Study finds that plant-based diets are cheaper AND healthier – saving families $1,800 a year
- Deakin University study found plant-based groceries saved families $35 a week
- This meant a family of four changing their diet would save $1,844 each year
- Research compared grocery prices from Coles supermarkets across Australia
- In each comparison, sustainable foods were cheaper than diets favouring meat
Australian families could be saving more than $1,800 a year on their groceries by switching to plant-based diets, a new study has found.
Nutrition researchers from Victoria’s Deakin University compared the cost of a weekly shopping trip focused on sustainable meals to one that involved much higher amounts of meat and processed foods.
The study found that a family of four who bought food from the planetary health diet, which involves mainly plant-based options, were saving around $35.50 a week or $1,844 a year.
A study conducted by Victoria’s Deakin University found that those who switch to a more plant-based diet can save up to $1,800 a year on their groceries (stock image)
The groceries were all bought from Coles supermarkets in various socioeconomic areas around Australia’s capital cities.
One of the lead researchers in the study, Tara Goulding, said in every comparison done in the various states, a sustainable diet proved to be cheaper.
‘There is often a perception that eating a healthy diet that is also good for the environment is unachievable, partly because it will cost more,’ she said.
‘This study shows that Australians can be confident that it is more affordable to eat a healthy diet that supports the planet compared to what they might typically eat.’
The planetary health diet encourages people to focus on eating fruits and vegetables with an average of 2,500 calories each day.
Nuts, wholegrains, legumes are also a major part of the diet with small amounts of meat, fish and dairy also allowed.
Families of four that favour diets with more processed foods and meat were spending on average $35 more a week on groceries, according to the study (stock image)
The diet has recently grown in popularity not only because of its health benefits, but it’s limited impact on the environment.
Ms Goulding said that in both higher and lower-socioeconomic areas, it was clear sustainable diets were more affordable.
‘Our research shows that low socio-economic households need to spend 17 per cent of their income on average to eat a healthy and sustainable diet but 21 per cent of their income to eat a typical Australian diet,’ she said.
‘We really hope these results will convince shoppers that making healthier and more sustainable choices at the supermarket will not blow their food budget.’
Researchers said often people would eat more meat heavy diets or processed foods because it was cheaper, however the research has since found plant-based meals are more affordable (stock image)