Can Meal Delivery Plans Make Eating Healthy Easier?
We live in a time where convenience is king.
And when it comes to eating, our food is no different.
Fast food joints and restaurants are everywhere and have become a normal part of society for decades. In fact, statistics show that 80 million Americans eat out several times per week (1).
The problem with this is that most of the food offered needs to be made quickly and for the most profit. This often translates to unhealthy fats, high amounts of carbohydrates, and low in protein, vitamins, and minerals.
But times are changing, and consumers are changing their eating habits. Recently, a survey showed that nearly 82% of Americans choose to make meals at home, a number that has increased over the years (2).
This might sound like a good thing, right? Well, if you’re like many you’re likely very busy and don’t have time to prepare fresh, wholesome meals.
So what are your options?
You could just carve out the time to shop at the farmers market or grocery store, meal plan, and write out your ingredients list. But this can be tedious and exhausting, especially when you have a big family!
What about meal delivery plans?
These simple subscription services could be the answer you’ve been looking for, but do meal plans really make eating healthily easier? We’re going to explore how meal delivery works, the different types, the pros and cons, and whether it’s right for you.
What are Meal Delivery Plans?
Also known as meal kits, meal delivery plans began in 2007 when a Swedish company created a subscription service that delivered fresh, whole ingredients to people’s doors. The idea quickly took off, and soon companies like Hello Fresh and Blue Apron were born. Within a few years, the market launched in the US, and now there are over 150 meal delivery companies nationwide (2).
These kits typically come with fresh ingredients, sauces or condiments, and recipe cards to help the recipients But why would someone go this route?
Aside from modern convenience, people are finding fun ways to experiment with different flavors, textures, and techniques that they wouldn’t otherwise have (3).
They can also be tailored to individuals or families, offering perfect portions that eliminate waste and minimize leftovers.
What are the best meal delivery plans? That depends on what your health goals are. Because companies understand certain people need certain things, there are a variety of different meal delivery plans, including:
- Gluten-free: If you’re avoiding gluten due to sensitivities or conditions like Celiac Disease, certain meal plans companies like Green Chef, Trifecta Nutrition, Sunbasket, and The Good Kitchen offer scrumptious meals that aren’t likely to trigger any irritation (4).
- Weight-loss: If losing those stubborn pounds have you frustrated, these meal plans can help. Designed by professional dieticians, companies like Nutrisystem, Gobble, Veestro, and Purple Carrot offer kits that are low in calories but high in results (5).
- Keto: In addition to its weight loss benefits, the keto diet has been shown to improve conditions related to epilepsy, heart conditions, diabetes, and more (6). Companies like Fresh’N’Lean, Factor, Green Chef, and Snap Kitchen offer low-carb, high-fat meals that balance our ratios well and keep you on track (7).
- Dairy-free: Digestive issues and skin concerns lead many to stay away from dairy products, and if that’s you then you’re in luck. Meal delivery companies like Paleo on the Go, Modify Health, and Pete’s Real Food bring you a well-rounded variety of meals without the uncomfortable aftereffects of dairy (8).
- Heart health: Keeping your sodium levels low can help prevent high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart-related diseases. Meal delivery kits like Hungryroot, Spendid Spoon, and bistroMD combine science and taste to bring you meals that protect your heart while making your tastebuds sing (9).
- Related article: Gluten-Free & Vegetarian Breakfast Casserole (12)
Many of us are starved for time, which is why we opt for quick, easy options. With meal delivery plans, you not only get foods that are specific to your health needs, but you also save time while simplifying your decision-making.
You’re also more likely to get a higher nutrition yield. More of what you do want, and less of what you don’t.
While meal delivery plans have some serious perks, there are some drawbacks.
Many of the subscription-based meal kit companies noticed a high customer turnover rate. This means some customers cancel their subscriptions to try a different meal kit company after only a few months.
This happens for a few reasons. Some people don’t like the idea of being tied to a subscription, while others aren’t happy about how packaging contributes to environmental waste. While there is valid concern behind this, research has found the negative impact to be minimal (10).
How Do You Choose the Best Delivery Plan?
Once you determine which kind of meal kit might be best, how do you choose the best plan for you?
Some helpful clues are to check the following:
- Ratings: Third-party organizations will rate meal plan companies based on quality, service, and customer satisfaction. Diving into these ratings can help guide your decisions before you sign up for a subscription.
- Reviews: See what customers are saying about the company. Are they being nitpicky, or are there several concerns that seem to have a common thread?
- Referrals: Word-of-mouth continues to be the best way to try new things, as they often hold a level of trust. Ask your friends, family, and social circle if they’ve tried meal delivery plans, and which they like best.
The quest for healthy eating is one that has many twists and turns. From shopping locally to prioritizing organic selections, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
Meal delivery plans are gaining popularity as a convenient way to eat better faster and more conveniently. And with several types of meal plans, it seems there’s something for everyone.
If you’re considering signing up for a meal delivery plan, make sure to do your research. Check company websites, trusted ratings, and customer reviews.
Are meal delivery plans worth it? That depends on your goals, lifestyle, budget, and willingness to try new things. You may try a few and realize they’re more trouble than they’re worth. Or, you may discover it makes life so much easier.
Remember, whether you get your ingredients from the farmer’s market, grocery store, or a subscription meal service, a healthy diet often includes food and supplements.
Looking for something to add a nutritional boost to your diet? Check out our bestselling superfood supplement here (11)!
✝✝This noted statement is based on independent research and is not necessarily the opinion of the author