The keto diet is about replacing sugar and starch with fat-rich
foods — a trick that prevents you from making enough blood sugar to fuel yourself. Your body then starts turning fatty foods and stored fat into alternative fuel called ketones, which studies show help boost weight loss by 1,000 percent.
And by bringing down high blood sugar and the inflammation it
causes, keto makes everything from arthritis to diabetes to autoimmune disorders better. You feel like a million bucks — yet Dr. Berry promises it’s affordable even on a fixed income.
Budget Keto Basics
First and foremost, remember that inexpensive keto options get results. Not sure where to start? Most experts agree the lowest-cost keto staples are ground meat, eggs, chicken legs and thighs, butter, block cheese, cabbage and greens.
For truly effortless savings, just build the bulk of your meals around them using the guidelines below. Also key: Avoid budget-busters like specialty keto breads, snacks, and supplements. “You don’t need them — and many are a waste of money,” says Dr. Berry.
Fun trend, big savings Frugal keto dieters we spoke to swear by “meal prepping,” which simply means making big batches of food at once to enjoy all week long. “You skip the hassle of cooking on busy nights without overpaying for takeout,” says Arizona retail manager Ilene Rosenheim, 57, whose keto-style diet melted 112 pounds and got her off meds for blood pressure, cholesterol, and prediabetes (saving $900 a year in copays).
“I like to roast a chicken and portion some of it with veggies and mashed cauliflower for dinners and use the rest to top simple salads for lunches.” Other quick big-batch options: keto pancakes, chili and meatloaf. To see one keto blogger whip up a week’s meals for $5 a day, check out Keto Connect.
Your Keto Dollar Menu
To try the keto diet, aim for about 70 percent of your calories from fat, 25 percent from protein, and 5 percent from carbs. Free apps like the ones at CarbManager.com and Keto.app make tracking easy. And the recipes here will help keep costs down.
When shopping for ingredients, be sure to choose sauces and
seasonings with no added sugar. As always, get a doctor’s okay to try any new plan.
Crepes — Blend 2 eggs and 2 oz. cream cheese. Using 2 Tbs. batter each, cook on a hot buttered griddle until golden, about 60 seconds per side. Add zero-carb syrup.
Buffalo Wings — Pat 4 lbs. wings dry, halve and toss with 2 tsp. baking powder, salt and pepper. Bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 50 minutes; flip
once. Toss in 1⁄2 cup hot sauce and 3 Tbs. melted butter.
Keto Frosty — 1⁄3 cup heavy cream, 2 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa, 1 Tbs. almond butter, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, pinch salt, and zero-carb sweetener to taste.
Pizza Casserole — Mix 3 cups riced cauliflower, 2 Tbs. oil and salt; press in casserole. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit, 20 minutes. Add 1 cup marinara, 16 oz. mozzarella, 2 oz. pepperoni; broil to melt cheese.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.