Duh. Healthy Cart = Healthy Eating
You can tell a lot about how healthy a person is eating by taking a look at their grocery cart. I find it amusing to check out shopping carts at the supermarket—and observe how it squares with the physical condition of those who push them.
Last Sunday, I had two people comment on my healthy shopping cart before leaving the Big Y Market in Mystic, CT. The first was a local Stonington friend, and the other was the veteran cashier—one of the few to survive the cut when Big Y took over the former A&P.
So, what did I buy? How much was my bill? What was my cost per 100 calories? And what percent of my purchased “calories” were whole plant-based foods?
- $4.99 for 3-lb. bag of 12 Gala Apples (12 x 77 = 924 calories; 24 fat, 12 gr. protein, 48 gr. fiber)
- $4.00 for two Hess avocados (4 x 227 = 908 calories, 700 fat, 6 gr. protein, 18 gr. fiber)
- $3.99 for one head of Cauliflower (210 calories; 24 fat, 17 gr. protein, fiber 21 gr.)
- $1.09 for one broccoli crown (20 calories; 2 fat, 2 gr. protein, fiber 1 gr.)
- $4.99 for 4-lb. bag of 9 navel oranges (621 calories; 18 fat, 9 gr. protein, 27 gr. fiber)
- $2.49 for 1.25 pounds of 3 Bosc pears (258 calories; 3 fat, 3 gr. protein, 15 gr. fiber)
- $3.99 for one pound of strawberries (114 calories; 9 fat, 2 gr. protein, 7 gr. fiber)
- $1.66 for seven medium bananas (735 calories; 21 fat, 7 gr. protein, 21 gr. fiber)
- $27.55 Grand total with tax
4Leaf Food Analysis for the entire shopping bag
- Total calories = 3790
- Total $$ spent = $27.55
- Cost per 100 calories = $ .73
- Total fat calories = 787
- Percent of calories from fat = 20.7% (89% of my fat calories were from the avocados)
- Total grams of protein = 58 grams
- Total grams of fiber = 158 grams (more fiber than most Americans get from whole plants in a month)
- Total cholesterol, trans fat, etc = ZERO
- 4Leaf Score = 5Leaf (100% of calories from whole plants)
Commentary. This shopping bag represented an average of about a six day supply of the kinds of food purchased. Except for the broccoli, I eat this much every day (see pic).
Since a large portion of my calories come from oatmeal, beans, and legumes which were not purchased on Sunday, my real score (of what I consume daily) is closer to 12% fat, and a great deal more protein and fiber. For fiber, my daily average is over 75 grams.
My actual total consumption also costs much less per calorie. In an earlier blog shown below, I summarized the cost like this:
Let’s assume a hypothetical family of four that requires a combined total of 8,000 calories a day. If all meals were eaten at home, I am confident that we could feed everyone a VERY healthy diet of whole, plant-based foods for an average of forty cents per/100 calories. Food budget = $32/day or around $1,000 per month.
The Bottom Line. It does NOT cost more to eat healthy—for a ton of reasons. See two links below:
As for the friend in the store; she said, “I should just follow you around and buy what you buy.” Then, while checking out, the cashier said, “you always buy nothing but healthy food; you can’t imagine what we see working here.”
Finally, I must confess that I am not a 5Leaf eater. After factoring in my beverages, pasta, bread, popcorn and few other items, I routinely score safely in the 4Leaf range with over 80% of my total caloric intake from whole, plant-based foods. And only rarely does an animal product pass my lips…never planned in advance.
Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com
- The movie that’s changing the lives of millions: Forks Over Knives DVD
- Healthy Eating, Healthy World, The “big picture” about food (our book)
- An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell
- Dr. McDougall’s new book, The Starch Solution, with lots of great recipes.
Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Diagnostic Survey. It takes less than five minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to email@example.com
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Blogging daily at hpjmh.com…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.
—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation