Last week, I stumbled across a BBC News article entitled How to eat healthily on £1 a day via a story on hacker news. Healthy eating on a budget is something I’m really interested in, but I was horribly disappointed by the article, because i) it didn’t show you how to eat healthily, and ii) it didn’t show you how to eat on £1 per day.
Cheap food is a false economy
Foods the article advocated eating included:
- A ham sandwich
- Biscuits (!)
Put plainly, these foods are not especially healthy, and some are decidedly unhealthy. (Biscuits, I’m looking at you!)
The diet the article outlines is also woefully deficient in fruits and vegetables. The UK Department of Health and the National Health Service recommend eating 5 portions of fruits and vegetables every day. A portion is defined as 80 grams.
On day 1, the journalist eats 1 apple, 1/4 of a courgette, 1/4 of a red pepper and 50g peas. By my back-of-the-envelope calculations, that’s about 3 portions.
On day 2, he eats 75g mushrooms, a small onion, a banana and “a single leaf” of lettuce with a tomato, for a total of perhaps 4 portions.
On day 5, he eats “four slivers of cucumber”, 50g beans and 25g kale. It’s also possible he eats an apple – the article is unclear. Let’s be generous and assume he does, for a total of 2 portions of fruit and vegetables.
Jam and biscuits are not health foods, and eating a couple of portions of fruit and vegetables a day is not nearly enough. This diet is not healthy. To make matters worse, after consulting a dietitian he concedes he was “well short” on the number of calories he was eating. The diet proposed in the article is a complete failure from a health perspective. Read more ›