Food-Stamps.org Presents Diets That You Can Maintain While Receiving SNAP Benefits

Healthy meal planning is a great way to stick to a budget and lose weight. While on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), eating healthy may seem challenging. Healthy food always seems to cost more than junk food, but with a little effort and planning, anyone can maintain a healthy diet. By planning meals, SNAP recipients can also help decrease stress by saving time and money. Before purchasing foods for any diet meal plan, it's important to sit down and write a list of all the ingredients needed to create the recipes you want to cook. By going to the market with a list already written, dieters can avoid foods that may be tempting. Having a list also allows dieters to search for food items with purpose and to abstain from spending money on ingredients that aren't part of the designated meal prep recipes for the week. For SNAP recipients looking to eat healthier and lose weight, read a few of the most popular, low-cost diets that the team at Food-Stamps.org has organized below.

Ketogenic Diet

A ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate meal plan. Ketogenic comes from 'ketosis,' which is the stage in which a person's body can break down fat in order to provide energy. Essentially, fat molecules become fuel, which is different, because most people experience 'glycoses,' which is when carbohydrates are burned for energy. A low-carb diet offers nourishment through more whole foods and lowers insulin resistance. A ketogenic diet ensures that dieters get three balanced meals that are full of fiber and protein. One of the reasons the ketogenic diet has become so popular is because while dieters lose weight, they don't lose muscle mass. Often, dieters lose muscle mass when on a carb-based diet.

Foods recommended on a ketogenic diet:

  • Lean meats
  • Fish
  • Fruit
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Healthy oils

Foods to avoid on a ketogenic diet:

  • Grains
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Processed foods
Paleo Diet

A paleo diet adheres to the following: 'If a caveman didn't eat it, neither should you.' Basically, those on a paleo diet only eat what they could hunt or gather like meats, fish, nuts, vegetables and seeds. A paleo diet focuses more on what is being consumed rather than portion control. The paleo diet can help dieters lose weight and build muscle. A paleo diet can be costly, but it doesn't have to be. The fastest way to shop for groceries on a paleo diet is to start with the vegetables you want, then the meat section, then head to the dairy section, and that's it. A paleo meal doesn't need to always contain meat. Meats are usually the most expensive food item of a meal. The team at Food-Stamps.org urges dieters to consider swapping out meat for more vegetables, so paleo dieters can save a lot of money and lose more weight. Most people are under the false notion that in order for vegetables and fruit to be nutritious, they need to be purchased in the fresh produce section. Frozen and canned vegetables and fruit are packaged as soon as they are freshly picked. Frozen and canned vegetables have the same nutritious value, are cheaper and have a longer shelf life. However, be sure to check ingredients for additives and sugar content. Instead of a steak, sub in a hamburger patty or a canned salmon patty. Pork and chicken are great substitutes for steak as well. Berries can get expensive, so choose frozen, mixed berry packets and defrost them when ready to eat. In addition, apples are great snacks for paleo dieters, and they tend to be budget-friendly.

Foods recommended on a paleo diet:

  • Grass-fed meats
  • Fish and seafood
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Healthy oils

Foods to avoid on a paleo diet:

  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Dairy
  • Processed foods
  • Overly salty foods
  • Refined vegetable oils
  • Junk food
  • Refined sugar
  • Potatoes

If the rules of a ketogenic or a paleo diet seem too drastic to follow, consider simply selecting healthier food options when meal prepping and grocery shopping. The Food-Stamps.org team found that people who meal prep are likelier to eat healthier foods and spend less money. Here are some suggestions the team at Food-Stamps.org recommends for those dieting while on SNAP.

Purchasing Long-Lasting Foods with High Nutritional Value

Choosing food items with longer shelf lives will ensure less waste. Some ingredients that are budget-friendly, long-lasting and have high nutritional value are eggs, lentils, beans, squash, brown rice, mushrooms and tofu. Dieters should keep in mind that it's important to not be picky with meals, because many of the ingredients purchased will be incorporated in several recipes to keep meal plans budget-friendly.

Stop Skipping Breakfast

Everyone knows that breakfast is deemed the 'most important meal of the day,' but unfortunately many people skip it. When meal planning for breakfast, create one or two options, and just repeat the breakfasts for the week. By creating breakfast in bulk and making it ready-to-go, dieters have a greater chance of not skipping breakfast.

Choose Recipes With Similar Ingredient Lists

When buying ingredients for meal preparation, it's essential to select recipes that use the same foods, just maybe in different ways. If you are making a recipe that calls for squash, it's smart to plan for the next recipe to also incorporate squash in some way.

Plan Your Meals

The Food-Stamps.org team highly urges dieters to select a day or two to cook all meals for the week. It will save time and energy and allow you to plan healthier options for meals. By having meals planned, dieters know that no matter where they are, what they eat will be healthy and nutritious.

Here is an example of an affordable and easy-to-cook meal plan below:

Breakfast

1 cup of non-fat yogurt with defrosted berries or ¼ cup of steel cut oats with a sliced banana

Glass of cold water Glass of cold water

Snack

23 almonds

Glass of cold water

Lunch

Brown rice bowl with lentils. Mix cooked brown rice and lentils together, add cooked onions and a fried egg on top.

Glass of cold water

Snack

Apple

Glass of cold water

Dinner

Canned salmon burger patty, add desired spices. Cook salmon patty on low heat on stovetop to avoid over cooking. Instead of buns made of bread, serve patty over couscous salad (cooked couscous mixed with chopped tomato, onion and cucumber.)

Green tea


What Are Food Stamps?

Food Stamps, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is a federal- and state-funded program that provides low-income Americans with food assistance benefits. Eligible individuals and families can use their state-issued electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards, which are regularly replenished with a set amount of benefits, to purchase approved food items. Learn more about the SNAP program and how you can start receiving benefits here.


Who Is Eligible to Receive Food Stamp Benefits?

Before you can begin obtaining food items with state SNAP benefits, you must apply to the program and prove that you are eligible. All applicants are subject to various requirements established by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. These involve household income limits, resource limits, work requirements and more. To find out if you qualify for SNAP benefits, download our guide today.