Eating healthy made easy, and cheaper

By Kristen Miranda - bio l email

GASTONIA, NC (WBTV) - Ordering a salad at your favorite fast food restaurant could cost you as much as $6, but for that same price you could get six unhealthy items from the "Dollar Menu".

It's the way our society operates, in many cases.  Eating junk food costs less than it does to eat the healthy stuff.

Baby steps to change that are being made in one local hospital system.

At CaroMont Health in Gastonia they're doing a few new things to improve an already health-conscious environment.

"We've dropped the prices on our vegetables, the salad bar, even our turkey burger costs more than a dollar less than it used to.  Now the turkey burger is our best selling item from the grill as opposed to hamburgers and cheeseburgers," said Tim McGlothin, the Food Nutrition Director at the hospital.

To make up the difference, prices on some less-healthy choices have been increased.

CaroMont is also adding "signals" on food labels in the cafeteria.  Each item is colored green, yellow, or red.

Green foods are healthy choices and can be eaten often, yellow are foods that should be chosen sparingly, and red foods should seldomly be eaten.

"I like it.  It makes us more aware of our options and helps us find balance," said Valerie Neely.  She has been diagnosed with diabetes and is following a Weight Watchers plan to make healthy choices.

"I need to lean more toward green," Neely said, "But its okay to have some yellow too."