expensive food

Is low-carb an expensive and elitist lifestyle?

Jonno asked our Instagram and Facebook communities to tell us which comments about Low-Carb absolutely infuriate them the most.

One of the greatest beliefs around low-carb is that ‘Low-Carb is EXPENSIVE’

Suzanne Garrett, one of our own Facebook followers, testified to this by her own admission when she commented on our post with the following:

‘Agree with these comments, heard them all. But it is expensive to buy pastured/wild caught/organic/minimally processed. No getting around that fact – it’s a matter of degrees of expensive and how to economize by buying seasonally and in bulk. Still very expensive’

Watch this video to hear our views on the topic:


I have to agree with Suzanne. Pasture-reared, wild-caught and minimally processed food is generally more expensive.

Many people make the mistake of thinking that a low-carb diet MUST include pasture reared organic meat. This is not the case.


Low-carb (Banting / Keto), by our definition, is a gluten-free, sugar-free, low-carb diet. It says nothing about pasture-reared or wild-caught. Sure, all nutrition experts (hopefully even those who are not pro-low-carb), would advocate pasture reared meat and organic produce for optimal health. But, in the history of Real Meal Revolution there has only ever been one mention of the quality of ingredients and that was in the first book The Real Meal Revolution. It said something along the lines of ‘you should aim to eat pasture reared and organic as much as possible’.

We still believe that that is where you should aim. But it is totally unsustainable for almost everyone on earth. Posh meat is expensive. Organic veggies are expensive. Most of these foods are also very hard to get hold of. 

Quality aside, there are also some tag-along health hacks that have been added to the low-carb ‘must-haves’ that don’t quite line up.

Almond flour, coconut flour, Banting baked goods fat bombs are all marketed as ‘essentials’ for the Banting or Keto diet, but the nut flours are on our light red list because if you’re eating a whole slice of nut cake, frankly, you will not lose weight. Fat bombs are also just added doses of fat, flavoured like chocolate, but they too are unnecessary unless you have ZERO body fat to burn while you’re in ketosis.

Himalayan crystal salt as opposed to a local salt is one that kills me. My greatest regret is putting Himalayan crystal salt in one of the recipes in the original RMR. I don’t know why I did it but it was ignorant. Please don’t make the mistake of thinking that is essential for health. If we’re trying to save the environment by shortening the distance from pasture-to-plate, using Himalayan crystal salt is like asking Mother Earth to smoke a Texan Plain every time you salt your avocado.  

Low-carb also doesn’t mean eating only Real Meal Revolution recipes either. That would be delicious, but that too is unsustainable for every meal of the day, every day of the week. Unless, you’ve got a private chef, in which case I recommend giving it a try.

While the recipes in Real Meal Revolution’s cook books show case a few high-end dinner options, they should not be mistaken for prescriptive dietary advice. The recipes were developed to illustrate how deliciously one could eat on a low-carb diet. If you skip the duck with berry coulis and coconut pancakes it will not negatively effect your journey to awesome weight.

Low-carb, Banting or Keto mean low-carb, gluten-free and sugar-free and nothing else. And, you can eat like that without any recipes, without any expensive ingredients and without lots of money.

What is nowhere near as expensive as a private chef or elite produce is simply lowering carbs and sticking to the green list. And that is what low-carb is about. If you can just eat of the green list, you are doing low-carb (hint – low-carb also doesn’t mean ‘high-fat’ but we will save that one for later).

So, Suzanne, we understand and share your concerns in a big way. But you don’t need all that fancy stuff to lower your carbs.

Low-carb is expensive = Myth

If you’re interested in finding out which foods are best to eat on a low-carb diet sudden, download the Low-Carb Real Food Lists, print them and stick them on your fridge.