How To Save Money With A Healthy Plant-Based Diet!

VegetablesWhile I'm a meat lover, I do try and follow a “Meatless Monday” meal plan, and I try to make some other meals sans meat. I always thought that vegetarian meals were harder to make and more expensive! Well, a study in the Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition disproved that, as long as you're eating healthy!

How To Save Money With A Healthy Plant-Based Diet! Click To Tweet

How Much Can You Save?

This research was conducted by The Miriam Hospital and The Rhode Island Community Food Bank and it showed that healthy diets rich in fruits and vegetables are not only affordable but that you can save nearly $750 per year, per person! Plus, you'll be eating more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains!

According to Mary Flynn, Ph.D., a research dietitian at The Miriam Hospital this study was done because it is commonly believed that healthy diets are expensive and that it is the fruits and vegetables that make it that way. A lot of people believe that extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) is expensive. The researchers suspected it was meat that makes a diet expensive. They expected the two diets to be similar in fruit and vegetable content, but their plant-based diet was substantially cheaper and featured a lot more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Lower Chronic Disease Risk

In 1999, Flynn developed a plant-based olive oil diet for weight loss and improved biomarkers for chronic diseases. In an early pilot study of women with breast cancer showed that the diet resulted in better weight loss and improvement in some chronic disease risk factors compared to a lower fat diet. And the participants preferred the plant-based diet to a lower fat diet and commented on how economical it was to purchase and prepare.

MyPlate vs Plant-Based

The study compared the costs over seven days of the plant-based, olive oil diet developed by Flynn to the lowerest cost version of the USDA's MyPlate diet. MyPlate features a combination of fruits and vegetables that make up half the dinner plate, and requires half of all grains consumed be whole grains. Flynn's plant-based diet includes frozen and canned produce. The plant-based diet also includes four tablespoons a day of olive oil, which represented nine percent or $3.61 of the weekly cost for the diet.

EVOO does cost more than vegetable seed oil, but it's not like other oils. Olive oil is the juice of the olive fruit, so it is a plant product. Many studies have shown olive oil provides a range of health benefits due to the components found in EVOO.


Studies show that plant-based diets are cheaper than diets that include meat. Studies that look at food costs show that animal products cost more than double that of a serving of vegetables or legumes and 60% more than a serving of fruit. Add in the fact that animal products increase the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, and overall mortality; you might just want to cut down on the meat some!

Do you follow a plan that limits the amount of meat you eat? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!

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