YALLA - Karlie Potts - Canadian citizens have found themselves digging deeper into their wallets than ever before. The increase in the price of food has become a burden to homes across the country. Since February 2015, fresh fruit has increased by 14.4% and fresh vegetables by 17.2%, according to Statistics Canada. This is a far cry from the 3.2% salary increase. Canadians are turning towards starches, grains, and processed foods to keep their bellies full. Instead of eating a nutritious balanced diet, Canadians are eliminating fruits and vegetables. With the loonie sitting around 70 cents, it is difficult to imagine food prices lowering. This could be the start of a vicious cycle leading to increasing stress on the health care system. Since 2003, Stats Canada has shown a 5% increase in obesity. Making it economically difficult to make healthy choices in the store is not lowering this number. There are a few things we can do to combat the increasing prices. Frozen vegetables and fruits are a great alternative to fresh. They are flash frozen to maintain their nutrients. A benefit to this is that they do not spoil like fresh produce. Another option is to eat seasonally. In the summer enjoy strawberries, but in the winter opt for pears or oranges. Finally, shop sales and alter your meal plan to the flyer. Using these strategies can help you stay under price and physically fit.