3 Super Healthy, Super Cheap Paleo Foods

Coconut

There are countless whole, real, paleo foods in this world that are super healthy and super cheap. I am on a mission to debunk the most idiotic food myth in the world: eating healthy is expensive.

With a little practice, knowledge, dedication, passion and persistence, you can enjoy some of the world’s healthiest foods. If you are willing to live a little more minimally then not only will you have more money to spend on food but you will shock yourself as to how awesome simple, minimal living really is.

In order to determine if a food is super cheap I calculate the cost per 100 calories. I then look at the nutritional profile, antioxidant value and think about the harmful effects of the food. Spinach is super expensive per 100 calories but 1 oz which costs around a quarter goes a long ass way. Other foods, such as pistachios, ground beef, bananas, berries, steak, etc. it is best to find out what it costs you per 100 calories since they are all super healthy and have the same nutrient density in relative terms.

Are you ready to start eating healthy on the cheap?

1. Tomato Paste

I buy mostly fresh and frozen foods. However, there are a few canned foods that are worth eating on a weekly basis. Tomato paste is one of them. One can of tomato paste at Meijer and Wal-Mart in Michigan costs 40 cents. It gives you a nutrition packed 150 calories of energy. It’s mostly carbs but its awesome carbs. I am not afraid of awesome carbs and neither should you be.

If I wanted a 750 calorie meal I could eat 5 cans of tomato paste for $2. Would I ever do this? No. I am simply illustrating a major point. If you plugin 30 oz of tomato paste into Nutrition Data then you may just shock yourself. Let’s take a look at the DV vitamin and mineral content of a 6 oz can of tomato paste:

  • 52% Vitamin A
  • 62% Vitamin C
  • 37% Vitamin E
  • 24% Vitamin K
  • 26% Niacin
  • 28% Iron
  • 49% Potassium
  • 31% Copper
  • 26% Manganese

For the complete profile, click here.

If you want to go organic then visit your local Trader Joe’s. I picked up organic tomato paste for 89 cents yesterday at the Wrigleyville Trader Joe’s. If you are on a tight budget then I recommend you visit a wal-mart supercenter and buy the Great Value brand. It’s your choice.

2. Organic Shredded Coconut

You can buy a 12 pack of organic shredded coconut from Amazon for $20! This comes out to less than $1.70 per bag. I can buy one bag for $3.29 at Meijer….

How much does this cost per 100 calories? About a dime. And, guess what? The brand is organic. Yes, folks. You can eat 100 calories of an organic, sustainable (I think?) superfood for a dime. No matter what your goals are you could eat a meal for less than $1. How cool is that?! I add shredded coconut to any and all foods. I don’t do it 100% of the time but I will literally add it to anything! It has a nice, little sweetness and is full of heart healthy saturated fat.

Shredded coconut is not full of a bunch of vitamins and minerals like tomato paste is. However, shredded coconut is…

  • Full of medium chain triglycerides (lowers risk of heart disease)
  • Super low in sugar
  • High in fiber
  • Rich in manganese
  • Delicious in any and all foods
  • Possibly the least expensive organic whole food you will ever consume

3. Pastured Eggs from Your Local Farm or Costco

Shopping for eggs at a grocery store, even Trader Joe’s, is extremely frustrating. Are the organic, cage free eggs for $4 really worth twice as much as the $1.79 eggs from Dutch Farms? I am not convinced at this moment which is why I continue to buy the $1.79 eggs. My money is very precious to me right now. I think twice about paying twice as much for what look like the same exact eggs!

With that being said, I do know that pastured eggs from a local farm are worth the extra cost. When I know how a farm raises their chickens and I nod my head yes to all their wonderful responses then I know that I am getting a quality egg. When it comes to eggs, quality is extremely important.

A pastured egg where the hen grazed on grass and lived a healthy lifestyle (a primal one, of course) is way more nutritious compared to an egg from a hen that was stuffed in a cage and fed crap like soy.

What is so wonderful is that if you have a membership at costco, then you have access to pastured eggs. I read an article a few weeks ago in Costco Connection that talked about their committment to selling pastured eggs. It seemed very legit. A large egg will more than likely cost you 20 to 25 cents or less.

I am a huge fan of the jumbo eggs from Rakowski Farms in West Michigan. One dozen jumbo eggs costs me $3.00 which is a quarter per egg. What does the nutritional profile look like for one jumbo egg? Click here to find out. It contains almost all essential vitamins and minerals. Three jumbo eggs is sickly healthy for you. That is for a cage stuffed egg too. Could you imagine what it would look like for a pastured egg?!

Eggs also have a lot of cholesterol. An essential nutrient.

Eating pastured eggs makes me feel alive. Awesome. It nourishes my body and my soul. It’s a cheap food. It’s very sustainable. It goes great with bacon. Do I need to say more?

What foods do you buy on a regular basis that are super healthy and super cheap? Please share with us below by leaving a comment! Thanks for reading!

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Comments

    • says

      Eggs, beef and tuna. Almost everyday. I wish I could stand tomato products; they are economical, but I hate the taste. Blech. And I seem to develop a slight allergy to coconut if I eat it for too long.

  1. says

    I know that at least on the west coast Costco uses eggs from Wilcox Farms, which is a good choice. They’re a pretty responsible group. I haven’t read that about eggs sold in other parts of the country. If they’re committed to pastured eggs, fantastic!

    We are huge coconut consumers here. I used to be vegan and found that the only way I stayed healthy was to eat copious amounts of coconut and olive products. The habit remains, and I’m really happy that it’s cheap enough to eat in large quantities. Canned tomatoes, too.

    It’s not organic, but we get ridiculously cheap produce at our local international market. I buy winter squash, avocados ($1.29/each this week!), and a few other things there that are low on the pesticide scale. Also, walnuts at Costco. They’re one of the few snacks my kids will eat on a regular basis, so I just go for it. $4/lb or so is a pretty good price.

    • says

      The article sounded like they will be offering pastured eggs for a long ass time. Coconut rocks! Avocados here in Chicago at Trader Joe’s are $1.12 each :)

  2. Kristina says

    I don’t know…tomato paste may be cheap but I wouldn’t consider it super healthy. To my knowledge manufacturers use the worst of the crop for canned veggies like purees and sauces because you can’t see it. Often times the veggies have mold on them and are partially rotten.

    • says

      I have yet to find any mold in my tomato paste… did you look at the nutritional profile? Its crazy. Let’s feed tomato paste to malnourished kids… their health improvement would be a shocker to the world. Seriously. Mold? Come on now…

  3. Kim says

    Thanks for the tip about Costco. I had no idea they had pastured eggs! I usually just skip that whole aisle. I’ll have to check it out now.

  4. Maryanne says

    I agree with the eggs and coconut. I use shredded and canned coconut every single day in smoothies, making sauces for dinner, baking, etc. My son and I eat eggs every single morning, along with copious amounts of bacon. I just stopped eating tomatoes, since I read an article on Mark Sisson’s blog. He had Robb Wolf as a guest, and Robb said that if you have an autoimmune issue that you should avoid nightshades. I’ve only been off tomatoes for 2 days now, so we’ll see how it goes. So far, I’m finding it almost impossible to make the foods I love without tomatoes, since so many have tomato sauce as a base.

    For my 3rd superfood…let’s see. I would have to say avocados. One avocado has about 250 calories, about 23g fat, 0g sugar, and 20 vitamins/minerals. I know that individual avocados aren’t really cheap (in Boston Trader Joe’s, about $1.25 per avocado). But take 1/2 an avocado with a splash of balsamic vinegar and some garlic powder, pop a couple of hard boiled eggs in your lunch box, and you’ve got a filling breakfast or lunch for about $2.00. How can you beat that? I am totally, 100% addicted to them. Thanks for letting me ramble on. =)

    • says

      Robb talks about eggs being an issue for some people too…

      Avocados will be on one of the next few posts! It’s by far my favorite plant food. Avocados are $1.12 here in Chicago Trader Joe’s… I got you beat!

  5. Stephen says

    Mackerel, by a mile :)

    Let’s see…

    Fat:
    Omega 3 (EHA/DPA form): Omega 6 ratio is 10:1 , Check
    SFA,MUFA: good amounts, Check.

    Protein:
    Good amount, Check

    Minerals:
    Magnesium, Potassium, Iron, Selenium: Check

    Vitamins:
    B12, B3, B6, D: Check

    You can be sure that the uptake of those vitamins will be helped by its fat content, avoiding having to supplement with something containing fat, were it a veg… and, it fill you up very easily :)

      • Stephen says

        Admittedly, it can become very boring quickly :) I tend to dress it with lime/lemon and spices (turmeric in particular). Usually eat with spinach or beetroot or other steamed veg.

        • says

          I LOVE lime. I’d put the juice of 2 whole limes… I should try this. I mean, if I can enjoy mackeral, sardines, salmon with bones and skin, etc. then why the fuck not? Talk about getting LOADS of nutrition!

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