As it turns out, Singaporeans are a pretty health-conscious bunch. A recent survey found that one in two, or 57% of Singaporeans follow diets that limit or eliminate certain ingredients like fats, sugar or meat.
According to recent findings by the Nielsen Global Health and Ingredient-Sentiment Survey, below are some of the most commonly practiced diets here.
Top 3 diets that Singaporeans stick to:
Of course, greater nutritional literacy is surely the way to go. So, it makes sense to ensure that your diet is not just sustainable for your health, but also for your wallet in the long run.
For a start, you’re probably going to have to put in some effort to look for cost-effective ways to eat and live healthy. It doesn’t help that following a healthy diet is generally going to cost you more than an unhealthy one, though costs will vary depending on your individual fitness goals, targeted calorie bracket and dietary preferences.
Today, we look at some of the most and least expensive diets out there, to help you make better-informed food and money decisions!
More expensive diets
- All-organic diet
Advocates would tell you that organic food is safer, more nutritious, and possibly even taste better than the non-organic variety. They would also tell you that organic produce is better for the environment and kinder to animals.
What they probably won’t tell you is that organic products also typically cost some 20% to 100% more than conventionally-produced equivalents, so organic enthusiasts can probably expect to shell out a lot more cash at the check-out line. For instance, here’s a price comparison between organic eggs and normal eggs:
- Gluten-free diet
The same generally holds true for those who follow a gluten-free diet. Finding gluten-free alternatives, or buying gluten-free versions can often cost you more.
A study conducted by University of Wollongong researchers in New South Wales recently found that people were paying up to 500% more for some gluten-free items. Here’s the simple price comparison between gluten-free and normal products:
- Vegan diet
Vegans go on an entirely plant-based diet, and produce can be expensive. Plus, if you want vegan alternatives to your favourite foods such as cheese or mayonnaise, you’ll be paying a premium as well.
While cooking at home tends to be cheaper than going to a restaurant, you’ll generally still need to fork out more for vegan alternative products when you go shopping at the supermarket. Here’s a simple example of how much more you’ll have to pay for vegan and non-vegan versions of shredded cheese:
Vegetarian-based diets are typically cheaper than vegan-based diets. For instance, vegetarians have a little more leeway than vegans and in some respects, can stretch their diet-dollar further.
One example would be that a vegetarian might not have issue eating eggs and milk, which are generally pretty affordable and provide essential proteins. But for vegans, since these options are off the table, finding alternative means for protein might cost more.
A pescetarian diet can also be fairly cost-effective, by eating fish or seafood here and there for some solid proteins.
However, if you’re struggling with your food budget, going vegetarian might just be your best bet. A recent study published in the Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition found that people who adopt a vegetarian diet save an average US$750 a year on groceries compared to people who eat meat.
Meanwhile, meat-centric diets like the popular Paleo or cavemen diet has a reputation for being pricey since it heavily relies on the produce and meat counter. That said, you can easily save a few bucks by preparing things such as stock, dressings and other condiments yourself.
Truthfully, a lot of money is usually lost on prepared food, so if you’re serious about saving money, you’re going to have to learn to cook and prepare your own food. At the same time, it pays to remember that you can’t put a price-tag on your health!