She noted cabbage is a good example, which also helps to lower cholesterol and fight cancer.

"It's healthy, it's cheap and then, you can keep it in the fridge for a couple of weeks and it doesn't go bad," Warren explained. "And you can weave that into salads, you can weave it into soups, stir-fries, tacos."

Warren added people should think about buying what is in season and look into their local farmers markets as well. The produce there is often fresher, so it tends to last longer. Many farmers markets also offer double-up deals for people who buy with EBT cards or food stamps.