We all know that the Mediterranean diet is great for your health, in fact it is rated in the top three of healthiest diets worldwide.

However, what if we told you that the Mediterranean diet is also beneficial for you in other ways?

New research from the University of South Australia has found that the diet is less costly than a typical Western diet.

A family of four would save $1456 a year switching to a Mediterranean diet, spending $285 a week. It would also see a single person household spend $78 per week, $135 for a household of two and $211 for a family of three.

The study compared the nutritional value and cost of three baskets: a standard Australian diet, the Mediterranean and the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating (AGHE).

It found that the latter two met health recommendations, but the typical Australian one didn’t, lacking in essential minerals, nutrients and vitamins.

Only 8 percent of Australians eat the recommended 375g of vegetables a day and an average person consumes up to 35 percent of their daily energy from foods high in salt, added sugar and unhealthy fat.

According to UniSA researcher and PhD candidate Ella Bracci, the Western diet is “contributing to increased rates of type two diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and osteoporosis.”

Bracci also says diets such as the Mediterranean are endorsed as the preferred way to eat healthy but there is a perceived idea that it’s too costly.

“The Mediterranean diet encourages eating fruits and veggies, whole grains, nuts, extra virgin olive oil, seeds and seafood, and there is a view that these foods are more expensive. And with cost of living being so high in Australia, it’s no surprise that people are being careful about where their hard-earned dollars go.”

“This research shows how a Mediterranean diet can be a cost-effective option, letting people prioritise both their health and their hip pocket.”

Other recent studies on the diet at a cellular level in the US, have revealed that people on a Mediterranean diet have lower rates of heart diseases, cancer, diabetes, dementia, and overall live longer.

So, before you decide to turn your back on healthy eating for a more ‘cheaper’ option, eating healthy, with the Mediterranean diet as an example, is overall less expensive.