1. Yogurt and Cottage Cheese
I’ve grouped these two together because they are both cheap, delicious, and convenient dairy sources of complete protein, calcium, and vitamin D. Yogurt can also be a great source of live healthy bacteria cultures that can improve digestive health. It’s a cheap, convenient, and delicious snack whether you are on the go, at the office, or even to enjoy slowly with nuts, fruit, or flaxseed toppings. Cottage cheese can be purchased in large containers pretty cheaply, there are plenty of competing brands, and there are low-fat or fat free options. Buy in bulk for extra savings or buy small containers to eat high quality protein on the go. With these two excellent options, you might want to bring a cooler with you on the go or invest in that mini fridge for your office.
2. Red Grapes
Grapes are excellent and affordable sources of fiber, water, anthocyanins, flavenoids, and the powerful antioxidant resveratrol. Green grapes are not a source of resveratrol so I would try to eat more purple grapes than green. This is the same reason why red wine is touted as such a health tonic and white wine isn’t. Trust me when I recommend that you get your resveratrol from purple grapes, and raisins if necessary, and not from copious amounts of red wine. The former has plenty of other nutrients and health benefits while the latter’s high alcohol content will pretty much cancel out any real benefits gained. Also, I’d recommend sticking with purple grapes and raisins and avoiding the resveratrol and grapeseed extract dietary supplements until more studies are done to determine if they are worthwhile or not. If necessary, bring a box or two of raisins with you on the go for a light and healthy snack.
3. Chick Peas and Hummus
Chick peas, the main ingredient in hummus, are very cheap to purchase by the can and provide excellent sources of healthy fats, fiber, and protein for your diet. You can also add chick peas to salads to make them more filling and flavorful. One of the best things about chick peas is that you can just eat or prepare them right out of the container, no preparation required! Convenient, delicious, and nutritious indeed. Hummus, a product of mostly chickpeas, is slightly more expensive to purchase but even more convenient for eating with vegetables and whole grain breads or crackers. You can also make your own hummus very cheaply and easily, there are recipes for homemade hummus later in this book.
Carrots are very cheap, low in calories, and packed with important nutrients. Carrots have a very high concentration of beta carotene, an antioxidant that is crucial for eye health. They also include high fiber content and many other micronutrients for overall health. Add them to all kinds of soups and salads, steam them, or just munch on them raw. Sorry but carrot cake doesn’t count!
5. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are an excellent form of slow-digesting, complex carbohydrates. Sweet potatoes do not spike your blood sugar like their more common counterpart and are an excellent carbohydrate source for anyone trying to lose bodyfat. They also include many other micronutrients and even antioxidants. They are very cheap to buy and an easy addition to any lunch or dinner. If you are aggressively trying to lose weight, limit yourself to one sweet potato at or after dinner at the most due to its high (but healthy) carbohydrate content.
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