What is the best possible diet you can have? It depends.
There are many criteria that we can use to determine what “best” in “best diet” means. Each of them will give us an optimal diet. We can then try to see what happens when we try to optimise according to more than one.
The criteria I’ll consider are:
- Cooking time
One optimal diet for price is eating just rice, for a whole month, or something like that. Obviously, that is not sustainable. The diet with the lowest price is not eating at all, a price of zero. So we need to pair this criterion with another one.
The optimal diet for Nutritiousness would probably be a Mediterranean diet, or eating only Huel. Huel has by design 100% of everything you need, so you can’t get much better than that… assuming they got the “what we need” part right.
The optimal diet for Taste would be to order from restaurants all of your meals, and whatever you find most delicious at that given time.
The optimal diet for cooking time alone would be something that required cooking once a week, perhaps a big stew, that you then freeze, and then eat from there every day.
Next, we can try to come out with different diets depending on what we value. One can, for example, go vegan (and buy B12 supplements). That is quite cheap, and healthy, and it can take varying amounts of cooking time, in principle related to the deliciousness of what you are preparing.
Other option is eating only Huel. That costs around $150 a month, and meets many goals: it is easy to prepare, it is healthy, and it is cheap (but not the cheapest).
The Huel diet can be modified to be 2/3 Huel, and 1/3 to be completed with multivitamins, extra virgin olive oil (900 kcal per 100 ml), brown rice, sausages, spices, pasta, yoghurts, bananas, and things like that. That can bring your bill down to £100, and increase average tastiness, but also increases cooking times.
Another upgrade of the Huel diet is to have Huel most of the time, but order two takeaways/go to restaurants per week. At £10-15£ per time, that’s £80-120 extra, and we save £40 in Huel for those meals, so we would be paying £190-230 per month. A bit pricier, but meeting the targets of being nutritious, requiring essentially zero cooking or cleaning, and adding a substantial amount of tastiness. As a bonus, you gain “real” food, just in case eating just Huel turns out not to be good.
In the end, it comes down to how you weigh your interests, and if you are willing to try new ways to organise your eating.