Chart provided by USDA

Fruits and vegetables appear more expensive than less healthy foods when the price is measured by calories rather than by weight or by amount in an average serving. The price measure has a large effect on which foods are determined more expensive.

A study released by the US Department of Agriculture Wednesday offers encouraging information for those looking to get healthier.  During a conference call Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon says three yards sticks were used in the examination.

Which means the cost per portion, or per pound, of grains, vegetables, fruits and dairy foods are more affordable than a number of protein foods or products high in sugar, saturated fat or dairy.  The Under Secretary offered several affordable examples.

Officials hope those who use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) choose healthier option in the grocery store and at the local farmers markets.

The research counters previous studies that show healthy food is more expensive.  The earlier studies used cost of calorie comparison versus cost of serving.