How to have a healthy diet on a budget

It may be that Michael Noonan is about to deliver a really harsh budget, and talk will be around tightening our belts. But it is ironic that people in debt often put on weight rather than loosing it.

It may be that Michael Noonan is about to deliver a really harsh budget, and talk will be around tightening our belts. But it is ironic that people in debt often put on weight rather than loosing it.

Cara Cunningham, Community Dietitian

One of the reasons suggested is that healthy food can be pricy. But with a bit of forward planning we can rid out this recession with our health intact!

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Healthy lifestyle tips that will save you money:

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* Shop around, competition has increased among our supermarkets and although there may be many of the offers are on high fat/ sugary foods there are also special offers on fruit and vegetables

* Planning your meals, writing a list and sticking to it, is key for saving money when doing food shopping

* Cooking from scratch, home made is often tastier and healthier than any processed meal that you buy in a shop.

* Buy cheaper cuts of meat, for example chicken thighs are cheaper but you can make a tasty dish for the whole family see below for tasty recipe.

* If you are cooking for one or two – make larger portions and freeze down leftovers

* Don’t shop when you are hungry – hunger and willpower just don’t really work together!

* Watch out for comfort eating – when we are down the best way to pick yourself up is to be more active – having a walk, putting on your music and dance round the kitchen, this will make you feel better than any chocolate can.

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Whatever the budget brings, it is safe to predict that most of us won’t have as much money in our pockets. With a bit of planning this recession will turn us all into lean mean thrifty shopping and cooking machines.

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For more recipe ideas see www.safefood.eu; www.bordbia.ie For more information or for more information on diet and nutrition, please contact: The Community Nutrition and Dietetic Service, HSE Dublin-Mid Leinster Tel: (044) 9353220 or email community.dietitians@hse.ie.