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I'm wondering if it's at all possible to try a keto diet with not too much money. For various reasons, I don't have the money to keep to a good diet. Usually, my diet consists of pasta, rice, and coleslaw, since the grocery store near me sells those for very cheap.

I'd like to change this, and am wondering if it's possible.

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Can you please elaborate on what you mean with "keto diet"? I have a suspicion, but I'd hate to assume and others might be completely unfamiliar with it. – VPeric Feb 26 '12 at 2:19
There are a few, but the basis is high-fat, high-protein, low-carb at all times. – Mirov Feb 26 '12 at 2:31
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I'm worried this is almost too simple to be an answer, but I'll add more detail if you have specific questions.

For a ketogenic diet I assume you would need to reduce the daily grams of carbohydrate to the low double digits, or <10% of total calories. Pasta and rice are obviously low-cost calorie sources and you want something that provides a similar amount of calories, without the carbohydrates and without spending more money. While cabbage is usually one of the cheapest vegetable options and is not heavy in carbs, I would watch the premade coleslaw as it usually has a lot of sugar added along with the cabbage and oil.

You can swap out the pasta and rice for things like canned fish, fatty meat, eggs, cheese, cream, butter, coconut milk. Because of the high caloric density of fat and the current trend against high-fat foods, I think you will find these things will meet your caloric needs pretty cost-effectively.

Nutritional balance is a different matter, but you can't go much worse than pasta and rice. If you are really into optimizing low cost and planning to meet certain nutrient targets, you could try this excel sheet:

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A great source of ketones is coconut oil. It's not that cheap but it's not that expensive either.

By just adding a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil you'll get a whole bunch of short-chain fats which are readily transformed into ketones.

My favorite breakfast is 4 eggs scrambled in 2 tbsp coconut oil. The yolk emulsifies the oil so it's part of the egg. Just heat the oil a little until it melts (I live in the north :-) ) and pour in the eggs, whisk until mixed and then stir every once in a while until everything is cooked but not dry. Cheap, fast and filling.

Coconut oil will give you ketones even when you have some carbs in the diet, which is a good thing because going very low/zero carb can have annoying consequences.

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