Best and cheapest diet plans?

My diet is not reaching all the targets so i guess it is not healthy and maybe i do not eat enough. i do not have premium so dunno what foods to add to my diet or how much so i am lost here and i need help, guidance

so i wanna follow a diet that can reach all targets 100% to be considered 100% healthy in chronometer and the cheapest possible. i guess that wuld be the most healthy and most affordable diet in our world for humans so i guess it is logical

did sy from the community made at least 1? if the answer is yes then link/source pls

this is the diet i have been following but i guess it is not as good according to chronometer: https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/suggested-servings-from-each-food-group

i need a list too about the nutrition score of all or most foods if possible

i also wuld like a free trial or promo code before paying for premium gold service



  • Options

    Nufi, I've been interested in optimizing my diet as far as healthiness and budget are concerned. One basic aspect though is that cost of food is often a function of your location. That issue aside, some items are usually affordable and ready just about everywhere, like frozen spinach, whole milk, eggs cereals and so on. I'm going to try and design a simple, inexpensive and healthy vegetarian diet.

  • Options

    Of course, there are many solutions to your question, but the boundary conditions are not clear, for example, how many calories would you need?

  • Options

    i live in hungary currently

    i live a sedentary life sytle currently but in the future i wuld like to exercise/work out to put on muscle cos i alrdy lost fat and a lot of weight cos of my diet and by not eating enough

    dunno about my kalorie requirement. 2000 seems to be the standard according to the internet

    male, 28yo, 174 cm, 57 kg currently.

  • Options

    Nufi, I too checked, 2000 for a modest level of exercise in your case is **theoretically **all right. emphasis on Theoretically.
    You live in Hungary, so the example I quickly designed should be inexpensive out here. cronometer, even in its basic form is very flexible for these things, it just took me 5 minutes, although I've been experimenting on myself for years. I'm going to attach an image of a pesco-vegetarian diet, all items except maybe nutritional yeast are pretty inexpensive. Nutritional yeast has the great advantage to provide copious amounts of complex-B vitamins so that you don't need to worry about it. Olive oil may be more expensive but you just need 2 tablespoons and you can eventually substitute with some other vegetable oils. The diet is moderate carbs, fairly high protein, low in saturated fats, with enough fiber and all micronutrients and essential amino acids, with high DIAAS score. This is just an example, of course it can be optimized further. I'm going to attach an image in the following post

  • Options

    Again, this is
    just an example which may not suit your individual needs, but some changes may be made. According to cronometer, it contains all essential nutrients.
    I'm curious to see if this is an inexpensive daily regimen in Hungary.

  • Options

    @mccoy…brilliant; thank you. Although I would have to add some tweaks to accommodate my foodie tastes, you have proven what can be achieved in under 2000 kcal with relatively cheap foods, all of which I happen to have on hand most of the time.

    All in all, it’s a great framework, or benchmark, for trying many different variations. I expect it will be tough to beat, though.

  • Options

    i shuld have told u sooner before u made a plan for me. i am sorry

    my diet was:

    • protein: chicken as main daily protein source but replaced on 1 day by sea fish and 1 day on legumes to meet weekly dosage of those things cos of the website i linked in my post i followed it like a bible what i read there. dunno if the stuff is true or misinformation so i will stay open to suggestions and changes to my diet
    • grain carbs as main source of carbs: i tried oats, barley and bread but i read oats are healthier or better so later i just ate oats
    • veggies for rainbow color: red cabbage for red, carrot for orange/yellow, kohlrabi i think is white, green roman lettuce for green leafy stuff, citrus fruit --> lemon 1 piece for c vitamin daily serving; veggy daily serving 75g per color/veggi
    • diary: greek jogurt 250g daily serving

    i gave u more data

    can u make an updated plan for me pls?

    i am okay to replace stuff for healthier or cheaper alternatives but for me this was the cheapest or available in the local shop/supermarket called Spar but i guess per kg some stuff like legumes can be cheaper than chicken meat but i read it is easier to get the right stuff from meat than going full vegetenarian. i check or calculate prices per 1 kg to know which product/food is cheaper or more expensive in the long run

    i am frugal but for important stuff i am willing to pay a lot so i am willing to pay more for healthier alternatives and better foods and stuff to improve my health






    those 3 sites were the 3 main inspirations for me

    again, dunno if it is misinformation or not what i read on the website i linked. i just followed it like a bible and some stuff i read on the internet

    on the plan u made for me dunno what can i replace with sg else. i also have a hard time figuring out the right serving size by myself so i just rely on what i read or heard from others. so pls make an updated plan for me with the data i gave u

    i will rely on u

    about the foods u mentioned:

    • frozen spinach is bad in hungary cos it contains sugar last time i checked some years ago the product version of my local supermarket
    • i read that canned stuff is contimanated food cos of the canning process in factories so i avoid canned food and i also avoid plastic stuff
    • i never heard about yeast in hungary for human consumption but people use yeast to make bread and cook at home. dunno if i culd buy yeast in hungary to eat it alone.
    • does brand matter?
    • i guess i can replace canned things for not canned versions
    • i think in hungary milk is watered down and read online that plain jogurt and greek jogurt are the best, healthiest diary options cos according to scientists milk is for babies. dunno if it is true or just misinformation so i switchet to just yogurt to be on the safe side

    the problem with food industry is that 1 expert says this and 1 expert says the opposite and dunno who is telling the truth and who is paid off by capitalist companies so for the avrg civilian like it is hard to get the right knowledge

    u re an expert so i will trust u and rely on u

    thank for ur kindness and for u help in advance

  • Options

    shuld i be worried about the red 374% folate stat?

  • Options
    edited November 2022

    btw supermarkets kinda went more expensive in hungary so i stopped going to spar unless i need sg cos Spar has wide selection while others have limited selection of products

    in hungary there is supermarket tier list about quality and price wise so i prefer them in order and it is the general concesus among people who live in hungary:

    Lidl=Aldi=Penny >= Tesco=Auchan > Spar > hungarian supermarket/shop companies. multinational companies have better, cheaper prices so:
    1. Lidl, Aldi, Penny are the best
    2. Tesco, Auchan
    3. Spar
    4. hungarian supermarkets

    i asume u know what tier lists are about and what they mean. it is kinda gamerish.

    i will give u links so u can check their products. that way u will have a better idea what is available in the country and what are the prices. hungarian sites end with ".hu"

    in the past i went to Spar mainly but nowadays i prefer Liddl over Spar cos the same stuff is cheaper there.







    i put them in order from best to worst

  • Options

    Nufi, while I regret I cannot go thru all the links you provided, I can sure try and suggest another daily regimen more suited to the preferences and constraints you reported. It is fun to design food plans with cronometer.
    I'm going to change the amounts and something else though.
    That site does not provide bad dietary info but if you want to pursue health and longevity there are probably better models, and some exercise is necessary, proper sleep and stress management as well. To say nothing about avoiding injuries and accidents and carcinogenic chemicals.

  • Options

    The real challenge comes when specific constraints are required, like vegan, or lo-carb-keto, or very lowfat or caloric restriction or raw food or combinations of the above + reasonable prices. There are also hyperspecific requirements like vegan and intolerant to gluten and soy and similar. And in some plans like carnivore or fructarian it's impossible to satisfy all dietary requirements without supplementation.
    Of course, many of the above are the domain of professional dietitians and nutritionists, since a few things can go awry besides the mere calculation of nutrients.

  • Options

    @Nufi Should you worry about excess folate intake from food sources? Short answer is “no.”

    Long answer is that Europe and North America differ somewhat on recommendations—European RI is 300mcg while US RDI (adopted also in Canada) is 400 mcg. I could not find that Europe has an upper limit for folate at all. The US upper limit of 1000mcg/day applies only to folic acid from supplements, which can start to cause problems above that level over longer periods, including the masking of a VitaminB12 deficiency—which would not apply to this diet also having abundant B12.

    Basically it seems fair to say there is no such thing as folate toxicity from folates in food.

  • Options

    @mccoy Maybe not amongst Cronometer users, but for the wider public in many parts of the world, poverty is undoubtedly the most pressing challenge to good nutrition. I can see there is a real need to develop sample menus of more-or-less complete nutrition attainable from cheap locally-available ingredients. Cronometer offers an outstanding vehicle for doing this.

    To the same question posed on another thread, here is the answer i threw out for cheapest healthy foods. (I didn’t take the trouble you did to go the extra step and punch serving quantities into Cronometer, but now I’m thinking I will start punching in cost data as I shop to develop a cost database to pin down, say, cost per calorie or grams protein per $.)

    “I don’t have an answer, but especially in the current environment of food inflation, I think this is a very interesting quest…to identify the cheapest foods/meals which can fulfill dietary requirements.

    Just looking back at my own initial data, I would nominate beef liver, canned clams, cabbage, winter squash, carrots, beets, canned tomatoes, dry beans and lentils, oats and skim milk powder as foundational for the Cheap Nutritious Diet.

    Would be very interested in hearing from others with more experience and data.”

  • Options


    no need to limit serving size cos of my past eating habits or whatever i read online. i just followed the reccommended serving sizes blindly

    whatever is 100% healthy and meets all targets in chronometer is the goal for me even if it means the serving size is more or less compared to what i am used to

    to me it seems logical that serving size does not matter and just nutritional targets need to be met to get a 100% healthy diet according to cronometer which is the goal for me

    if i am not wrong then i guess we can trust cronometer's nutritonal data instead of relying serving size reccomendations

  • Options

    "That site does not provide bad dietary info but if you want to pursue health and longevity there are probably better models, and some exercise is necessary, proper sleep and stress management as well. To say nothing about avoiding injuries and accidents and carcinogenic chemicals."

    what are the better diet models? what is the best one or most healthy model? ye my goal is to be strong, healthy and to live long

    what is stress management? how to do it?

    what are carcinogenic chemicals and how to avoid them?

  • Options

    @nufi: There is a huge debate about the best diet for health and longevity. I have listened to all the different parties. Probably there is not a single best diet in general because of individual requirements and variability: genetics, epigenetics, age, activity and so on. Almost all parties (except the carnivorous) agree that vegetables are fundamental in a healthy diet though. All parties (except the gluttons) agree that junk food is detrimental barring the occasional exception.

    I can tell you what are the best models according to me, after considerate study and elaborations. Please note I'm not a dietitian nor a physician, but I like to elaborate the literature in an engineer-like fashion and applying common sense.

    You are 28 and, on the hypothesis that you are not diabetic or glucose-intolerant and have no other metabolic problems or intolerances, you have some freedom of choice, that is you can choose more than a valid model, according to what you like and how much you want to spend on food.

  • Options
    edited November 2022

    Sorry, I'm writing in successive posts because I may have to interrupt.

    So step 1. The advised model according to the most reliable literature and narrative would be a diet with lots of vegetables, choosing those which are in season (less expensive) and which provide more nourishment and beneficial phytochemicals.

    Green cabbage, red cabbage, all cauliflowers, broccoli, carrots, lettuce and all salads, spinach, peppers, tomatoes, onions, kale if you find it in Hungary, Swiss chards, and many others. You should ideally eat from 500 to 1000 grams of such vegetables, the rule is that you eat enough green leaves (including red cabbage, swiss chards, spinach, salads and so on). Peppers have huge amounts of vitamin C, even if they may be expensive.
    Portions are imprecise, it is much better to weigh everything on a kitchen scale.

  • Options

    2nd step: protein or better ammino acids. According to the official RDA, 60 grams of high DIAAS protein is more than enough for you (providing you don't start training hard); you are also pretty young, meaning that you don't need so many protein to maintain muscle mass. This is good news, less protein less expense.
    All fresh dairy products are good, preferably those which are not very fat and I prefer lowfat ones. Cheese is also good, although most types are fat.
    Eggs are very good, soymilk and tofu are great. Meat is good as protein quality but some sources advise to avoid it and my hunch is that it is best avoided except in modest amounts of chicken or turkey. Fish is good, although usually very expensive, except canned sardines. The above are all high DIAAS sources, that is there is not an essential amino acid which has limited digestibility. It means that the amounts indicated by cronometer are usually digested.

  • Options

    so how wuld an updated, better, 100% healthy diet plan with "all targets met" in cronometer wuld look like tailored for me?

    pls send me pics when u re rdy with it

    i will follow it like a bible for a long time, for years for sure

    btw what du u think about this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pok0Jg2JAkE&t=222s

    taking as much protein in gramm as my height sounds crazy to me. bodybuilders always confuse me.

  • Options
    edited November 2022

    @NUFI, since you are interested in health and longevity and have so many questions, I would suggest you post in the Caloric Restriction Society forum:


    It was born as a forum for practitioners of caloric restriction, a longevity strategy that I do not recommend, but many members, I included, follow a moderate-calorie diet with specific restrictions. Almost everyone there uses cronometer as a tracking tool.

    The protein issue is very debated, according to various schools of thought and there is not a single answer for everyone since the requirement is a random variable. 1 g high quality (high DIAAS) protein per kg lean body weight is enough for most people, 60 grams daily protein for you would probably be more than enough.

  • Options

    thx for everything so far

    "I can sure try and suggest another daily regimen more suited to the preferences and constraints you reported. It is fun to design food plans with cronometer.
    I'm going to change the amounts and something else though. "

    this is the last thing i am asking from u. what u promised me. i need to see it in chronometer. an updated, 100% healthy diet ,all targets met, more suited toward me after i gave u data about me and some useful links with knowledge.

    i will wait patiently. whenever u have the time to do it for me this last favour for my sake. i know people are busy

    i am counting on u

  • Options

    That's all right Nufi, just pls remember diet is not a religion and should not be followed like the bible, you have to experiment with what's best for you, obviously starting from a reference point. I'm going to provide an example of what according to my reasoned opinion is a healthy omnivorous, affordable diet, and I'm going to add some caveats.

  • Options

    Mccoy...you went way above and beyond. I agree food plans and lifestyles are an individual journey...so many facets. I am Vegan and go to lengths to meet protein requirements. I love my lifestyle and I am meeting my goals, but it has taken a lot of research and experimentation to find what is best for me. Wishing you much health and success on this adventure.

  • Options

    Thanks Phoenix, I too tried a WFPB (vegan) regimen for 1.5 years, I must say with success although as you say it requires study and time. Reason I returned lacto-ovo, is that I'm not a very hungry person so it was a struggle to eat enough to keep my ideal weight and muscle mass. A well designed vegan diet is excellent for many purposes, beyond its ethical meaning.

  • Options
    edited November 2022

    Nufi, the following is a very healthy, pro-longevity daily diet plan, mostly vegetarian, with a little fish and meat, and probably very affordable. I recommend you gain some weight since you are at a low 18.8 kg/m2 BMI, the optimum weight for you would probably be 61 to 63.5 kilograms (minimum BMI from 20 to 21). So calories are 2300 kcals/d to allow some growth, you may need more though. Protein is 117 g/d, but only 47 grams are high-DIAAS, that is, guaranteed digestibility of the whole suite of essential amino acids. The amounts are a daily average, so 0.5 cooked eggs means one egg every other day, or 3.5 eggs per week, or 2 eggs every 4 days and so on. Please write if you have any doubts or any foods hard to find in Hungary.

  • Options
    edited November 2022

    check the pic and prices, what i wrote on it pls

    about prices:

    i listed the cheapest i culd find online

    some stuff is cheaper or more expensive compared to the US and the income is much lower in hungary. meaning a lot of things are overpriced in hungary so dunno if they are worth to buy at all here. if they are not worth to buy for me then i wuld like to get cheaper alternatives pls. u can ask me what are the prices here if u name a food/product i will search for it online

    in the past the most expensive thing per kg was chicken fillet raw in my diet. compared to that a lot of stuff is very overpriced, very expensive in hungary cos they are imported products here i guess. only localy grown/provided food is cheap i guess here

    by red sweet pepers what du u mean? peppers have names. du u mean california/red bell pepers?

    spinach is only precooked and frozen here dunno if it changes anything in cronometer

    apple and onion depends on the type. there are lot of types. if it is not specified does it mean all is good?

    i guess portabella mushrooms and portobello mushrooms are the same? or not? it is an expensive gourmet food here

    there is no unsweetened cocoa powder here. only sugary ones to make drinks.

    no kidney beans here. only other types

    what is the point of having 2 types of dairy foods milk and yoghurt? are both needed? i read online greek yoghurt and plain yoghurt better healthier than milk. so what is the truth in dairy products?

    milk 1 1/2 % fat means milk 1,5% fat? does fat matter? milk 2,8% fat is cheaper. milk is much cheaper than yoghurt.

    yogurts:the cheaper ones seems to be watered down here and less hard, less thick compared to what a yoghurt shuld be. shuld i avoid those that seems to be watered down and less thick, less hard? even though they are not marketed as "drinkable yoghurts" but as plain yoghurt. spar brand of yoghurt is the cheapest. is activia plain yoghurt good? they put in some bacteria stuff for the gut and have non sugary, plain version if they are trustworthy

    what is steel cut oats? we have 2 version of oats: big and small pieces. both are flat. i bought big pieces version in the past

    there is no sardines with tomato sauce here. only canned version with vegetable oils. i read that canned food is toxic cos the canning procces is using chemicals that contaminates the food so i avoided canned foods in the past and always bought frozen sea fish meat fillets instead and they are cheaper anyway. so what shall i do here? vegetable oils in supermarket products are bad i read. what i read about vegetable oil and canned foods is it true or not?

    sea salt and sea salt iodized. does it matter or not?

    does the brand of the extra virgin olive oil matter or not? i can buy a different brand cheaper

    chicken fillet raw meat without skin is 1499 HUF = 3.90 USD per kg. compared to that a lot of stuff u recomended seems to be almost as expensive or much more expensive per kg. in the past chicken fillet was the most expensive food in my diet per kg

    i need cheaper alternatives pls. i will search the prices if u ask me to tell the price per kg of X product here

    imo what i experience in hungary price wise is not normal or maybe i am just suprised and was clueless before. dunno if i overreact it or not. first time i checked the prices this way.

  • Options

    Nufi, no problems, the above was just an example, now comes the excitement. You should now use the items which are domestically grown produced.
    Chicken: you can use other lean meat if it is cheaper, since it's only 350 grams a week. Other cuts of chicken, or turkey, or hamburger, which I used in the new example.
    Pppers: yes they are bell peppers and only 50 g per day, for vitamin C, any color is good.
    Vegetables in general: just use the cheapest, gree leaves, there are also list where to choose, I'll post one. I used mainly cabbage in the new example.
    Apples and onions: any type, the cheapest.
    Mushrooms: any type, those which you find i Hungary, the cheapest.
    Cocoa: eliminated
    Beans: any kind, choose the cheapest one with the darkest color.
    Milk: I like it warm in the winter and is the cheapest option in Hungary, so go for it, fresh milk is almost as healthy as yogurt.
    Yogurt: has some probiotics, more digestible, it's great in the summer cold, so I put some, you can choose but milk is inexpensive.
    Oats: just the large flakes.
    Fish: just choose the less expensive frozen fish, sardines or cod for example or others, it's only once a week, 350 grams (or 50 grams a day).
    Iodized salt is better
    Olive oil, any brand, it should red extra-virgin, but if too expensive you an choose any variety for dressing, or choose nothing.
    So, I'm going to post another example more suited to your requirements.

  • Options
    edited November 2022

    This is another template, you can check the cost and modify it with less expensive similar items, this is where cronometer's flexibility is invaluable.

  • Options
    edited November 2022

    is not red meat unhealthy?

    chicken is much cheaper than hamburger meat here so i prefer chicken over it

    are nuts important? are there cheaper alternatives? they are much more expensive than meat per kg

    did u include yoghurt cos of my past diet or u rly reccomend yoghurt + milk together? u can exclude yoghurt and reccomend more milk or vice ersa if u think that wuld be better and if u just wanted to give me yoghurt cos of my past diet. whatever u think is best i will follow it

    u said any shrums so the cheapest mushroom here is frozen 3.17 USD = 1220 HUF per kg

    for milk shuld i choose 1.5% or 2.8% fat version? does fat matter?

    cheapest 1.5% fat milk 0.99 USD = 379 HUF per liter, cheapest 2.8% fat milk 0.54 USD = 209 HUF per liter, 1 liter = 1 kg

    cheapest fish here is frozen and 7.21 USD = 2775 HUF per kg

    u said any beans so the cheapest here is frozen "refried beans" aka "fejtett bab" 2.60 USD = 999 HUF per kg

    cheapest extra virgin olive oil 10.13 USD = 3895 HUF per liter, 1 liter = 1 kg

    checking the prices online i realised that there a lot of types of legumes in shops. are lentils and beans the superior, best options? some legume types seem cheaper than lentils and beans a little bit. although i read it too that beans and lentils are best so i always chose them over other legumes

  • Options

    Red meat: yes, it is better avoided, although I wrongly understood that chicken is more expensive than other cuts of meat in your place. Chicken is usually the healthier inexpensive choice if we speak about meat. The main purpose of keeping meat and fish in your diet is mainly as a transition item. It is usually better not to change abruptly, the body may undergo some detrimental neurological signals.
    So, 50 grams meat per day means 350 g chicken once a week or 175 g twice a week. Please note: cronometer does not specify it but you have to weigh your chicken cooked, which has about 31% protein.

Sign In or Register to comment.