There’s been a lot of talk about inflation, recessions, and everything in between. While we continue to face surging prices in gas and an inflation rate north of 8.6%, the question remains–what is the most recession-proof diet, and is keto expensive? Most people are not only trying to find the best ways to lose the extra 20 pounds they put on during COVID, but also the most economical way to do so.
Which Groceries Are Being Impacted by Inflation?
If we look at the consumer price index for all food, prices were 10.1% higher than just 12 months ago. At first, the estimated increase in meats, poultry, and fish, which is about 7.5%, seems quite alarming–especially for those of us eating keto, which tends to involve these items. Throw in the fact that there was a recent outbreak of the avian influenza that reduced the U.S. egg supply and drove an increase in egg prices above 10% and you might think we’re doomed in the keto space. Not so fast. Other areas that are getting highly impacted are fresh fruits (8-9%) and cereal and bakery products (7-8%).
One could argue that if you looked at foods commonly consumed on a keto diet, you could say that you are looking at 3-4% higher prices which might make someone think that a low-fat, low-protein, plant-based diet is the most recession-proof diet. However, besides the fact that a low-protein, plant-based diet would be detrimental to your muscle, brain, and overall health over time, we are forgetting one very important point.
Keto Lessens Feelings of Hunger
When we diet, weight loss is usually followed by a simultaneous increase in ghrelin secretion and feelings of hunger, which may compromise weight loss goals and increase the risk of gaining the weight back. Think about that–as you’re trying to lose that extra body fat through diet, your body is starting to upregulate hormones that lead you to more hunger.
One of the many benefits of ketosis is that a ketogenic diet has been shown to prevent an increase in ghrelin secretion, otherwise seen with weight loss, as well as to reduce and/or prevent hunger. Therefore, we need to account for the natural decrease in food consumption of individuals who are on a ketogenic diet compared to those who are not, to properly calculate whether keto can be considered expensive.
Studies Show Keto Naturally Reduces Calorie Consumption
One study done in 1974 put women on a restricted carbohydrate diet, but let them eat as much protein and fat as much as they wanted and found that the number of calories they ate decreased by 30%. This was confirmed in another study several years later in 2006 where subjects could eat ad libitum (as much as they wanted) but had to keep carbs under 10%. Naturally, these individuals lowered their calorie intake by 30.5% which was about 720 calories per day.
Study after study shows this practically and mechanistically in multiple different subject populations. So, if we factor in the general reduced calorie consumption on a well-formulated ketogenic diet, there is zero doubt that a keto diet is the most inflation-resistant and recession-proof way of eating. By eating 30% less, you are negating the negligible 3-4% cost increase of food items commonly consumed on a ketogenic diet. As a result, eating keto is likely to be less expensive than you might assume, and a good choice during a time of inflation.
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