A low-carb ketogenic diet has got everyone’s attention these days as a popular way of losing weight. The reason behind it’s growing popularity is you can still be fit and healthy while keeping your stomach full with plenty of food. But the challenge people face with this diet is the expense.
The cost of having a healthy diet plan often seems more expensive than junk foods. It’s not always true if you can plan a diet with ingredients that are cheap as well as healthy. All you need to know is how to choose those ingredients wisely. So that you can follow your diet plan and save a lot of money.
Embracing the ketogenic diet should be easier as there are thousands of keto-friendly ingredients on a budget. In this guide, you’ll find out affordable ways to make your keto meals delicious and nutritious within a budget. That’s why I recommend this guide for everyone who’s hesitating to start or already into this widely known system.
Keto Food List: What Ingredients Are in Keto?
Basically, “Ketogenic” is a low-carb diet plan where you get most of the calories from protein and fat. The main purpose of this diet plan is to cut down easily digestible carb intake. Because your body can easily produce blood sugar from digested carbs. If you replace the amount of carbohydrates into protein and fat, your body will run out of fuel and start breaking stored fat and protein.
That’s why this mechanism helps to lose weight within a very few periods of time. Now, it’s clear that while you’ll be following keto, it’s a must to avoid ingredients that have carbohydrates. That’s the main rule here. In this guide, I have included carb counts of every single ingredient for your convenience.
Cheap Protein Sources
This is one of the cheapest and nutritious ingredients. Every single piece of the egg contains 75 calories, 7 grams of high-quality protein and carb count is 1. So, it should be your first choice when you want to follow keto on a budget. Besides that, there are millions of ways to prepare meals with eggs, or else you can eat a boiled egg and still feel full.
- Organ meats
It would be a wise decision if you choose organ meats over meats. Organ meats are rich in vitamins and nutrients. For example- Beef brain is cheaper than beef meat and you can make more meals with 100g beef brain than the same amount of meat. Although the carb count of beef brains and meat is zero, the beef brain contains 4x calories and 2x more protein than meat.
- Soya Chunks
If you are vegan and want to eat affordable proteins then soya chunks might be the best choice for you. You can milk soya milk, many kinds of meals, snacks with this. Also, 100g of cooked soya chunks contains 156 calories, 28% protein, 33% fiber, and vitamins. Carb counts 2. The most important thing is it’s cheaper when you buy in bulk and lasts for months.
- Organic Tofu
Another vegan protein source is tofu and a good choice for cheese lovers. It’s a smart choice for anyone into keto on a budget. You can make meals with it but overly fried or tofu yogurt would not be a good choice for the keto diet as these contain a huge amount of carb. You’ll get 41 calories from the per serve of tofu, 4.5g protein and here carb count is near zero.
Keto Vegetables You Can Eat
Spinach is a kind of vegetable that is always available in the market. That’s why the price of spinach is always affordable. It’s better to eat raw and fresh veggies than a cooked or frozen one. You can eat spinach raw as a salad or cook it as the main dish or fry it as a snack. Per serving spinach contains 65 calories, vitamins, calcium, and carb count is only 1 for spinach.
Highly nutritious asparagus is lower in carb count and most importantly it’s cheaper. Per serving you’ll need 2-3 pcs of asparagus or even less, so a little amount will go long. While eating food on a budget, you need to find ingredients that can be used in many dishes and requires a very low amount per serving.
- Green Cabbage
Green veggies tend to be lower in carbs so as green cabbage. Carb count of green cabbage is 3 and colorful ones are 4.Red cabbage is expensive than green cabbage as it contains more nutrients but green cabbages are also loaded with vitamins and minerals.
Although tomatoes are cheaper options for keto-friendly vegetables, the carb count is moderate. Whenever you try to make meals with different ingredients please keep this in mind if you mix tomato with other higher or moderate carb veggies it may not be helpful for you. So prepare tomato meals wisely.
Fruits Allowed on Keto
- Frozen Berries
Fruits are natural candy. The natural sweetness is better than sugar still, sweet fruits count higher carbs. Berries- raspberry, strawberry, blackberry are comparatively lowest about 5 in carb count. But blueberries’ carb count is higher and these are expensive too. The cheaper option for berries is strawberry. If you want to buy black or raspberries go for frozen packs. Embracing keto on a budget would be easier for you by then.
- Green Olives
Berries and avocado are popular among people following the keto diet. There is another option for fruits which is cheaper than avocados is olive. Olives are rich in potassium, calcium, zinc, and most importantly a good source of antioxidants.
The carb count of olives is only 3. If you want to buy the cheapest olive from the market, you can choose green olives over black olives. Green olives contain more protein than black olives which is the main focus in keto.
This is the greatest source of fiber , vitamins, and potassium. Most of the fruits are rich in carbohydrates where the carb count of avocado is only 2. So, It’s a greater option for a keto diet. your dietitian might suggest this fruit in your meal plan but it’s quite expensive because each ripen avocado lasts 2-3 days.
So, the shortage of it is always there. Still, there is a way to get cheaper avocados. Go for non-organic shops for avocados. Organic avocado would be pricey compared to non-organic ones.
Healthy Fats for Keto
Vegetable oil tends to change its form with heat. So it’s not healthy to reuse leftover vegetable oils. Ghee is something that never changes its form so it’s safe to reuse. The divine aroma of ghee will also add some more in your meals. 1tbsp of ghee contains 120calories with a few percentages of cholesterol and guess what car count is zero. Compared to other oil it’s similar in price but 1 tbsp of ghee is enough for one meal.
- Olive Oil
Another kind of oil that you can reuse and has multiple ways of use. Olive oil is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that are really good for health as well as skin. 1tbsp of olive oil contains 119 calories, zero cholesterol, and carb count is zero.
With lots of vitamins and 3% of protein, 1bsp of butter contains 100 calories. You can prepare salad, grilled meat, and main courses with butter. It has antifungal effects on the body and helps in metabolism.
Keto-friendly Drinks to Try
Instead of buying tea leaves packets, you can try to purchase tea bags. Tea Bags are cheaper than tea leaves packers. But if you love to drink frequently or with family members then you can go for bulk purchases. Tea has antioxidants and a moderate amount of caffeine so it’s completely ok if you have 2-3 cups of tea in a day.
Extra sugar and milk would work opposite in your body. So I would suggest, you avoid milk and sugar. The carb count of tea is zero and for that, it can be a perfect option for keto diet on a budget.
Caffeine in coffee reduces stress and fatigue. That’s why working people love to drink cups of coffee to boost them up. This is also allowed in keto. You can drink any kind of coffee. Extra milk will increase carb count 2 to 3 but it’s still safe. Because the carb count of coffee is zero. Ground coffee is cheaper than coffee beans and for ground coffee, you don’t need grinder machines.
- Lemon with Water
A glass of lemonade would be more expensive than water with lemon. What you just need to do is add 2 or 3 slices of lemon and spoons of lemon juice into iced water and drink. Extra sugar increases carb count zero to 4.Trust me it’s as refreshing as lemonade and requires very little time and saves a lot of money.
The Bottom Line
From the above discussion, it’s clear choosing cheaper ingredients is a great idea to live on a budget. Just imagine! how much you’re going to save on groceries from right now while eating healthy and following a keto on a budget.Comment below if any question you have regarding this topic, or your ideas about the keto diet also if you find this helpful you can share it with friends.