Going keto in Malaysia and worried about the costs? Don’t worry, going keto in Malaysia is not as expensive as you think. You can follow a keto diet without breaking your bank. Here are my top tips for saving money while enjoying your keto journey:
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1. Buy Fresh, Local Produce
Being an agricultural nation, there are actually a lot of produce that are produced locally here in Malaysia. For example, we have fresh vegetables and tomatoes from Genting, strawberries from Cameron highlands and seafood from Pontian.
Choosing local produce not only ensures freshness but also reduces costs associated with transportation and storage. Moreover, it promotes sustainability by reducing your carbon footprint.
2. Buy Whole, Unprocessed Foods
Whole foods are not only healthier, but they’re often cheaper than their processed counterparts. In the world of keto diets, it’s easy to get drawn into buying pricey keto bars or other packaged keto foods. Yes, they offer convenience, but they often come with a hefty price tag that can strain your budget over time.
Alternatively, a quick snack can be a handful of blueberries or a few macadamia nuts. These are healthier, simpler, and cheaper options. They are whole foods, meaning they’re packed with nutrients without added sugars or harmful preservatives. Buying these whole foods in bulk can lead to substantial savings in the long run.
3. Stock up on Good Quality Oils
When I first started on my keto diet, I thought I’ll be eating a lot of animal fats and cheeses. In reality, most of the fats you’ll be eating will come mainly from oils. While it is perfectly fine to go keto with cheap oils like Canola oil, remember that going keto is not just about eating more fats, but eating healthier in general.
A bottle of good quality extra virgin olive oil can seem pricey at first, but it is not actually that expensive if you consider the amount of fat and calories you get per 100g — they are 100% pure fat after all. Olive oil is very versatile. Not only can you use it for cooking, it can go well with a lot of salads, which you’ll be eating a lot of. Salads and generous amouts of olive oil is a good way to ensure that you are consuming enough fat for keto!
4. Eggs are Your Best Friends
Did you know that eggs are a good source of fats? Me neither. With 11g of fat per 100g, eggs are a budget-friendly, nutrient-dense food that should be a mainstay of your keto diet.
They’re cheap, filled with nutrients, and super versatile. Fry them, boil them, scramble them – you’ve got a different dish each time. Plus, they’ll keep you full for a long time, so you’ll end up saving on snacks.
5. Bulk up with Veggies
Don’t forget about your veggies when on the keto diet!
Vegetables are essential in any balanced diet, and the keto diet is no exception. Despite being low in calories, vegetables are high in many nutrients, including fiber, which can help keep you feeling full.
Salads are also a great way to consume olive oil, which can be difficult to eat on its own with it’s spicy taste that many of us are not used to.
6. Cook Your Own Meals
If you want to save money on keto in Malaysia, it’s best to cook your own meals. Eating out is pretty much impossible anyway, given the carb-heavy choices we have in our Malaysian hawker stores.
By planning out your meals for the week, you can buy ingredients in bulk, which often results in cost savings. Plus, you’ll know exactly what goes into your meals. You can control portions, make sure the ingredients are clean, and the food is nutritious.
Prep your meals for the week, experiment with different keto recipes, and have fun while you’re at it!
7. Cut Down on Fruits
Most fruits have a lot of sugar, which is a big no-no for a keto diet. Plus, many fruits in Malaysia are imported and can be expensive. Therefore, skipping fruits not only aligns with your keto diet but also reduces your grocery bill.
Instead, focus on increasing your vegetable intake. Vegetables offer many of the same nutritional benefits as fruits – such as vitamins and fiber – but usually with fewer sugars. Remember, the goal is to eat a variety of foods to get a wide range of nutrients.
8. Shop Online and Buy in Bulk
Online platforms like Shopee are fantastic places to find deals on keto-friendly foods like almonds and macademia nuts.
For instance, buying a kilogram of almonds from Shopee costs just RM44.00 compared to RM17.00 for a mere 150g at a local supermarket. By shopping online for ingredients in bulk, you can save a significant amount of money.
9. Choose Cheaper Proteins
When following a keto diet, you might be tempted to buy expensive cuts of meat. But cheaper cuts can be just as nutritious and often have a higher fat content, aligning perfectly with a keto diet. Chicken thighs, for example, are cheaper than chicken breasts and provide the higher fat content that you need.
In addition, consider alternative sources of protein like eggs and fish, which are also cheaper. Here in Malaysia, we have plenty of local seafood that is both affordable and high in quality. You can enjoy the nutritional benefits of these protein sources while keeping your budget in check.
3 Budget-friendly Keto Recipes under RM5
To illustrate how a keto diet can be budget-friendly, here are three simple, low-cost keto recipes that you can make for under RM5:
Buttery Scrambled Eggs
- 4 large eggs (RM3.20)
- 2 tbsp butter (RM1.50)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Bacon and Eggs (Approximately 400 Calories)
- 3 strips of bacon (RM3.00)
- 2 eggs (RM1.60)
Bulletproof Coffee (32g fat, 287 calories)
- 1 cup brewed coffee (RM0.50)
- 2 tbsp butter (RM1.50)
- 1 tsp MCT Oil (RM0.76)
Wrapping it Up
See? Keto doesn’t have to mean costly. With these tips in your pocket, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a keto lifestyle without hurting your wallet. And let’s not forget the bonus savings from ditching those high-sugar snacks, fancy drinks, and frequent dining outs. You’ll soon realize that being on a keto diet might just be more economical than you thought!
The keto life in Malaysia isn’t just about finding the right food; it’s about making the right choices for your body and your budget. So take these tips and start your exciting and affordable journey to health and well-being. Happy keto-ing, my friend!