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Foods With the Most Nutrition For the Price Per Portion

The majority of you haven't felt the recession in terms of gaining weight — you've figured out that just because you might be feeling a financial pinch, you don't have to resort to junk food that adds inches to your waistline. Because we're all concerned about balancing our diet while keeping balanced checkbooks, Dr. Adam Drewnowski, who directs the University of Washington Center For Public Health Nutrition, took it upon himself to research
which foods provide the best nutrition for the buck.

Dr. Drewnowski used federal statistics to compare average national prices per portion with the nutritional value of different foods, per 100 calories. He compared the two rankings to find the best buys, which he defined as the "middle ground between most nutritious yet expensive and the not-so-healthy in each food group." His list favors carrots over peppers and apples over strawberries for their longer-lasting qualities, and lean hamburger over pricier salmon and cheap bacon. For other foods singled out,


  • Low-fat dairy (milk, yogurt, cheddar, American, or mozzarella cheese)
  • Lean ground beef, chicken, canned fish
  • Whole eggs
  • Beans
  • Peanut butter, sunflower seeds, almonds
  • Bread (enriched or made with whole wheat), tortillas, rice
  • Bananas, apples, frozen orange juice concentrate, 100 percent fruit juice or fruit-vegetable blends
  • Potatoes, iceberg lettuce, canned corn, canned tomatoes

I'm surprised that iceberg lettuce passed the nutrition component of Dr. Drewnowski's research. Do any of the foods stand out as surprising to you?

Image Source: Getty
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