Eating healthy not as expensive as some think

Jun 01, 2012

Eating healthy can help lessen the cost of life insurance.

Being healthy is great going into buying a life insurance policy. Instead of getting a more expensive premium, those who are healthy can get a preferred premium for good health which can help save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars over the years. While staying healthy may not be the easiest thing to do for many, a new study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service said that eating healthy isn't as expensive as many people may have previously thought.

Andrea Carlson, lead author of the study by the USDA, said her team looked at nearly 4,500 different types of food in three different ways; price per calorie, price per edible gram and price per average portion. Researchers found that fruit and vegetables appeared most expensive when using the price per calories analysis, but it changed when using other methods.

As an example, Carlson told CNN that looking at a 240 calorie chocolate doughnut versus a banana with 105 calories, each may cost the same, but bananas may make people feel more full and is cheaper per edible gram and average portion.

“Many have raised concerns that those of modest means … can’t afford a healthy diet,” said Kevin Concannon, the USDA under secretary for food, nutrition and consumer services, according to CNN, adding that healthy food has, on the whole, shown to be less expensive than things like pork chops and ice cream. “This is great news for all getting by with a limited food budget. You don’t have to compromise good nutrition.”

Eating healthy can help keep disease, obesity and more at bay. Financial Insurance Tips said a healthy diet makes diseases easier to cheap and can also help reduce premium payments for those who have life insurance.

"Individual insurance premium rates are based on mathematical formulas that determine how likely a policyholder will be to cash in on the policy by filing a claim," the website said. "Even so, eating healthy does influence insurance premiums in an indirect way. One reason a lifestyle of eating healthy is not a direct factor in determining insurance rates is that a healthy diet is quite difficult to quantify. One person’s concept of a healthy diet may seem hedonistic to the next or entirely too austere for someone else. Even members of the medical profession offer conflicting information on dietary matters so there remains no one-size-fits-all healthy diet to use as a standard of measure against all others."

Even so, eating healthy is an indirect way to stay healthy, so people should keep that in mind when thinking about their general health and spending money on life insurance. Financial Insurance Tips said things such as excess weight can be used to trigger medical ailments such as high blood pressure and diabetes, so keeping healthy with food can be a good way to help keep these disease at bay and keep life insurance payments as reasonable as possible.

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