When you eat the way you should, your body feels better. You’re more focused and clear-headed. You may even get better sleep! But did you ever stop to think about how a healthy diet can lead to healthy finances? Strangely enough, there are several financial benefits to dropping the candy and picking up a carrot. If you’re looking for a strong motivator to stick to your diet or just a way to save some money, this new perspective may help you with both.
Benefit #1: Healthy diets lead to better productivity.
Your finances and your job are directly connected. How successful you are in your career will dictate how much you make. A big part of that journey is accomplishing what you need in an efficient manner. When you don’t eat well, you tend to feel sluggish and may not perform as well when you are at work. In fact, a study found that eating healthy foods every day may decrease your risk of productivity loss by 66%.1 Additionally, getting five fruit and vegetable servings lowered the risk by 39%, and regular exercise lowered it by 50%!1 There is clearly a correlation to a healthy lifestyle and higher productivity. Don’t let your diet stand in the way of your next promotion.
Benefit #2: You may avoid certain diseases.
While not all strains of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease or cancer are preventable, there are some that can benefit from a good diet. Notably, high vegetable consumption has been linked to lower risks of heart disease (which is found in one in three adults).2 All of these conditions can lead to many hospital visits. While these visits don’t always cost money, they do cost time, which is just as valuable, if not more so. These visits can take away from your time at work or your time getting other important tasks done. That can add stress and other frustrations, exacerbating the problem. Instead, focus on preventive measures like eating vegetables.
Benefit #3: Healthy foods will decrease the likelihood you’ll take a sick day.
The vitamins and minerals you need to fight off bacterial infections and viruses can be found in common fruits and vegetables. Consuming a lot of produce can actually increase your immunity for a short window of time afterward, and it also helps prevent disease in the long run.2 The financial benefits of going to work are self-explanatory, so if you feel a cold coming on, make sure to stock up on your favourite fruits and veggies.
Benefit #4: You’ll order less takeaway.
When you challenge yourself to eat a healthy diet, you’ll realise how difficult it is to order out food. Not only are you not sure what sort of oils the food was cooked in, it’s difficult to gauge portion sizes and ingredients. Takeaway is also much more expensive than buying ingredients to make your own meal. We spent over £29.4 billion on takeaway every year — that’s a lot of calories and quid!3 Instead, skip takeaway altogether and prepare your food at home. If cooking every day gets challenging, plan ahead and prepare all your food for the week on Sunday. While it will take an hour or two, it will save you more time throughout the week.
Benefit #5: By sticking to a healthy diet, you’ll be less tempted by fads.
If you regularly follow a healthy food regimen, you may be less tempted to try an expensive fad diet. Whether it’s a shake endorsed by your favourite celebrity or a box of healthy granola bars that are guaranteed to help you lose a stone in a week, these quick-fix diets aren’t good in the long term and are very expensive. Over £1.8 billion was spent on diet food in 2013 alone.4 Unfortunately, even if they do work and you lose the flab, there is a high chance you’ll gain it all back and then some when you quit. The health food industry knows that you’ll invest in a product when you see results quick, but over time you’ll find it’s very expensive to maintain. Fad diets are not only expensive, but tend to be filled with chemicals and other compounds that aren’t good for you. As a healthy eater, you know what to look for and what to avoid.
Eating healthy can take a lot of preparation, but given these statistics, it’s clear the effort pays off — literally.
1Merrill, R. (11 September 2012). Presenteeism according to healthy behaviors, physical health, and work environment. Retrieved 19 April 2017, from http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/pop.2012.0003
2Glover, L. (10 August 2014). 6 surprising reasons eating right pays off. Retrieved 19 April 2017, from http://time.com/money/3093072/healthy-eating-financial-benefits-health-costs/
3Bell, P. (26 March 2014). Which part of Britain gets the most number of takeaways? Retrieved 18 April 2017, from http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/03/26/takeaways-british-favourite-fast-food-spending_n_5033233.html
4Poulter, S. (3 January 2014). A record two in three women have dieted in past year, while 44% of men were among the 29million Britons trying to slim. Retrieved 19 April 2017, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2532602/More-half-UK-tried-lose-weight-2013-95-women-STILL-worry-theirs-staggering-statistics-reveal.html