Is it possible to be too healthy?

Healthy nutrition - also possible with little money?

Status: 08/21/2018 3:27 p.m. | archive

We recently talked about nutrition at the Panorama 3 editorial conference. Almost every colleague has dealt with his own diet and with the fact that healthy food is very expensive. According to a study by the World Health Organization (WHO), fruit and vegetables are rarely on the menu of poor children, and people with low incomes have less healthy food. But why is that so? Can't poorer people eat healthily? I would like to test that in a self-experiment.

VIDEO: Healthy nutrition - also possible with little money? (8 min)

Anyone who has less than 892 euros a month to live on is considered poor in Germany

Martina Weber receives Hartz IV and considers it impossible to eat a healthy and balanced diet with it.

For a week I would like to eat healthily from the Hartz IV rate, which is around 34 euros for food and drinks. Martina Weber has that much too. I meet the Hartz IV recipient at the Hamburger Tafel. Weber says it is impossible to eat healthily with so little money at all. Fruit and vegetables in particular are very expensive. Seasonal offers wouldn't help either: "That would spend almost a third of my weekly budget, if not more!" Says Weber. She can only eat healthily with the help of the Hamburger Tafel, otherwise not.

ten Rules for a healthy diet

When it comes to healthy eating, politicians refer to the German Nutrition Society (DGE). This set out ten rules that one should follow in order to eat healthily. Above all, it is about the variety of foods. I will stick to these rules for a week with my 34 euros.

34 euros for a week

It is not easy to plan weekly shopping with 34 euros if you want to eat healthily. At least that was my first impression. I compare prices, both at the discount store and on the market. In fact, I mainly get fruit and vegetables on the market much cheaper.

I get everyday staple foods cheaply at the discounter. Here, too, I notice: I have to pay attention to offers and prices in order to be able to buy healthy food with the 34 euros. I keep finding that finished products are often cheaper than fresh fruit or vegetables. Apple juice is also cheaper than an apple. But there is more sugar in the juice. If the DGE has its way, juices should only be drunk in moderation.

So I cook from day to day with what I have bought - plan five handfuls of fruit and vegetables every day. I try to cook in a variety of ways as best I can. But my purchase only allows this for three full days. The very next day I can no longer adhere to the guidelines of the German Nutrition Society. Because I have already eaten everything I need for a healthy and varied diet. I try to get full with the leftovers for the next few days.

Especially socially disadvantaged groups have a problem eating healthy, says nutrition expert Armin Valet.
Socially disadvantaged groups have a problem

I meet the nutrition expert Armin Valet and want to know if I did something wrong. Above all, Valet criticizes the fact that a variety of foods is not possible with little money: "It will mean that it will almost always be the same fruit and vegetables - which are offered cheaply. A variety can really be much more expensive here."

I want to know from the Ministry of Labor how it should work to eat healthily from Hartz IV. The answer evasively: healthy nutrition is a concept that can be interpreted - one should attach importance to healthy and balanced nutrition, it is said that this is possible.

But that's exactly what I didn't succeed in doing.

Sick from unbalanced diet

A healthy diet is quickly no longer possible with falling income. It's all about getting full.

The last few days I have only a few leftovers that I can no longer feed myself on, let alone get full. Just like Martina Weber, I'd have to go to the blackboard after day five. She had already predicted this to me at our first meeting: "It's just not possible. I have no end of exercise, believe me. I look where I get what, how I get what. Nobody in Germany has to starve to death." He doesn't have to either, he can only get sick from the diet he eats. "

I can understand Martina Weber very well. My impression is: Not even a lot of practice and bargain hunting help if you want to eat a healthy and balanced diet from Hartz IV, as you should according to the recommendations of the DGE.

This topic in the program:

Panorama 3 | 08/21/2018 | 9:15 pm