Sunday, January 15, 2012

Why Low Carb Food Costs More

"Price is what you pay, value is what you get." -Warren Buffett

EDITED TO ADD: See if you can spot my poor reasoning in this post. That, and $1.75, will get you a plain coffee at Starbucks.

Why does low carb food cost more? In general, it's more filling, it's more nutritious, and it has little or no added sugar or refined flour, which are nutrient sinks. Check out the macronutrients in a Starbucks double chocolate brownie(1) compared to a low-carb walnut-mocha brownie(2,3,4) (click for larger image, press ESC to return):

I'm not putting down Starbucks--the results would probably be the same for any brownie made of flour, sugar, eggs, chocolate, etc., including homemade brownies like Grandma used to make. My point is that even though the low-carb brownies cost more to make than Grandma's and are less convenient than Starbucks, they're real food. With all natural fats, 14 grams of protein and no added sugar or refined flour, they aren't junk food. They're made mostly of almonds, eggs, butter, coconut oil and unsweetened cocoa, and sweetened with the sugar substitute of your choice.

More expensive? Yes, but don't you expect to pay more for high quality than junk? Having made two batches of these brownies, I can tell you they're filling. I used to have a hard time controlling myself around brownies (the kind with flour and sugar), but one of these fills me up for hours: protein is more filling than sugar, and with few carbs, there's no blood sugar spike and subsequent drop a few hours later to make you hungry.

If you still think low-carb is too expensive, I figured out last year that I was saving $958 per year(5) by eating this way.


  1. Starbucks web site, accessed January 15, 2012.
  2. "Mocha Walnut Brownies" by William Davis, M.D., January 1, 2012, Track your Plaque blog, accessed January 15, 2012.
  3. Weight of mocha walnut brownies from my measuring a one-ninth portion of the prepared recipe (with an additional egg and no walnuts), multiplying by nine and dividing by eight. In other words, it's a one-eighth portion of the recipe.
  4. Nutritional information from (accessed January 15, 2012) and Recipe Box Nutrient Counter software.
  5. "Is Low Carb an Expensive Diet?" by Lori Miller, "Pain, Pain Go Away" blog, June 18, 2010.

1 comment:

LeonRover said...

Maybe you have neglected the following:

Margin for Starbucks - Brand value

Value of your own labour - opportunity cost

Even were you to make 'em yourself, the protein batch lasts longer - lower restocking cost.