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Why is low carb menu option the most expensive?

Discussion in 'Low-carb Diet Forum' started by Angelmum21, Mar 15, 2016.

  1. Angelmum21

    Angelmum21 Type 2 · Active Member

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    It's going to take time for the world to catch up with us low carbers , I know, but imagine my frustration when I was helping a friend who was recently bereaved and it became apparent she needed sustenance. I let her choose the venue naturally as I wanted her to feel both at ease and tempted by the food. We ended up at a high end snack and coffee place which had an entire menu devoted to the specialty tea flavours they offered but the food menu was packed with carbs in the form of bread or wraps with the exception of the most expensive thing by far which was a healthy salad!
    I was feeling a bit flakey after a tortuous visit to the bank to try to sort out her accounts but decided that, as she insisted on paying, the only thing I should have was a coffee with cream. I keep encouraging another friend, who has cancer and has turned to the diet to try to improve her health, that there should always be at least one thing she can have when she goes out - I now fear she will end up bankrupt!

    Do any of you know of nice places that offer a bit of variety for us low-carbers ? We live in the sticks by the way but the local town has several of the normal chains of restaurants in it.
     
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  2. Squire Fulwood

    Squire Fulwood Type 2 · Expert

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    Do you cook at home often? The options are endless. You can have all sorts of meat and vegetables.
     
  3. Angelmum21

    Angelmum21 Type 2 · Active Member

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    I cook at home every day and only go out occasionally - that is why I found the £7.25 price of a tuna or ham salad so eye-popping!
     
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  4. TorqPenderloin

    TorqPenderloin Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    -bread, potatoes, and grains are cheap to produce
    -meat, cheese, and nuts are not cheap to produce
    -chain restaurants generally deal in mass quantities with lower profit margins.
    -The demand for low-carb options is still fairly low. That means their margins must be larger in order to remain profitable (stay in business).

    I can keep going, but hopefully you get the point. "Healthy" food generally takes more time to grow and/or produce which therefore makes it more expensive.
     
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  5. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Guru
    Retired Moderator

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    Carbs are cheap ingedients.

    So a plate half full of chips, bread or rice is much cheaper to produce (and a larger profit margin) than quality veg, salad and low carb ingredients that take more skill and prep to produce.
     
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  6. SunnyExpat

    SunnyExpat Prefer not to say · Well-Known Member

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    Carbs keep.
    Bread, chips, wraps, rice, pasta, all freeze, or store dried.

    Salad and tuna, or ham, it doesn't keep, and is thrown away at the end of the day, or possibly the next.
    And as you found, there isn't a high demand, so costs, and wastage is very high.
     
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    #6 SunnyExpat, Mar 15, 2016 at 5:14 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2016
  7. RoseofSharon

    RoseofSharon Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    As already said, carbs are cheap, they're convenient and addictive. Shops that sell majority sandwiches and wraps don't have the added cost of providing cutlery (either disposable or washable). For businesses it all comes down to profit margin, which lets face it is greater with carb items than low carb ones.

    However some places such as itsu do some nice options but to be honest I haven't anywhere that's marvellously cheap to eat healthy. Truthfully I have always spent more on my grain free food (which is mostly, but not all low carb) than my friends spent on their sandwiches etc. Although I did just remember that subway provide a bowl of meatballs (4 meatballs in a bowl) for around £2, which I used to buy frequently. Places like McDonald's you can order your hamburger sans bun. But that's the best advice I can think of top of my head. Generally speaking low carb is seen as a 'fad' diet and therefore those who eat it are charged accordingly
     
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  8. @Angelmum21 The picnic season will be upon us soon. They are cheap and as low carb as you like. I can't wait.
     
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  9. Pinkorchid

    Pinkorchid Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I often have a salad at Subway just ask for a salad bowl instead of the bread and then have the cheese meat or tuna you want with it and all the salad and it must be about the cheapest salad you can get anywhere.
     
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  10. SunnyExpat

    SunnyExpat Prefer not to say · Well-Known Member

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    I doubt there is a great profit margin on a McDonalds cheeseburger to be honest. I've found carby food is cheap, and moves quickly, so it's low profit, high volume, whereas premium low carb food has a greater profit margin, but it sells slowly. As £7.25 for part of a bag of salad, and half a tin of tuna would suggest.
    If I lived on rice, or pasta, it would cost me next to nothing here.
     
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    #10 SunnyExpat, Mar 15, 2016 at 6:30 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2016
  11. Chook

    Chook Type 2 · Expert

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    I often have a salad at Subway or, for something more substantial, we will find a carvery. They almost always have turkey, beef and one other meat and a variety of unlimited vegetables. Plain but acceptable and often cheap.
     
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  12. lizf4619

    lizf4619 Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    In my area - Ayrshire, I actually find the hotels the cheapest if you don't go Friday & Saturday nights. Most do 2 courses for £10-12. My favourite pub grub is a bucket of mussels in cream & garlic sauce. I quite often buy this from the supermarket - 2 ins in a pot on the stove and eat straight, less washing up!
     
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  13. ickihun

    ickihun Type 2 · Master

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    I go for all day breakfasts with family and we swop our items to suit once it's arrived.
    Everyone happy!
     
  14. Scimama

    Scimama Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    I often go to cheap and cheerful chain 'restaurants', typically family friendly places, most have salads that are about the same as the main courses, but many will change things for you if you ask, as a veggie there is typically less choice but I often request different combinations of items such as changing the sides around or making a starter into a main course portion. Places such as Frankie and Bennys, Prezzo, Pizza Express, Giraffe etc all do salads that are or can be adapted (e.g.no/swap dressing) and all for same price or less as the high carb main courses.

    Many places especially pubs do mixed grill, just ask if you can swap the chips for a bit of salad or veg, carvers can be a good option too just skip the high carb options and fill up on the lower carb veg. Even fish and chip shops can be adapted, have the fish and take it out of the batter and skip the chips.

    A regular haunt is Harvester (they do vary immensely - some are excellent, most good, some horrendous!) but they have on their menu an option to swap the carbs, I always swap for green beans. They have roast chicken, lamb, etc as options. Salad bar is included so I find it easy to find a low carb option all for under £10 :)

    Giraffe has a special no bun section where the fries are swapped for salad or edame
     
    #14 Scimama, Mar 15, 2016 at 8:57 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2016
  15. SunnyExpat

    SunnyExpat Prefer not to say · Well-Known Member

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    I remember the days of two for a fiver at british pubs.
    And I probably ate the two by myself!
     
  16. Scimama

    Scimama Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    Noticed today that M&S cafe have courgette and veg "noodles" with a meaty sauce on their standard menu.

    Unfortunately the only low carb option for veggies was a portion of cheese for the 'kids lunch section' and some nuts.
     
  17. Scimama

    Scimama Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    Had to wait a while in the queue in M&S cafe and noticed that they serve cream as an alternative to standard milk for teas and coffees.
     
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  18. Pinkorchid

    Pinkorchid Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    With all the options that people have suggested low carb is really not that difficult or more expensive when we eat out. We often eat at our local pub and we might have grilled chicken a gammon steak or fish and just swap the chips for salad
    The Harvester also have "skinny" options burgers and chicken served without rolls or chips you can then just add what you want from the salad bar
     
  19. KayeStevenson

    KayeStevenson Reactive hypoglycemia · Well-Known Member

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    I usually go for the mussels option and wetherspoons do grilled halloumi starter but it's teeny!
     
  20. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Guru
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    Wetherspoons has the carb content on the menus/website, which is great. Makes the choices easy.
     
    #20 Brunneria, Mar 16, 2016 at 5:28 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2016
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