A vegetarian diet won’t just help to keep your waist slimmer it’ll also keep your wallet fatter.
Researchers from the European Association for the Study of Obesity compared a vegetarian diet with the Mediterranean diet, which is based on eating habits of those in Greece and Italy and relies heavily on fish and fruits and vegetables and the so-called “US-healthy diet” based on government-distributed dietary guidelines. And on average, someone following a vegetarian plan would have spent $2 less per day.
To produce the analysis, researchers created two-week menu plans assessed for their nutritional quality and used the cheapest price available from Amazon. While all three diets were comparable in terms of nutritional quality, the vegetarian diet only cost $15.40 per day on average, versus $17.00 for the US-healthy diet and $17.30 for the Mediterranean diet.
The researchers’ findings echo previous studies that have shown that vegetarians discover major savings from their eating habits. A 2015 study published in the Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition calculated that meat-eaters spending roughly $750 more per year on food-related costs.
Of course, these studies don’t capture all of the savings that will come about from a vegetarian diet, such as reduced health care costs from the healthier diet. Researchers from the University of Oxford estimated that Americans would save $250 billion if they chose to stop eating meat.