Ask Joe

Healthy vs. Unhealthy Foods

Here are  some basic comparisons between many of the foods we typically eat and simple healthy substitutes for many of these foods.

Key comparisons may include:
  • Purchasing costs
  • Cooking times 
  • General costs and/or benefits to the body 

Example 1:

    Fast Food Cheeseburger   Homemade Deli Sandwich Meal
Price ($$)   $5.00-$12.00     $5.00- $12.00
Cook Time     N/A    N/A 
 Health Benefits          lots of protein        
  • lots of protein
  • variety of healthy vegetables
  • low fat (low or no oils, batters, etc)
 Health Costs    
  • high in cholesterol
  • high fat
  • high total calories
  • may lead to fatigue during digestion
  •  minimal
  • (avoid adding excess condiments, french fries, etc)


Substitution Ideas for cheeseburger combo meals may include:

  • grilled chicken breast instead of beef patty(ies)
  • no cheese on burger
  • fresh deli instead of grilled/ fried meat(s)

Example 2:

    Large Energy Drink Large Water
Price ($$)   $1.00-$8.00    $1.00- $6.00
Prep Time     N/A    N/A 
 Health Benefits          minimal        
  • helps meet water requirements for the day
  • refreshing
  • absent of harmful/ questionable ingredients
 Health Costs  
  • energy "crash" after initial energy "boost"
  • intake of a variety of harmful/ questionable ingredients linked to high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.
  • too much sugar and/ or caffeine per serving




Substitution Ideas for energy drink may include:

  • water
  • Gatorade or Powerade sports drink
  • black coffee or plain espresso
  • iced or hot tea


ATTENTION: All content relating to nutrition herein should be considered general, non-clinical information and guidance.  Always consult with your doctor or a professional nutritionist when seeking ANY personalized dietetic advice that may significantly affect your immediate and/or long-term health.