Does Eating Healthy Cost More? What can $20 Buy?

How many times have you heard "it's too expensive to eat healthy?" But is it really true? Does eating healthy cost more?

We decided to put that question to the test. We took $20 into a DFW Market Street to see what we could get. We used the NuVal scores (a score reflecting the product's nutrition) to find better for your products. The higher the NuVal score, the better the nutrition.

For our first basket, we spent ~$20 on quick, convenient, packaged foods. Here's what we were able to buy*:

1 bag Doritos (NuVal score 16) - $2.50
1 frozen meal (NuVal score 7) -  $2.50
1 package beef hot dogs (NuVal score 4) - $4.49
2 Lunchables (each has a NuVal score of 4) - $6.00
1 box Pop Tarts (NuVal score 6) - $1.66
1 case soda (NuVal score 1) - $3.33

Total $20.48

For our second basket, we spent ~$20 on whole, fresh food with high NuVal scores. Here's what we were able to buy*:

1 lb oranges (NuVal score 100) - $1.29
1 lb apples (NuVal score 100) - $1.29
1 bag frozen veggies (NuVal score 100) - $1.66
2 lb carrots (NuVal score 100) - $1.29
5 lb potatoes (NuVal score 99) - $2.77
1 jar tomato sauce (NuVal score 51) - $1.89
1 bag pasta (NuVal score 61) - $1.09
2 cans black beans (NuVal score 84) - $2.00
2 cans tuna (NuVal score 68) - $1.60
1 1/3 lb pork (NuVal score ) - $3.63
1 can oats (NuVal score 93) - $1.89

Total $20.40

What do you think about these baskets? If you plan it out, does eating healthy really cost more?

*The item selection and prices are reflective of items in the DFW Market Street the week of February 11, 2015. For both baskets, we purposely looked for sale items as well as regularly priced items so that the basket could be reflective of an average week. Prices, variety, and brands may vary based on location, sales and availability.


Greek Pasta Salad

Everyone needs an easy pot-luck dish in their back pocket!  This Greek Pasta Salad is sure to be a crowd pleaser and can be used for any type of event.

Most pasta salads can be loaded with mayonnaise and have very little nutritional value; but this one is a great mixture of healthy monounsaturated fats, whole grains, and plenty of protein with a ton of fresh flavor.

Barilla makes an impressive penne pasta that is jam packed with fiber, Omega 3’s, and 10-17 grams of protein per serving!  Combine this with some grape tomatoes, small black olives, feta cheese, pine-nuts, olive oil and dill weed for a savory good for you meal or snack.

This nutritious dish can be made ahead of time and tastes great cold or at room temperature.

1    14.5 oz box Barilla Plus Penne Pasta (cooked, drained, and rinsed in cold water)
1    Can of small black olives (drained)
1    Package of grape tomatoes (10.5 oz)
1    Small container of crumbled feta cheese (about 1 cup)
1    2 oz Package of Pine Nuts (about ½ a cup)
3    Tbsp Olive Oil
1     Tbsp dry Dill weed

1. Start with boiling your pasta according to directions on the box. After it is cooked, drain and rinse with cold water. 

2. Slice all the tomatoes and olives in half.

3. In a large bowl combine olives, tomatoes, feta cheese, and pine nuts. 

4. Once main ingredients are mixed, add dill weed and lightly toss.

5. Lastly add in your olive oil and give it another toss until all ingredients are lightly coated. 

You can serve it right away or refrigerate it in a covered container to take to a party the next day! 

Recipe by Lori Boyd - Dietetic Intern


25 Foods You Need in Your Heart Healthy Diet

What if I told you there was something we sold in our stores that was just as effective as any statin drug prescribed? 

The only requirement is that you take it at least 5x every day for the rest of your life. It had no side effects and is a fraction of the cost of a prescription. Would you consider it? What if I told you it was fruits and vegetables?

A study published in 2003 by the American Medical Association found that a diet made up of foods that were heart healthy was just as effective as statins at lowering cholesterol!

February is American Heart Month and below are the Top 25 Foods that can help you Build a Better (Heart Healthy) Cart.


  • Spinach
  • Red bell pepper
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Asparagus
  • Acorn squash

  • Papaya
  • Grapes
  • Blueberries
  • Oranges
  • Cantaloupe

  • Walnuts
  • Oats
  • Almonds
  • Flaxseed
  • Brown rice

  • Black beans
  • Salmon 
  • Tofu
  • Soymilk
  • Tuna

  • Dark chocolate
  • Tea