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FOX Medical Team

Eating healthy doesn't have to be expensive

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ATLANTA -

When you're feeding a family, or shopping on a budget, you have to get creative. But buying healthy food doesn't have to leave you broke. Doctor Mehmet Oz says you don't have to pay anything extra.
 
When we think about the foods we should be eating, many of us don't know where to start. We don't want to run around to different stores. We don't want to pay more than we can afford,  and we don't want to have to work so hard.    
    
Doctor Oz says we don't have to, if we learn how to shop a little smarter.

It's a prescription for eating Dr. Oz preaches like a true believer: Eat real food - fresh from the ground - packed with good-for-you-ingredients. If you're on a tight budget, and don't shop at fancy gourmet grocery stores, how are you supposed to pay it?
         
"One of the big questions I get asked all the time, and it's a good question, is "I don't have the money to afford what you're talking about," said Oz.

Dr. Oz insists you can eat healthy without going to high-end grocery stores, or buying exotic ingredients.

"The most healthy foods you can possibly find are the foods your parents probably gave you.  Leafy green vegetables, all the foods with color, the foods that come out of the ground, the way they look when you eat them. Living in Atlanta most of the year, you have access to a lot of great produced," said Oz.

Dr. Oz says take advantage of that homegrown food; shop for fruits and vegetables in-season. If they're not, buy them frozen. It's cheaper, and won't spoil like the fresh items.

"One of the biggest complaints our viewers write in is, is they have to throw away a lot of food because the kids don't finish it. Well, when it's frozen you don't throw it away. You can store it, so it's a much better buy. And it has about 80 percent of the nutrient value of fresh," Oz said.

You can also stretch you shopping dollar with canned foods, but Dr. Oz says you want to avoid added salt or sweeteners. If you eat a lot of one kind of food, buy it in bulk.

"Sometimes you want to partner up with some friends and buy in big cases, the foods you want to get, that way you're not paying for packaging you're not paying for branding.  You're just buying the stuff you actually need for your family," said Oz.

In many grocery stores, some of the produce is already cut up. It's really convenient, but stores charge much more for that convenience. If you take five minutes and cut up your own peppers, or dice your own onions, it's a lot cheaper.

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