Are Meal Delivery Services Healthy? How Meal Kits Can Help You Develop Healthy Eating Habits

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Starting a new diet is challenging, as it requires learning and implementing new habits, such as changing the foods you eat and the amount of movement you get daily. Many suggest using meal kits to help supplement healthy eating, which can lead many to wonder, “Is meal delivery healthy?”

Below, we look into whether a meal delivery service can be a beneficial tool for healthy eating habits while dieting.

What Do I Look For In Healthy Eating?

When considering meal plans/meal delivery service options, it’s best to look for nutritionally balanced meals. Meaning meals should not contain an excessive amount of carbs, especially starchy carbs. Additionally, lean protein, fiber-rich grains/produce, and vegetables that are lower in starch should be included in the meals.

When selecting meals online through a meal delivery service, healthy options typically include more greenery in the image. Try to avoid the primarily carb-focused options, such as meals that are heavy on potatoes.

What Are Healthy Eating Habits, And How Do Diet & Nutrition Impact Your Overall Health?

Healthy eating habits include eating balanced meals, avoiding too many sweets or processed foods, choosing water over sugary sodas/drinks, etc. These healthy eating habits ensure you reach your daily nutrition goals, from consuming the necessary vitamins and minerals to staying hydrated.

Diet and nutrition significantly impact your overall health, as a poor diet can contribute to diseases, obesity, and inflammation which can aggravate pre-existing diseases. Studies have shown that a nutritious diet can lead to a longer life and decrease the risk of certain conditions, like heart disease.

Healthy Eating Habits For Kids

Starting healthy eating habits young is a great way to ensure children maintain healthy eating habits as adults. One way to help establish these habits is by allowing your kids to help plan and create meals a few times weekly. You can let them select the components (veggie, protein, and carb). Additionally, sitting down for family meals daily helps them establish these habits, especially if you’re demonstrating healthy eating habits such as serving and enjoying more vegetables on your plate.

Healthy Eating Habits For Adults

Many healthy habits for kids also extend to adults. It’s best to aim for a variety of foods on your plate to ensure you get sufficient nutrients in your meals. Focusing on eating proteins such as fish and beans, fruits and veg, and grains is a great way to get balanced and nutritious meals. Additionally, getting enough (but not too many) healthy fats in your diet will help you stay full in combination with the lean proteins, produce, and grains on your plate.

Healthy Eating Habits To Lose Weight

There are many healthy eating habits you can implement to help you lose weight. For example, filling half your plate with veggies will help you stay full longer. Other healthy habits include staying hydrated during the day to help you perform optimally and ensure you aren’t mistaking your body’s signals for hydration and hunger.

Can Meal Kits Support Good Nutrition?

Certain meal kits can support good nutrition, specifically those with a dietician or nutritionist on staff helping curate healthy meals. For example, BistroMD offers nutritious meals designed by doctors for more well-rounded options. Services like BistroMD focus on lean proteins and fresh produce to ensure meals are satisfying and nutrient dense.

For those who are unsure of where to start when transitioning to a healthier diet, meal kits that are doctor or nutritionist led are an excellent option. They allow you to learn how to cook in the kitchen and make healthier meal decisions. Since the ingredients are provided and portioned out for meal kits, it can help you establish good habits, such as reaching for fresh foods during meal time.

Additionally, many meal kits allow you to select options that fit your dietary preferences and restrictions. For example, if you need to consume meals that are gluten-free or dairy-free, many meal kit services provide options that fit these needs. If you’ve only recently learned of the dietary restrictions you need to implement, using a meal kit can help you discover tasty recipes that fit these restrictions. These tasty options can make it much easier to follow a meal plan, as you won’t be bored eating the same dish every day.

Targeting Weight Loss Through Meal Kits

Losing weight can be challenging, especially for those with busy schedules, as planning, grocery shopping, and preparing your meals around this goal takes time. Because of these time requirements, many find losing weight challenging. With meal kits, much of this work is done for you, so you have more free time to focus on staying active through walking and workouts.

Meal kits will list the nutrition facts for each recipe you select, which can help you more easily reach your goals. These nutrition facts allow you to aim for specific calorie goals for weight loss. Additionally, as many meal kits are designed by doctors/nutritionists, you can expect protein-packed, fiber-rich, nutrient-dense meals that help you stay full during the day, which can help with overeating.

Using meal kits is also beneficial in helping with portion control, as the recipe cards note how many servings are in each dish. Because of this, you can become more accustomed to healthy portion sizes for each meal.

Before making any major changes, remember to discuss your weight loss goals with a doctor. They can help you determine the proper number of calories to consume daily.

Top 5 Healthy Meal Delivery Services

If you’re unsure which meal delivery services can help you with a healthy lifestyle, consider one of the following.

Green Chef – Best Organic Healthy Meal Delivery Service

This certified organic meal kit company offers healthy options that fit many diets, with meal plans such as keto, vegan, low calories, and Mediterranean.

On the menu, you’ll find seasonal recipes that use only fresh organic ingredients. The meals offered typically include large portions of vegetables, so they are balanced and healthy.

Click here to see our full Green Chef review

Some Green Chef Meal Choices

  • Monterey Jack Smothered Chicken with Creamy Mushroom Sauce & Roasted Summer Squash
  • Baja Shrimp Over Cauliflower Rice, Bell pepper & Cashews
  • Lemon-Maple Salmon with Parsley Couscous, Sautéed Cauliflower & Bell Pepper
  • Thai-Spiced Chicken Salad With Red Bell Pepper, Cilantro & Sriracha
Salmon by Green chef
Salmon by Green chef

Hello Fresh – Best Healthy Meal Delivery Kit For Common Eaters

HelloFresh is a great option for those new to home-cooked meals. This company creates beginner-friendly dishes that are reviewed by a dietician for easy homemade recipes.

The HelloFresh menu items feature low amounts of oil and sodium, ensuring you have healthy recipe options for each weekly delivery. Expect balanced and healthy meals when ordering from Hello Fresh.

HELLOFRESH VALENTINES

Some HelloFresh Meal Choices

  • Saucy Pork Burrito Bowls with Jasmine Rice & Charred Green Pepper
  • Parmesan Chive Chicken With Mixed Green Salad & Potatoes
  • One-Pot Vegan Cauliflower & Bean Soup
  • Honey Miso Broccoli Donburi with Sweet Potato, Scallion Rice & a Fried Egg
  • Turkey & Greek Salad Lettuce Wraps Topped With Feta

Martha & Marley Spoon – Best Healthy Recipes From Martha Stewart

Enjoy Martha Stewart’s recipes in the comfort of your home with Martha & Marley Spoon. This meal kit company has so many new dishes to choose from per week. These recipes take less than 30 minutes to create and are flavorful, creative, yet classic – and satisfying.

Multiple categories of meals are available, such as Health & Diet, Dairy-free, vegetarian and more. The Health & Diet dishes are promised to include under 600 calories per serving to help you stay on track with healthy eating.

Some Martha & Marley Spoon Meal Choices

  • Grilled Salmon & Orange-Herb Butter with Charred Corn Salad
  • Tarragon Chicken with Potatoes & Green Beans
  • Za’atar Tilapia & Olive Gremolata with Blistered Tomatoes & Greens
  • Fast Grilled Shrimp Caesar Salad with Homemade Garlicky Croutons

Factor – Best Healthy Prepared Meal Delivery To Just Heat And Eat

factor offers a quick, healthy, pre-portioned meal solution designed with healthy eating in mind. Factor (also known as Factor 75) is a prepared meal delivery service that has 35+ recipes available each week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

All the Factor recipes are dietician designed and never frozen for a fresher taste during the week, with options for low-carb, high-protein, dairy-free meals and more.

Some Factor Meal Choices

  • Shredded Chicken Taco Bowl with Roasted Corn Salsa & Cilantro Lime Cream
  • BBQ Pork Sloppy Joe with Chipotle Sweet Potato Mash & Roasted Green Beans
  • Shredded Chicken Taco Bowl with Roasted Corn Salsa & Cilantro Lime Sour Cream
  • Apple Kale Wheatgrass Cold Press Juice

Dinnerly – Best Cheapest Healthy Meal Kits

Healthy meal delivery services don’t have to be out of your budget. Dinnerly is a great option for budget-conscious individuals, as it’s one of the most affordable services available.

When selecting meals, you can pick low-calorie, low-carb, and nutritious balanced dishes. Each recipe clearly notes the calorie count and nutrition facts for easier accountability. Many recipes are customizable, so you can swap out ingredients to make recipes fit your needs more easily.

Dinnerly review

Some Dinnerly Meal Choices

  • Balanced Tofu Power Bowl with Black Rice and Chilli Sauce
  • Coconut Curry Barramundi Soup with Nourishing Sweet Potato and Spinach
  • Low-Cal Mexi-Beef Rice Bowl with Tomato Salsa
  • Reduced-Carb French Onion Chicken with Broccoli and Parmesan

How Is A Meal Delivery Service Better Than Eating Out?

Usually, using a meal delivery service is more beneficial than eating out. Often, restaurants serve dishes and meals at least 2x the recommended serving size, making it challenging to determine how much to eat. Also, restaurants often use more salt and oil than you normally use at home, making the meal heavier and greasier than most home-cooked meals.

The meals are already portioned with meal delivery services, making it easy to know how much to eat during mealtime. If you’re using a meal delivery service that provides single-portion frozen meals, you can simply eat one prepared as a serving without worry of overeating. With meal kits, you can adjust the salt and oil levels used during prep to help keep the meals healthier.

How To Choose The Healthiest Meal Delivery Services?

Consider the following factors when determining which meal delivery service meets your needs for a healthy lifestyle.

Variety of Meals

Ensuring a meal kit or meal delivery company has sufficient variety is key to a healthy lifestyle. If you enjoy only a few meals on the menu, it will be more challenging to stick to healthy eating.

Price

Selecting a meal kit company that falls within your budget is another key factor in selecting the best service for your needs. If a meal delivery service is too expensive, it is more likely that you’ll cancel it since it’s not feasible with your other bills.

Quality of Ingredients

When a meal delivery service uses high-quality ingredients, you’ll find your nutrition goals are more easily met during the day. Picking a service that uses fresh produce, high-quality protein sources, and satiating grains/carbs means you’ll be more likely to stick to a meal plan as you will feel more satisfied during mealtime.

Flexibility

Many meal delivery services are flexible in their deliveries, which is especially beneficial for those with busy or constantly changing schedules. Choosing a service that fits your schedule is necessary, as it will make it easier to consistently eat healthy and delicious meals.

A flexible meal service means you can order as many (or as few) meals per week as needed. Additionally, it allows you to skip deliveries if you’re out of town, so no food goes to waste.

Final Notes

While utilizing meal kit services for weight loss is not necessary, they can certainly be an excellent tool for a healthy lifestyle. With the time saved and the convenience of pre-portioned ingredients delivered to your door each week, it’s much easier to maintain a nutritionally balanced diet. Whether you follow a vegetarian diet or need gluten-free options, you’ll find a meal delivery service that meets your needs.

Consider HelloFresh if you want easy-to-cook meals during the week. If organic meals and high-quality ingredients are a priority, consider ordering from Green Chef

All the abovementioned meal delivery service options are excellent choices for helping you stay on track with your goals.

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