Eating Healthy On A Budget: Most & Least Nutritious Meals

Eating healthy can be challenging for several reasons—it can be costlier and more time consuming to prepare. Meal delivery service and recipe database wellio recently examined 9,000 websites and 5 million recipes to come up with the 25 most and least healthy foods for your money.

They determined that healthier meals cost about $1-2 more on average per serving. Chinese chicken salad, for example, is a bit more expensive but much healthier than a cheap, unhealthy corn dog.

wellio also found that nutritional bargain meals include more nutrients per dollar. Nutritional rip-offs include mac & cheese and hamburgers when compared to nutritious alternatives such as kale salad and falafel.

The company also determined that 11 of the 25 most nutritional meals are vegetarian or pescatarian. Lean proteins such as chicken appear in four of the top 10 meals, while beef and pork meals make fewer appearances.

The least nutritious meal is a corn dog, which is processed red meat with a fried outer layer.

Wellio determined that some meals have comparable nutritional values but vary widely in cost. For example, taquitos are more economical than prime rib, but both have similar nutritional values.

They conclude that eating well may cost more, but cheaper foods will impact an individual’s health in the long run.

The study’s 10 healthiest meals for the dollar are:

  1. Kale salad
  2. Chinese chicken salad
  3. Falafel
  4. Lettuce wraps
  5. Cobb salad
  6. Chicken Korma
  7. Chicken curry
  8. Chicken Caesar salad
  9. Fish tacos
  10. Rice and beans
  11. Fajitas
  12. Shrimp Scampi
  13. Lamb Chops
  14. Veggie burgers
  15. Chicken noodle soup
  16. Grilled salmon
  17. Black bean burgers
  18. Sesame chicken
  19. Bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich
  20. Soft tacos
  21. Chicken Piccata
  22. Roast turkey
  23. Shrimp cocktail
  24. Beef and broccoli
  25. Jambalaya

The 10 least healthy dinners for the dollar are:

  1. Corn dog
  2. Cheeseburger
  3. Macaroni and cheese
  4. Meatloaf
  5. Sloppy joes
  6. Meatballs
  7. Fried catfish
  8. Hot wings
  9. Chicken Parmesan
  10. Crab cakes
  11. Fried chicken
  12. Philly cheesesteak
  13. Grilled cheese
  14. Fish and chips
  15. Empanadas
  16. Cuban sandwich
  17. Chicken Cordon Bleu
  18. Beef stroganoff
  19. Pizza
  20. Cheese fondue
  21. Lasagna
  22. Breakfast burritos
  23. Beef Wellington
  24. Potato pancakes
  25. Ribs


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