Is eating low-carb expensive?

(versión en español: pinchar aquí)

I would say it is. Junk food (bread, pasta, grains, vegetable oils, etc.) is much cheaper than real food (cheese, meat, nuts, etc.). May be when you eat low-carb you eat smaller amounts and that partially compensates for the food being more expensive. Either way, if a scientific study says that eating junk food is as expensive as eating real food, I am inclined not to believe it.

In Centinel’s blog I found a reference to an article titled “Do healthier foods and diet patterns cost more than less healthy options? A systematic review and meta-analysis“, and this article says that eating healthy is more expensive than eating unhealthy, but the difference is only 1.5 dollars per person and day. When I read that conclusion I thought “That’s interesting: someone knows how to eat healthy food!“. And I looked for the article because I wanted to learn what eating healthy was.

I started with the “meat” section and I noticed that they used the criteria from Nutrition Detectives, an initiative designed and developed by a David Katz. If that David Katz is the same person as the author of this BS article, what a start we had! And the premonition comes true: did you know that chicken without the skin was healthier than with it? Neither did I. Or did you know that lean meat was healthier than high fat meat? It is healthier if you are a vegan zealot, but for the rest of us, the ones that like dietary recommendations based on sound scientific evidence, do they have any? This is not a scientific article, it is a joke!

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(I apologize for the bad quality of the images, but they are bad in the source article, as is everything from this article)

Let’s talk about beverages now. Did you know that diet drinks were healthier than sugar-sweetened drinks? I am not a big fan of sugar, but I doubt that. And I also have my doubts about the juices that fulfill Katz’ criteria being healthier than others, no matter the criteria. Linking “juice” and “healthy” is only possible if you are a radical.

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Did you know that butter with low saturated fat was healthier than butter with more saturated fat? Are they sure? I would avoid low-fat butter, what have they substitued fat with?! And distinguishing between healthier or less healthy margarine, is that a joke? What is healthier a cigarette with or without filter? And their criterion is the saturated fat contents. I need a deep breath! But they go on and make the same analysis for vegetable oils and trans fats. They are all unhealthy, my friends! And they still think dietary cholesterol is bad for our health. What a nerve!

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What about snacks and sweets? Did you know that sugar substitutes are healthier than sugar? Did you know that low saturated fat chocolate was healthier than high saturated fat ones? For sure, according to Katz’ criteria, but, can they show us the scientific evidence that backs that up?
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In the dairy section, more of the nonsense . Is low-fat milk healthier than whole milk? Or cream/cheese with more saturated fat less healthy than versions with less saturated fat? Please, someone should stop this!


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Interestingly cereals have their own group in the analysis, as if they were food for humans! And of course, talking about “health” when we are comparing white bread with whole bread, or looking at the fiber content, it doesn’t make sense at all.

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As a conclusion, eating what these gentlemen considered healthy food, much of the world’s population is now overweight, and aim at hypertension and diabetes. And they say that eating that way is expensive? Honestly, I don’t think so: junk food is cheaper than real food. The cost of vegetable oils, grains, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, sugar , etc. is not, unfortunately , higher than the cost of healthy and nutritious foods.

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