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Eat Healthy for Less

Diets and Dieting

Food prices rose nearly four percent in February. That's the biggest monthly hike since 1974. FOX 4 Health Reporter Meryl Lin McKean spoke to an expert who offered some tips on how to eat healthy when food is expensive.

Some of the price hikes have to do with damaged crops over the winter. There could be some relief soon for prices of veggies like lettuce. Other price likely aren't going down since higher gas prices mean higher costs for shipping food.

Lori Wuellner of Wyandotte County -K State Extension shared some ways to get the best values with the best nutrition. Lori Wuellner:

"You can buy pre-cut carrots which usually run about $1.75 per pound wheras if you get the whole carrot that you peel and cut you'd pay only a dollar," said Wuellner.

Carrots are good for vitamin A and also offer some other benefits.

" They have Beta Carotene and many other vitamins and minerals," Wuellner said.

Another vegetable that is is relatively inexpensive and nutritious is Cabbage.

"Generally speaking, it's always going to be a good buy and it's so versatile," she said. "You can cook it. You can use it raw. You can shred it with your low-cost carrots and apples."

Bananas are also a good value and offer a lot of nutrition.

"It's an all-encased ready to go snack and high in potassium as well," Wuellner said.

Frozen vegetables are also good for you and reasonably priced.

"Frozen fruits and vegetables will generally be a good value," she said. "They are processed at their peak nutrition value. They're very good quality product and too, you can use a little bit and put it back in the freezer and you have no waste that way. "

On Wednesday morning, a report ranked Wyandotte County last in Kansas for health factors for the second straight year. Johnson County ranked first. One of the factors on counties are ranked deals with the access people have to healthy foods. To see how your county ranked go to http://chr2011.furmone.com. For more ideas on eating healthy go to www.dnrc.nih.gov.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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