Putting food on the table has become an increasingly difficult task. Consuming nutritious foods seems even more difficult considering the general increase in prices. However, more than just taste, food helps keep the body functioning properly and, therefore, you need to pay close attention to what you are ingesting. According to experts, it is possible to spend less by replacing ingredients with other equivalent from a nutritional point of view.
There is no one-size-fits-all rule, but, when replacing, the best thing is to keep the products in the same food category, such as, for example, changing one protein source for another, a carbohydrate with another carbohydrate, vegetable with vegetable and so on, under the guidance of experts consulted by A newspaper.
Nutritionist and Professor of Nutrition at Multivix, Alessandra Rocha Job, explains that, ideally, the composition of a plate of food should be done as follows:
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- 25% carbohydrates (such as rice and beans, for example);
- 25% protein (such as meat, eggs, fish, chickpeas; soy);
- 50% vegetables, legumes and vegetables in general.
He notes that given the rise in basic food prices, this is not always the case. To get an idea, No Holy Spiritmore than 390,000 people don’t even have food to eat every day. In extreme poverty, a group that survives on less than R $ 150 per month; they are families whose livelihoods depend on donations, as reported by A Gazeta.
But even among families living in a less critical situation, many consumers have migrated to ultra-processed foods, which seem cheaper, although this is not always the case and the effects are detrimental in the long term.
During the health crisis caused by the coronavirus, the population reduced the consumption of healthy foods, mainly meat (44.0%), fruit (41.8%), cheese (40.4%), vegetables and legumes (36.8 %), as underlined by the survey “Effects of the pandemic on food and the status of food security in Brazil”, carried out in 2021 by a group of researchers from the Free University of Berlin, Germany, in collaboration with the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) and the University of Brasilia (UnB).
“Unfortunately, more and more rice and beans come out of the Brazilian dish. And the consumption of processed foods has increased a lot because, in theory, they are cheaper foods, but they have a higher content of fats, sugars, preservatives. There are also accessible foods in nature. “
In addition to the orientation of the consumer to carry out price research between the different establishments, another advice is to favor seasonal vegetables, vegetables and fruit, which tend to have a lower price than at other times of the year. This is currently the case with orange, mandarin, pumpkin, sweet potato, among many other foods. Pumpkin can also replace carrot, which is so expensive.
“The orientation is that we try to consume fruit and vegetables in season, also taking into account the color. The pigment says a lot about the type of nutrients there are. In the case of carrots, pumpkin, which is also orange, is also rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin A. If broccoli is more expensive, we can replace it with spinach, kale, green beans and others of similar color. Food. “
Meat can also be substituted. Four eggs, for example, is practically equivalent to 100 grams of red meat in terms of protein. Blending plant-based proteins is also an alternative, such as beans, chickpeas, soy, and peanuts.
Professor of Health and Collective Nutrition at the Federal University of Espírito Santo (Ufes), Maria Del Carmen Molina, notes that it is necessary to pay close attention to the choices made. At first glance, buying boxes of frozen burger steaks or chicken sticks, for example, might seem cheaper than opting for fresh meat, but that’s not always the case.
By searching in butchers, or by researching prices in different supermarkets, it is possible to buy meat at a lower price, which is not only healthier, but also has a better use.
“If you take a box of burgers, ultra-processed, full of chemicals and take a kilo of ground beef and add the spices, it’s cheaper and tastier. What we claim as healthier and cheaper is what you can manage. When you spend time thinking about food, you spend less, eat better, and eat healthier. When you don’t think too much, you end up making the wrong choices ”.
The need for planning is also reinforced by Professor of Nutrition at Universidade Vila Velha (UVV), Ana Maria Bartels Rezende, who points out that while this takes some time, it is more beneficial to health and to pockets.
“We know that many people face time constraints and opt for unplanned consumption, but it is important to allocate some time to carry out this planning, both at the time of purchase, at the time of packaging, and during the preparation of the food. And, in very objective terms, I always have to plan within the different types of food, so that substitutions can be made, without losing nutrients “.
In addition to trying to buy seasonal food, other tips to save are going to the fair towards the end of the day, or at xepa time, when products are usually offered at cheaper prices.
“Another strategy is to take full advantage of the food, trying to maximize all parts, as there will be different nutrients in the composition and cost optimization will also occur. Pumpkin, for example, can have the pulp, peel and seeds used. “
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