Top Ten Low Carb, Low Cost Foods

Get the list -- low carb foods that are kind to your wallet.

Lara Rondinelli By Lara Rondinelli, RD, LDN, CDE

It can be difficult and expensive to try to eat healthy with diabetes. Things are gradually changing, but some of the healthiest foods are still often among the most expensive. Here's the latest dLife Top Ten List! Low carb foods that are also low cost — they'll sabotage neither your budget nor your blood sugar:

1.Eggs. Eggs are a great low carb, high protein food and can be made in a variety of ways. Yes, the yolk does contain some saturated fat, but with eggs, the good outweighs the bad, and they are one of the most inexpensive and versatile protein sources. Try them scrambled, fried, in a veggie and cheese omelet, or hard-boiled on their own or made into egg salad.
2.Canned or Dried Beans. Beans top the list of inexpensive healthy foods in my book. You can usually purchase a can of beans, such as black, kidney, pinto, or navy beans for around one dollar per can. One-half cup of beans provides around 15 grams of carbs, varying amounts of protein, and lots of fiber. Add beans to salads, soups, tacos, dips or chili.
3.Canned Tuna. Canned tuna is another inexpensive lean protein source, packed full of omega-3 fatty acids, which have a positive effect on heart health. Buy tuna packed in water and add it to a green salad for lunch or mix with a little plain yogurt, light mayonnaise, celery, and onions for a quick and healthy tuna salad.
4.Sweet Potato. Sweet potatoes do contain carbohydrates, but they are packed full of good nutrition -- providing vitamin A, potassium, and fiber -- just make sure to watch your portion size and count your carbs. A small sweet potato contains about 18g of carbs and 3g of fiber. You can throw a sweet potato in the microwave and have a great side dish in a flash.
5.Frozen Veggies. Frozen veggies such as green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts and spinach are low in carbohydrates and considered "free foods." They provide a variety of vitamins, minerals, and fiber and are lower in sodium than canned vegetables. Frozen veggies should be a part of your weekly grocery list. They can complete a meal in just a few minutes.
6.Seasonal Vegetables. Figure out which vegetables are in season, and focus on creating meals with those veggies. This will save you money, not to mention the fact that seasonal veggies taste better and are packed full of nutrients. Summertime seasonal veggies include zucchini, tomatoes, and leafy greens -- all low carb, low calorie, and delicious -- experiment with new ways to cook or grill your veggies (see recipe below for Grilled Tomatoes).
7.Seasonal Fruit. The same story goes for seasonal fruit as seasonal veggies. Take advantage of the upcoming summer months and all the fresh fruit available from berries to melon. Most fruit contains about 15 of carbs grams per 1 cup (cubed) or about 15 grams of carbs per one small fruit.

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Last Modified Date: June 20, 2013

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