Is Low-Carb Food Too Expensive?

One of the things that I’ll hear people say when they’re thinking about switching their eating style and moving toward a low-carb lifestyle is that the food is too expensive.

Is Low-Carb Food Too Expensive?
Photo by Markus Spiske / Unsplash

One of the things that I’ll hear people say when they’re thinking about switching their eating style and moving toward a low-carb lifestyle is that the food is too expensive. Eating whole, healthy food can definitely be more expensive - especially if you buy the good stuff like organic vegetables and berries, grass fed beef, free range chicken, etc. But the thing to focus on is the quality of food you’re getting - it’s so much better for you than all the junk you might be used to eating. Also, if you’re eating healthier foods, you’re much less likely to overeat and you’re much less likely to spend a lot of time snacking so your food bill could actually go down despite buying better quality foods.

Think about how much you might spend on things like juice, chips, cookies, crackers, convenience foods, popcorn, and things like that. I bet it’s a good amount of your food budget. You’ll be eliminating all of that if you’re transitioning to a low-carb diet so that frees up quite a bit of money to spend on that better quality meat, the organic berries an vegetables, and the healthier choices for flour, oil, dressings, etc.

We also waste so much food each week by going to the store without a grocery list, without having a menu made, and just randomly throwing things in our cart. What if you bought things with intention and used everything you brought home? I know I’ve been guilty of having to throw food away because it went bad in the fridge before we ate it. So be more intentional, make a menu, shop for a few days at a time instead of buying in huge quantities, and use up what you’ve got before you go buy more. These things will help you save money on your food budget as well.

One of the biggest things to think about when starting this lifestyle is that when you eat better food you’re going to save on medical costs down the road. Here’s a statistic I thought I’d share with you:

In 1960 Americans spent 17.5% of their income on food and 5.2% of national income on healthcare. Since then, those numbers have flipped: spending on food has fallen to 9.9%, while spending on healthcare has climbed to 16% of national income.  - In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

So would you rather pay more money for that good food now or would you rather pay more money to doctors and hospitals and pharmaceutical companies later?

Check out this stunning fact from the book Metabolical by Robert Lustig, MD, MSL:

US medical costs total $3.5 trillion per year, of which 75 percent are food-related chronic disease.

That’s mind blowing. We could save so much money simply by eating healthier! So try not to think about it as you’re spending too much on food but think of how much you’re saving on health costs. And of course if you’re saving on health costs that also means you’re healthier and you feel better. I’m sure you don’t want to go down the path to all those awful diseases that are plaguing our country - type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, dementia, strokes, even cancer! Many of these can be prevented with the proper diet. I don’t know about you but I’d like to live a life free of those diseases. And if you’ve already been diagnosed with one or more of these, it’s not too late to reverse it. The food you feed your body has a huge impact on those diseases and you can reverse them and get off of medications if you choose your food well.

So don’t be afraid to buy those good quality ingredients and food items - your health will thank you later. :)