Experts say that eating healthy food is now more important than ever. Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that African-American women have higher obesity rates than any other group in the nation, with four out of five African-American women facing obesity or being overweight.

New York City-based nutritionist Adiana Castro says the most common trends with her African-American patients include high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. She says that black women can save money by preparing their own lunches and paying more attention to food portions.

WATCH: A NUTRITIONIST SHARES TIPS ON EATING HEALTHY

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Video produced by Chika Oduah>

Images of healthy eating are often associated with organic produce and expensive whole grains, but following a healthy, well-balanced diet does not have to take a big toll on your wallet.

Here are nutritionist-recommended ways to include healthier foods in your diet and stay within your budget.

1.Buy quality meats. These meats cost more but consider reducing meat in your overall diet.
2.Purchase long-lasting items in bulk Buying pastas, dried fruits and nuts in higher quantities will also help reduce the need for excess packaging.
3.Buy frozen vegetables. They usually cost less than fresh foods and they last longer.
4.Support local businesses. Farmer’s markets and local grocery stores help to reduce grocery costs
5.Buy fruits and vegetables in their prime season for harvest. Buying foods in season means these items are less likely to be shipped from other countries

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