Why Eating Healthy Saves You Money
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) Every person knows that he should eat healthy; however, this doesn't always translate into action. For one thing, people might not know what precisely counts as "healthy" and what is not. What's more, many people are still under the mistaken impression that eating healthy foods is going to be expensive. Yet, when it comes right down to it, not only is eating healthy going to save you money in the long run, there's also no price that you can put on good health.
Ben Gardener is the founder and president of Linkwell, a company that helps consumers to make better decisions about the things that they eat.
"Our direct clients are health insurers," he explains. "They stand to save a lot of money by getting customers to eat better."
Rather than looking for radical changes, Linkwell tries to meet people where they already are and get them to make smaller moves which are more sustainable in the long term. "This might mean simply opting for the healthier choice in the frozen foods aisle," he says.
The reason for such small steps?
"The biggest obstacle to getting someone to lose five pounds is that they want to lose 50," he explains. "People want to make the right decisions, but they often times don't know how to get started."
What's more, the company has a focus on saving money. Rather than directing someone to something healthy that's similar to what they're already buying but three times the cost, his company encourages people to save money while making healthier choices at the supermarket.
The Cost of Poor Health
Ellie Kay, co-author of Lean Body, Fat Wallet (Thomas Nelson, 2013), states that the average couple is going to spend $240,000 in health-related expenses in retirement. This underscores the need to take care of yourself when you're young.
What's more, Gardener points out that not eating right can have much more immediate costs.
"There's a lot of energy in the industry to get people to be adherent to prescription drugs," he says. "If you eat healthier you might not need those prescription drugs that the country is spending so much money on."
But how to do that and save money in the lead up to retirement?
Cut Out the Caffeine
A highly addictive drug, caffeine can have a number of negative consequences on your health. For those who have trouble with arthritis the effect is like "pouring acid on your joints," Kay says says. For everyone else, there's the effects of going without caffeine.
"If you need to know just how addictive caffeine is, try going a couple days without it," she says.
Eliminating or cutting back on your caffeine habit can be a great way to save money in the short term and to save money for the long term.