3

votes

Sweet Potato Vermicelli

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 27, 2011 at 5:41 PM

I'm having a very hard time with Paleo and living on an extremely tight student budget. I love sweet potato, and often use it as a post workout recovery or meal filler. I've stumbled upon Sweet Potato vermicelli (noodles), in which the only ingredient is sweet potato starch. Given my dire financial situation would this be acceptable to eat in avoidance of cheap grains?

Help, so hungry.

254ea62982c287995e11bc3cfd629407

(822)

on June 05, 2013
at 03:07 AM

Asian stores - Korean specifically, if you are in a large enough metro area to have one.

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on June 04, 2013
at 07:37 PM

Should not most things we put in our mouths as food be considered from both nutrient / calorie & nutrient / cost point of view.. especially when food budgets are tight? I would imagine that most processed foods exhibit poor ratios? Hence the reasonable suggestions to lean towards whole foods.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on December 28, 2011
at 07:19 PM

I can't find this stuff anywhere. Not a single asian store carries it.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on December 27, 2011
at 11:46 PM

Those vermicelli noodles are pretty darn cheap, especially when you buy them from Asian grocers.

6cca02352c216b4ca8325fda7d83832c

(1042)

on December 27, 2011
at 07:29 PM

I 2nd all of the above recommendations. However, in my opinion sweet potatoes are affordable enough to eat unprocessed and actually more affordable than processed forms like the noodles mentioned above if you factor in nutrient density per serving.

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on December 27, 2011
at 06:49 PM

Who eats sweet potatoes for the nutrients, really?

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7 Answers

8
6cca02352c216b4ca8325fda7d83832c

(1042)

on December 27, 2011
at 07:25 PM

As a fellow poor college student (literally, as I currently have about $150/month for food) attempting to eat in a Paleo way, my advice is eat as much "Paleo" food as you can afford, but don't worry if certain foods you eat are not Paleo. Sometimes with questions like this I get the impression that people relatively new to the Paleo movement believe that the Paleo gods will punish them if they eat any foods generally deemed to be not Paleo foods, even if they are doing so out of necessity like you and I are. Your body will let you know if and when you eat foods that are not healthy for it.

When it comes to shopping for and eating food I generally follow 4 guidelines - 1)is it affordable for me?; 2)is it nutrient dense, antinutrient sparse, and well tolerated by me (my personal definition of Paleo foods); 3)eat as many whole foods and as few processed foods as possible; and 4)the 80/20 rule as advocated by most Paleo experts like Sisson and Kresser: http://chriskresser.com/food-fascism-and-the-8020-rule

This is a very relevant and important question for me and anyone else who has a tight budget yet wants to eat healthy. Coincidentally, I also love sweet potatoes, but I recommend eating the real deal and not stripped down versions of it like the noodles you mentioned. Sweet potatoes are one of the few healthy foods that are affordable for me year round, and I have found significant savings buying the largest canned sweet potatoes at my local grocery store, although whole sweet potatoes are affordable also. If you buy processed forms of sweet potato and compare the nutrition facts to whole or even canned sweet potatoes, you will see there is very little nutrition left in the processed forms (230% RDA for beta carotene in whole, 50% in processed, as just one example).

In my experience learning how to live in poverty, when you have a very limited budget for food you become a predator like our ancient ancestors were, only with the prey being foods that are already killed (I know the analogy is limited - I guess skilled scavenger would be a more accurate description). As our hunter gatherer ancestors learned to distinguish between toxic and edible plants and fungi or the least energy intensive way to hunt game, so I have learned to find the healthiest foods for the cheapest possible price at my local grocery store, and I believe anyone with a limited budget who also wants to eat healthy as you do can develop this skill over time. In a way learning how to live with limited resources is in our genes as much as eating Paleo foods.

3
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 27, 2011
at 06:27 PM

Rhudi, overall do what's needed to protect and care for yourself. Sweet potatoes are considered a safe starch but you should approach the noodles with caution as they are also a processed food. They won't have the same nutrients you'd normally get from the whole food but they might make a dandy "cheap filler."

Do you have access to a slow-cooker? I'd scrounge the meat dept. for bones and extra-cheap packages of meat. My store frequently has packages under $2 but I have to search to find them.

A little white rice or a few of your noodles would help extend the dish. Look for sales in the freezer dept. if you have room for frozen vegetables and throw some of those in there too. Eggs can be cheap nutrition.

If you have them within convenient distance, walk the stores and find the best specials to lower your food costs. If you catch them on the day before they get a new shipment of meat, you can find deep mark-downs on meat that's near the expiration date.

6cca02352c216b4ca8325fda7d83832c

(1042)

on December 27, 2011
at 07:29 PM

I 2nd all of the above recommendations. However, in my opinion sweet potatoes are affordable enough to eat unprocessed and actually more affordable than processed forms like the noodles mentioned above if you factor in nutrient density per serving.

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on December 27, 2011
at 06:49 PM

Who eats sweet potatoes for the nutrients, really?

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on June 04, 2013
at 07:37 PM

Should not most things we put in our mouths as food be considered from both nutrient / calorie & nutrient / cost point of view.. especially when food budgets are tight? I would imagine that most processed foods exhibit poor ratios? Hence the reasonable suggestions to lean towards whole foods.

1
D8c04730b5d016a839b3c5b932bf59dd

on December 28, 2011
at 05:35 AM

Before I knew about paleo, I did the hgh diet. In which the food actually is basically paleo, there's just not nearly enough of it. On that diet, one talked about the noodles, as they actually are zero calories. They're supposed to be good fiber, but I found them very uncomfortably...binding. The hgh diet is very constipating (due to not enough fiber taken in, plus hormonal influence). That's all I got.

0
5898ced330f4849e0b8efa53b0b12b0c

on June 04, 2013
at 06:57 PM

where can i find these sweet potato noodles?

254ea62982c287995e11bc3cfd629407

(822)

on June 05, 2013
at 03:07 AM

Asian stores - Korean specifically, if you are in a large enough metro area to have one.

0
A77516b54ef586e5733265efbf8259fd

on May 15, 2013
at 04:07 PM

I love those noodles! We don't eat them often. We are eating paleo for medical reasons. But the noodles are cheap and you can add more nutrient rich toppings and sauces whatever is leftover tastes even better reheated the next day.

0
64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on December 28, 2011
at 04:01 AM

I know it's not a direct answer but in light of your financial situation do you eat sardines or mackerel? I think they're one of the best bang for your buck foods out there. $3 for 5g omega 3s, 28g protein, and 80% RDA for calcium!

0
7255a87872b75e6f691d84dca769b87e

on December 27, 2011
at 08:01 PM

Wouldn't a sweet potato be cheaper than a processed sweet potato product? Even a russet potato would be less expensive, and without the peel it's a safe source of filling starch with decent micronutrients. Sweet potato noodles are still a processed food with very few residual benefits left over from the whole food source....not really healthful or "paleo".

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on December 27, 2011
at 11:46 PM

Those vermicelli noodles are pretty darn cheap, especially when you buy them from Asian grocers.

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