Weight Loss Plans

Low Carb Eating on a Budget


Just got back from a weekend away….sounds good but it was not a vacation, just a trip to New Jersey to visit a friend. I had a blast as usual and in today’s economy any trip away is a get away!

As I watch the world sink into financial crisis, I thought I might talk about healthy ways to eat while keeping it low carb. It is difficult to dispute that meat is more costly than a box of pasta. As common sense as this may seem, there may be more to this than meets the eye. My line of thinking has always been off the beaten path, which is how I ended up in the “Low Carb Camp”. So bear with me, ‘cause my thoughts do make sense.

If you eat a portion of pasta or a 16 oz. box of pasta ($1.00 Stop and Shop brand or Dreamfields is $2.99), it might seem to cost less than a package of chicken thighs but the difference may not be a big as you think. See the chart below.

Eating in line with the Economy






Perdue Cornish Game Hen


1.5 LB




Perdue Chicken Thighs – 5 ct


2 LB




Nature’s Promise Chicken Thighs Antibiotic Free Natural

1.7 LB





Nature’s Promise Beef Ground 85% Lean Natural


1 LB




Nature’s Promise Beef Ground 75% Lean Natural


1 LB




Nature’s Promise Beef Ground 85% Lean Natural

(on sale)

1 LB





However, you are going to get hungry after that pasta and end up eating at least twice as much, maybe more.  Why?

For one reason, because your are gonna have a huge glucose load, your body will try to balance this and your blood sugar is gonna take a quick dive.

Another reason is just that pasta is not filling. It is a carbohydrate that has no fiber and little if any nutrients, so you need to eat a lot to feel full.

OOPS, almost forgot to factor in the fact that no one eats pasta plain, so you must add oil or tomato sauce that should get factored into the cost and carb content. Let me just say, I am not a big fan of eating pasta and oil or butter because as I mention in my book, The Stubborn Fat Fix, combining high amounts of carbohydrates with high amounts of fat is one of the many contributors to the obesity epidemic.   You must walk a fine “tightrope” line when you start combining fats and starches.

On the other hand, eating a couple of chicken thighs, you can season with pepper, oregano, curry or any herb/spice, to give yourself the protein and fat to satisfy your belly!

So, be a smart shopper and think before you stroll down the pasta aisle to save a few bucks. You might be surprised that the cost of weight loss or maintaining your weight when eating low carb foods is not as expensive as you think.

Here is a list of protein foods that will help keep expenses down while still doing the right thing for you. Remember, look for sales or managers’ specials. Many times if the date on the package of food is expiring within a day, it will have a great price.

10 Low Cost Low Carb Protein Sources

1.       Canned tuna (use Tongol tuna)

2.       Canned salmon

3.       Eggs

4.       Chicken

5.        Turkey

6.       Ground meat

7.       Nitrite free Hot dogs

8.       Peanut butter

9.       Cottage cheese

10.   Any meat on sale



In good health,


Valerie Berkowitz

About the author

Valerie Goldstein

Valerie raises the bar for health and nutrition know how with unconventional expertise and unconditional support for wellness.

Add Comment

  • Maybe I’m missing the point of your post but you commented that pasta is high glucose-load, low carb and doesn’t leave you feeling full for very long.
    Doesn’t Dreamfields pasta do the exact opposite of all those things? For me at least Dreamfields doesn’t raise my levels and I always feel full after a meal.

    • Thanks for your comment LittleMiamiFrogMan.
      My rationale for this post was to help people make better food choices in tough economic times. Carbohydrates may seem to be less expensive than protein foods but in fact there may not be as large of a difference in cost as people might think.
      When people cut costs, it is not outrageous to assume that they may load up on pasta because it seems like a less costly item to purchase. Eating pasta for dinner every night is not a healthy solution. No matter what type of food you eat, eating too much of any one food group (in this case lower cost food items) will diminish the nutrients that should be consumed from another food group.
      I apologize if I was not clear, in general pasta does have a high glucose load. Obviously Dreamfields will not result in the same glucose response as typical pasta brands.
      However, it still contains 41 grams of total carbohydrates per serving. So served as a 1/2 cup side portion or as a main meal with meatballs is the way I’d prefer it be consumed. If an individual is satisfied with consuming more and they are happy with weight, energy levels and their blood sugar is ok…I’m good with that too.
      Therefore I think we agree about Dreamfields pasta, if you choose to eat pasta and are not on a gluten free diet this would be one of the brands of pasta I recommend.
      I serve Dreamfields to my family and Dreamfields pasta is used as a comparison to other pasta for its fiber score in my book, The Stubborn Fat Fix, http://www.amazon.com/Stubborn-Fat-Fix-MetabolicExercise/dp/159486828X/ref=pd_ys_qtk_k2a_1_title?pf_rd_p=233144701&pf_rd_s=center-3&pf_rd_t=1501&pf_rd_i=home&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1SR7X6MXESWBWRSZRWAQ.