Meal kits have become increasingly popular with those seeking to reduce grocery costs and food waste. But are they healthy options?
Meal delivery services provide easy, nutritious, delicious and convenient meals with simple recipes. MNT showcases companies that are mindful of calorie, sodium, sugar, saturated fat and carb counts while offering options suitable to any diet or taste – you’re sure to find something suitable!
Meal kits provide an efficient alternative to grocery shopping that saves both time and money. Most meal kit services provide a range of vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan dishes as well as those suitable for Low Carb Dieting Plans such as Whole30 or Keto Diets – making finding meals that suit you easier than ever! Most also allow customers to select individual meals according to personal taste preferences making sure every member can find something appropriate.
Meal kits first made their debut in Sweden back in 2007 and since have quickly gained worldwide acclaim. Meal kits have quickly become a favorite among millennial urbanites who prioritize convenience while being willing to pay extra for healthier food options. Meal kits feature fresh organic ingredients you cook yourself so you can control how much salt or fat goes into each bite of food you eat.
Meal kit delivery services also help maintain a balanced diet because they offer meals that contain the right combination of calories, fats, and carbs to promote overall wellbeing. While certain services don’t offer plant-based or calorie-conscious options that cater specifically to weight loss goals or restrictive diets, others such as Blue Apron and Plated offer recipes tailored specifically for weight loss goals or restrictive dieting plans.
As soon as meal kit services made their debut online five years ago, they were heralded as revolutionary innovations within food retailing. By providing pre-portioned ingredients for specific recipes right to your door step, these services promised to make home cooking more efficient while simultaneously saving both time and food waste.
Since 2007 when Sweden introduced their inaugural meal delivery service, its market has ballooned into over $2.2 billion dollars. Since then, these services have gained tremendously in popularity and today over 150 companies offer meal kits across America.
Meal kits appeal to several distinct groups of consumers. Convenience lovers appreciate being able to skip out on grocery shopping trips and spend more time doing activities they enjoy, while they’re great for anyone wanting to try different cuisines or dishes they wouldn’t usually prepare themselves at home.
Meal kits can also help those interested in eating healthily find them useful. Many meal kit services provide a selection of vegetarian or vegan-friendly dishes; Hungryroot even offers meat alternatives like Hodo tofu, plant-based chicken tenders, and chorizo!
If you’re considering signing up for a meal kit subscription service, take into account these key considerations in order to make an informed decision. Start by checking how extensive its menu selection is; also consider its quality ingredients (are they packaged properly and supplied from reliable vendors?)
Whole grains are energy sources packed with essential vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin and niacin), iron and magnesium. Whole grain foods also provide protein essential for muscle repair as well as being high in soluble fiber which may reduce cholesterol and risk factors of heart disease.
As the meal kit industry expands, it’s important to remember that not all grains are equal and that some meals may contain ingredients which aren’t healthy at all.
To make sure that you’re getting optimal nutrition, look for food products labeled with “whole grain.” However, be wary as labels do not require that their contents adhere strictly to this definition; Ms. Pomeranz notes that even products labeled with this term still may contain small amounts of wheat in them.
On the ingredient list, look out for products marked “enriched”, which means nutrients such as folic acid, thiamin and iron have been restored back into their diets. Focus instead on products with the highest amount of dietary fiber such as quinoa, teff or amaranth which contain calcium, folic acid and lysine for instance; this may help facilitate weight loss while curbing overeating. The Blue Zones — regions around the world where people live to 100 or beyond — are known for consuming whole grain intake through whole grain diets.
Meal kit services often offer delectable recipes featuring fruit-forward dishes that make an excellent vegetarian-friendly option. One study published in December 2021 Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis indicated that Western diets that focus heavily on meat could increase risk for ulcerative colitis flare-ups among those diagnosed with the digestive condition.
Meal kits can also be an ideal choice for fitness-minded individuals looking to monitor their calories and ensure they’re getting enough protein, which plays an integral role in providing satiety, while limiting added sugars – an often-overlooked factor when trying to lose weight. Some companies, like Sun Basket, even provide customized plans specifically tailored for Keto or other weight-loss diets.
Meal kit companies continue to expand, with spending on these boxes rising three times faster than overall grocery spending, according to purchase intelligence firm Cardlytics. But some analysts have expressed concerns that this market may simply be too small for all the meal kit businesses that wish to play it.
Kennedy advises those interested in trying a meal kit to opt for one with options to suit everyone in their family and healthy ingredients that they feel confident using. HelloFresh provides meals suitable for meat eaters (such as spiced chicken), vegetarians and pescatarians and uses whole food ingredients in every dish – plus offers quick 30 minute recipes which makes this service suitable for busy families.
No matter if you’re lactose intolerant, allergic to dairy or simply looking to cut back on dairy intake in your diet, finding a meal kit service with recipes tailored specifically to meet your needs can be invaluable. Some major providers even provide selections of dairy-free recipes!
Green Chef, Martha & Marley Spoon and HelloFresh all provide dairy-free meals through their menu options and can also offer gluten-free and Paleo dishes.
Hungryroot offers another great option for dairy-free meals: both grocery delivery and meal delivery services that specialize in vegetarian and dairy-free options. In addition, their website makes it simple to search their selection with filters tailored specifically to dietary restrictions – making finding what you’re looking for much simpler than before!
If you’re in search of more convenient meals, why not consider meal prep services offering pre-made, ready to eat meals. While these may cost slightly more than purchasing individual ingredients for each dish from a meal kit service, they make enjoying delectable home-cooked dishes easy without all the effort of shopping and cooking at home!
Meal kits offer health-conscious eaters many benefits. They’re ideal for sharpening cooking skills, teaching kids to cook and helping busy adults find healthier alternatives to takeout or frozen grocery store food. Some meal kit services even offer recipes that only require microwave heating – perfect for when a hearty but light meal is desired after an exhausting day or if limited kitchen space exists in their homes.
Many meal kits are tailored to support healthy lifestyles by offering high-protein, low-sugar and gluten-free options that fit within this framework. Others have been created specifically by dieticians for those trying to lose weight. Furthermore, some delivery companies practice sustainable farming techniques, eliminating artificial sweeteners, food dyes and preservatives in their ingredients list.
Meal kits contribute to making our planet better by helping reduce food waste, with most services only sending ingredients you need for each recipe. According to a recent study in Resources, Conservation, and Recycling, meal kits have a lower carbon footprint than equivalent grocery store foods due to streamlined supply chains and direct shipping of only what’s being cooked from them directly to you. Look for companies who minimize packaging shipments; some even source ingredients locally from co-ops, CSAs or restaurants, thus shortening food’s journey!