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What price of health for a diabetic diet?

Having been following a relatively low carb for the last two years, my blood sugar levels are as good as they’ve been, and have been for the best part of these last 24 months. I like to think that it’s helping to keep the diabetic complications at bay. Furthermore, with better controlled diabetes I feel better each day.

Probably the only downside that I’ve noticed is the huge increase in price of my weekly shopping bill.

My old £15 food budget

Just over 5 years ago I was able to get a week’s shopping for little more than £15 a week.

I existed on cereals like Shreddies for breakfast –costing no more than £2 a week including milk. My hot meals were generally heavily based on bread, pasta and baked potatoes and contributed only about £5 a week to my costs. My protein was the cheapest packaged ham I could find and usually a bit of eggs and cheese. The amount of fruit and vegetables I ate per week was small and certainly not reaching 5 a day very often.

The low carb £50 budget

These days, to fit with the lower carbs my food budget is likely treble what I was spending, and whilst food prices have been steadily rising, they’ve not been rising that much.

These days I’ll spend about 3 times as much on breakfast, opting for yoghurt and nuts most mornings. My lunches are more balanced these days and include better quality (though not particularly fancy) ham, again costing about 3 times more than the cheap ham, and more salad and vegetables. For evening meals I’ll tend to have cooked meat or fish and the little touches to add some extra nutrients like herbs, olive and olive oil help to up the overall price of my comparatively expensive diet.

Is the better food worth it?

I’m pleased that my blood glucose levels are much better than they were, and I feel there must be a number of further health benefits from having a more balanced and fresh diet these days, however, the extra £150 a month spent on food each month does make me question whether it’s really worth it sometimes.

I can’t see myself going back to my high carb diet, and I don’t think my girlfriend would be at all happy with the thought of it(!), so for now I’ll be looking to apply some of the tips mentioned in our saving money and eating healthily on a budget page. ')}

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