Are Healthy Diets More Expensive?


Healthy food has the reputation of being more expensive, and when you compare it with dirt cheap fast food, it really does seem a lot of money.

I mean a burger and chips at a big chain can cost around $5 , but a healthy Poke bowl might set you back $15. What an outrage!

But if we break it down and look at what’s actually IN the foods we eat, we start to discover that you get more bang for your buck, when the food is nutritious, wholesome, organic and fresh….in other words, healthy!

A study that was done by Harvard Medical Centre worked out that eating a healthy diet only cost $1.50 more per day than eating a highly processed unhealthy diet. That’s not even half a cup of coffee!!

You see when you fill up on foods that are nutrient dense, you don’t have to eat as much as you get vitamins and minerals that support your body, along with energy to sustain you, fats to help with skin and brain function, and fibre to help your gut!

If we choose the fast food version, we get trans fats, empty carbs, artificial flavours and colours, chemicals and very little in the way of vitamins, minerals and nutrition. Therefore your body screams out for more food as it’s looking for some kind of nourishment.

What you might save cost wise initially, will be what you will need to spend on the health consequences in the long run.

A recent look at what NSW health spent on lifestyle diseases showed that $330 million was spent on heart disease, $35 million on type 2 diabetes, $87 million on hypertension, and almost $40 million was spent on obesity and most of this was attributed to unhealthy eating lifestyles.

Investing in your health NOW, by buying healthy fresh foods, can have a very long lasting effect, not only on your individual health, but on the economy as well! Which we are all inevitably paying for anyway.

And there are lots of tricks to buy healthy food so it is more affordable and nutritious but that’s a whole other blog!! (coming soon)

There have been lots of studies on the perception people have around healthy foods and the costs associated with them, and for some reason, if a food has a health claim on it, and is higher in price than a similar product, people believe that the higher priced one has more benefit. Even though it may not.

So food producers and marketers take advantage of that and increase the price on any food that is trending in health circles.

Know what you want and where it comes from and buy from reputable businesses.

Another way we can avoid this exploitation of us, is by sticking to the basics and buying more simple fresh foods.

Avoid the packs with all the health claims and stick to fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds and good quality proteins and fats.

Buy organic when you can afford it, especially the ones off the “dirty dozen” list.. (see previous post) Or better still, try to GROW your own!!!

Love to hear your thoughts



  1. Michelle Landry 21/06/2018 at 9:17 pm - Reply

    WOW !! great post.

  2. Bec Lloyd 11/09/2020 at 10:51 am - Reply

    Great post, Kylie!
    I think the myth that fast food is cheaper than fresh food is one of the most terrible stories we tell ourselves. A large burger meal for one person at McDonalds is about $12 as I type this: yet I can do a burger meal for four people for under $20 *even* if I use more expensive convenience foods like ready-made burger patties and sliced cheese and include (yck) soft drinks.
    It’s very hard for any individual to combat the enormous investment in these myths from the fast food companies, though, and especially if you’re an exhausted parent.
    Good explanations about food as an investment in your health, like this one, are much needed.

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