KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The cost of eating healthy can add up for East Tennessee families, but an expert has advice for saving money and keeping your family healthy.
Researchers at the University of Washington found the new food pyramid, called "My Plate", could add hundreds of more dollars to a person's annual grocery bill.
The Chief Dietician at the Wellness Center at Dowell Springs's says it doesn't have to. "The misconception that it could be more expensive is because most American's diets tend to be extremely high in refined grain," Chief Dieteician Casey Peer says.
Replacing those items with fresh fruit and veggies can cost more, but it's always cheaper than your fast food favorites.
"You're going to get more meals out of that grocery trip, so in the long run the cost is much less if you are preparing meals more from home," Peer tells us. "You can shop in the frozen section or go to your local produce farmer's markets." Canned vegetables can save money too.
To get started, Peer says take baby steps, "Pick one thing to work with first. You don't have to make it overly complicated."