By Betty Murray
“Healthy eating is too expensive.” This is a common excuse people make when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle.
Does this sound familiar? If you’ve ever found yourself complaining about the high cost of healthy food, or nutritional supplements, it’s time to change your perspective. Look at it this way: How much is it costing you not to eat healthy and be healthy?
Taking care of your body with proper nutrition is the most important thing you can do to keep yourself healthy. And the cost of nutritious food is worth it when you consider the amount of money you might lose missing work because you are sick, seeing the doctor, or paying for medications to treat health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
In addition to a healthy diet, taking natural dietary supplements could help save you even more money on your healthcare. They are an important method of preventative healthcare, and though they don’t replace a healthy diet (hence the name “supplements), they can go hand-in-hand with proper nutrition to keep you healthy and prevent a number of health conditions and diseases.
In fact, a report titled: “Smart Prevention — Health Care Cost Savings Resulting from the Targeted Use of Dietary Supplements” produced through a grant from the Council for Responsible Nutrition Foundation states that better use of supplements could save the American healthcare system billions of dollars every year in healthcare costs.
The report looked at four chronic diseases and how supplements can save money treating those diseases:
- Heart disease — Omega-3 supplements can help reduce the annual hospital costs spent by adults ages 55 and over who have been diagnosed with heart disease by more than $2 billion. Vitamin D, and vitamins B6 and B12 can also reduce annual hospital costs by at least $1.5 billion.
- Diabetes — Adults over age 55 who have been diagnosed with diabetes and heart disease could save as much as $1.2 billion annually with the use of chromium picolinate.
- Age-related eye diseases — If lutein and zeaxanthin were taken preventatively by every adult age 55 and over, it would save the American healthcare system an average of $57.4 million per year/
- Bone disease –– Calcium and vitamin D supplements taken daily as a preventative measure by women over age 55 who also have osteoporosis could save an average of $1.87 billion annually in hospital costs.
Even if you eat a healthy diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, you may be missing important nutrients. Talk to your physician to find out if he or she recommends any dietary supplements. Keep in mind that natural supplements are the healthiest option, so read the labels, just as you would the food you buy.
Betty Murray, CN, HHC, RYT is a Certified Nutritionist & Holistic Health Counselor, founder of the Dallas-based integrative medical center, Wellness and founder of the Metabolic Blueprint wellness program. Betty’s nutrition counseling practice specializes in metabolic and digestive disorders and weight loss resistance. A master of the biochemistry of the body, Betty teaches her clients how to utilize nutritional interventions to improve their health. Betty is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.