Ever catch yourself standing in the supermarket aisle staring at a range of nut butters and wondering whether to spring for the high-end option or buy the store brand for three times less? We’ve all been there, torn between the affordable option or the “good stuff.” So which one is best? Registered dietitianSamantha Cassettysays these are the foods worth the higher price tag for flavor, sustainability and health-wise and the ones that aren’t worth the splurge.
- Extra virgin olive oil- This expert says a quality extra virgin olive oil is worth the extra money because it hasn’t been through extensive processing, so it contains all the properties that make it special, like anti-inflammatory compounds. And the distinct flavor that a quality extra virgin olive oil has is better, too.
- Name brand plant-based milk- Always compare labels because store-brand plant-based milks may not have as much calcium and other nutrients as name brand options.
- Grass-fed meat- Cassetty says it’s worth the splurge for the quality, taste and nutritional benefits you get with grass-fed and pasture-raised beef and lamb. She prefers New Zealand grass-fed beef and lamb because it’s humanely raised and she says it’s the “most naturally flavorful meat you can find.”
- Organic milk- The extra money is worth it, Cassetty says, because you get a “better nutritional package” with more antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids and no antibiotic or pesticide residues.
And on the flip side, these are the foods to save on:
- Bulk walnuts- They’re much cheaper than buying small packages and you can store them in your fridge or freezer.
- Frozen and canned seafood- These budget-friendly versions still have the same nutritional value as fresh seafood.
- Organic frozen produce- Skip the pricey pre-washed and cut fruits and veggies and save without any nutritional trade off.