5 Best Low Carb Meal Delivery Services 2022: Top Brand Reviews 2023
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- No cooking required
- Large meal selection
- Free consult with a registered dietitian
- Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are available
- Uses organic when possible
- Paleo low-carb and keto options are available
Balance by BistroMD
- Founded by a bariatric physician
- Over 100 meal options
- No subscription required
Whether your doctor has instructed you to follow a low carbohydrate diet for health-related reasons or you are simply trying to eat more whole foods and limit refined carbohydrates, staying on track can be difficult.
Low-carb meal delivery services can help keep you on track and take the guesswork out of the otherwise challenging task of following a carb-conscious diet.
This article explores the health benefits of a low-carb diet and reviews five of the best low-carb meal delivery options currently available.
Best Low-Carb Meal Delivery Services Of (November. 2023)
- Factor – Best Keto-Friendly
- Trifecta – Best Paleo
- Balance by BistroMD – Best For Weight Loss
- Home Chef – Best Meal Kit
- Fresh N’ Lean – Best Budget-Pick
What Is A Low-Carb Diet?
While there is no consensus on what defines a low-carb diet, a very low-carb diet typically involves eating between 20 to 50 grams of carbs daily, while a low-carb diet involves eating fewer than 130 grams daily. A keto diet includes up to 50 g of carbs per day.
A low-carb diet generally focuses on eating more non-starchy veggies, low-carb fruits, proteins, full-fat dairy, healthy fats, and oils. It limits high-carbohydrate foods, including sugary foods and beverages, white bread, rice, and pasta.
5 Best Low-Carb Meal Delivery Services In 2023
Factor offers a variety of delicious, low-carb meals that are designed for optimal nutrition and are ready to eat in under a few minutes.
- Free 20-minute nutrition consultation with a registered dietitian
- Large meal selection
- Meals are free of antibiotics, hormones, refined sugars, and GMOs
- Offers ketogenic only, but not other low-carb options
Factor, previously known as Factor 75, aims to reduce the stress of healthy living by offering fresh, ready-prepared meals delivered straight to your door. Most meals take less than three minutes to heat.
The company offers several meal plans, including a low-carb ketogenic plan. All meals on the ketogenic plan contain at least 60% of calories from fat, around 20% of calories from protein, and 10% or fewer calories from carbs.
All meals are free of antibiotics, hormones, refined sugars, and genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.
Examples of meals offered on the ketogenic meal plan include:
- Creamy Parmesan Chicken with Broccoli & Tomatoes
- Artichoke & Spinach Chicken with Roasted Zucchini & Tomato Butter
- Black Pepper & Sage Pork Chop with Smoked Cheddar Brussels Sprouts & Creamy Broccoli
Factor offers five different plan sizes. Prices are as follows:
- Four meals = $15 per meal
- Six meals = $12.83 per meal
- Eight meals = $12.38 per meal
- Twelve meals = $11.50 per meal
- Eighteen meals = $11.00 per meal
Add-ons, including keto-friendly breakfast options, are also available. Standard shopping is $9.99.
If you have any nutrition-related questions or want to discuss which meal plan best fits your lifestyle, you can schedule a free 20-minute nutrition consultation with one of Factor’s registered dietitians.
Whether you’re looking to follow an ultra-low-carb, keto diet or simply trying to eat more whole foods, Trifecta Nutrition has a meal plan to fit your macronutrient needs.
- Breakfast, lunch, and dinner options are available
- Uses organic when possible
- Paleo and keto low-carb options are available
- Cannot select your meals
- Keto plan may include GMOs
Trifecta Nutrition delivers fresh, ready-prepared meals directly to your door. They offer several meal plans, including an ultra-low-carb ketogenic meal plan and a low-carb paleo meal plan.
You can also build your own low-carb meal preparation by choosing the meal prep ingredients you want each week, including various vegetables, proteins, carbs, and snacks.
The company’s keto meal delivery plan cuts out high-carb foods, including added sugar and grains, and replaces them with lean proteins, healthy fats, and high-fiber, non-starchy veggies. Keto meals contain nine grams of net carbs, on average.
While Trifecta’s high-protein paleo meal plan uses grass-fed proteins and is non-GMO and antibiotic-free, the keto meal plan may include GMOs. All meals feature local and organic ingredients whenever possible, as well as sustainably sourced seafood and meat.
Meals offered on the keto plan include:
- Turkey Bacon Cheddar Frittata
- Grilled Salmon with Pesto
Meals offered on the paleo plan include:
- Sausage and Egg Scramble with Sweet Potatoes
- Roasted Chicken Breast with Asparagus
Receive up to four meals daily, five or seven days a week. Keto and paleo meal plans start at $110.99 weekly for seven meals, which is about $15.85 per meal. There is a flat rate shipping fee of $9.99 for most states.
Meals stay fresh for six to ten days in the refrigerator and three months in the freezer.
Balance by BistroMD
Balance by BistroMD delivers affordable, frozen meals with fewer than 25 net carbohydrates directly to your door, making following a low-carb diet easy and convenient.
- Does not require a weekly subscription
- Choose from over 100 meals, desserts, and snacks
- May aid in weight loss
- Delivered frozen, not fresh
- Limited sourcing information
Founded by a physician who is board-certified in bariatric medicine, Balance by BistroMD offers a large selection of meals for specialized diets, including a low carbohydrate option that contains 25 or fewer net carbohydrates per meal.
BistroMD’s low-carb meal plan boasts an extensive meal selection, with over 100 breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, and dessert options. Meals can be heated in less than six minutes.
Examples of meals offered by BistroMD include:
- Chicken Meatballs with Lentils and Spiced Tomato Sauce
- English Muffin Sandwich with Egg Ham and Swiss
Though meals are not certified organic, all entrees are created with fresh, natural ingredients and are free of chemicals or additives. They’re also reasonably low in sodium compared to many store-bought frozen dinners.
BistroMD is one of the only meal delivery services that does not require a minimum purchase or weekly subscription. This allows you to purchase meals conveniently without committing to weekly deliveries.
All meals sold by BistroMD contain between 240 and 400 calories each. While this can benefit weight loss, it may be too low for many individuals, especially those trying to maintain or gain weight.
Breakfast meals start at $6.49, while lunch and dinner options start at $8.99, with weekly specials also available. Orders over $99 ship free.
Whether you want to channel your inner chef or prefer the convenience of oven-ready low-carb meals, Home Chef is a tasty option.
- Offers meal kits and oven-ready meals
- Good customer satisfaction
- Easy low-carb recipes
- Limited selection
- Many meals are high in sodium
- No breakfast option
Home Chef is a popular meal delivery service that allows you to pick from various meals each week and receive fresh, pre-portioned ingredients with easy-to-follow recipe cards delivered to your door.
The company offers several meal kits, including carb-conscious meals, in which carbohydrates are swapped for additional protein and veggies. At least three carb-conscious meals containing less than 30 g of carbohydrates are offered weekly.
Examples of low-carb meal kits offered on the carb-conscious meal plan include:
- Buttermilk Chicken Schnitzel with Cucumber-Dill Sauce and Zucchini
- Sherry Cream Peppercorn Pork Chop with Green Beans and Tomatoes
Most meals can be prepared in about 30 minutes. If you’re looking for a more convenient option, Home Chef also offers carb-conscious oven-ready meals.
Though some meals feature organic ingredients, they cannot be guaranteed for every meal. However, you can customize some meals to include organic chicken breast.
Many meals are very high in sodium, though. The Sherry Cream Peppercorn Pork Chop meal kit contains 1,390 g of sodium per serving, which is more than half the recommended daily sodium intake of 2,300 milligrams for healthy Americans.
Choose two to six weekly recipes with two, four, or six servings each. Prices start at $7.99 per meal.
Fresh N’ Lean
Fresh N’ Lean offers a large variety of nutritionally dense, ready-to-eat low-carb meals prepared and delivered fresh to your door.
- Low-carb vegan and keto options are available
- Dietitian-approved meals
- Uses grass-fed meat, free-range poultry, and sustainable fish
- Can’t choose your meals
Fresh N’ Lean offers seven meal plans, including keto and low-carb vegan. The keto meal plan averages 10 g of net carbs per meal, while the vegan, low-carb meal plan averages 33 g of carbohydrates per meal.
The carbs in the meals come from beans, legumes, whole grains, pseudo-grains, and fresh vegetables. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are available. Eating three meals per day will provide less than 2,300 mg of sodium.
The company strives to use locally-grown, whole-food, nutrient-dense, organic ingredients when possible. Every meal the company sells is also free of GMOs and gluten-free. Most meals are also soy and dairy-free.
Meals that contain animal products include free-range poultry, grass-fed meat, and sustainable fish – all of which are hormone-free and antibiotic-free.
Examples of meals on the keto meal plan include:
- Roasted Shrimp and Jalapeno Cheddar Hemp Grits Bowl
- Beef Sloppy Joes
Examples of meals on the vegan low-carb include:
- Quinoa and Veggie Bowl with Plant-Based Chicken
- Beyond Italian Stuffed Bell Peppers
Choose from one to three meals per day for five or seven days. The keto plan starts at around $10.78 per meal, and the vegan, low-carb meal plan starts at about $8.40 per meal. Shipping is free.
Health Benefits Of A Low-Carb Diet
Low-carb diets generally focus on healthy fats and protein, which is the most satiating macronutrient. As such, many people naturally eat fewer calories on a low-carb diet and may experience weight loss.
Many studies also show that individuals with diabetes and obesity who follow a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet lasting several weeks to two years may experience improved blood sugar levels, insulin sensitivity, and weight loss.
However, low-carb or keto diets tend to come with less desirable effects, including higher levels of low-density lipoprotein, or LDL cholesterol, also known as the “bad” cholesterol. High LDL cholesterol levels may increase your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Ultimately, we need additional studies to determine the possible long-term health benefits and risks a low-carb diet may pose.
Additionally, compliance with a very low carbohydrate, high fat diet, such as the keto diet, is typically very poor because it is restrictive and difficult to follow.
Ketogenic and very low-carb diets should be avoided by pregnant or breastfeeding people, children, and those with certain health conditions unless recommended by a healthcare provider.
It’s important to note that people respond uniquely to different dietary approaches. While one person may feel and look better when following a low-carb diet, another may feel deprived and feel their best with a higher intake of complex carbohydrates.
Choosing The Best Low-Carb Meal Delivery Services
When choosing a low-carb meal delivery service, consider keeping the following in mind.
If your health is your primary concern, it’s important to look at the ingredients used to prepare the meals and how they were sourced. Avoid companies that sell ultra-processed meals and meals that are high in additives, preservatives, and artificial ingredients.
Opt for nutritionally dense meals with a variety of low-carb fruits and non-starchy vegetables, which are naturally low in calories, and the fiber in them helps you feel full.
If you have any additional dietary restrictions or prefer organic meal delivery services, you’ll also want to keep that in mind.
Lastly, if you plan to stick with a low-carb or ketogenic diet, you’ll want to look closely at the number of carbs in each meal. Many companies highlight the number of net carbs in each meal, which is believed to be the carbohydrates that your body actually digests.
Net carbs are calculated by subtracting the total amount of fiber and half the amount of sugar alcohols from the number of total carbs on a product’s nutrition label.
However, it’s worth noting that this term does not have a legal definition. The term is also not used by the Food and Drug Administration or recognized by the American Diabetes Association. The Food and Drug Administration and many health professionals recommend using total carbohydrates on the nutrition facts label.
While most of the meal delivery services we’ve discussed offer low-carb prepared meals that can be ready to eat in a matter of minutes, others — such as Home Chef — offer meal kits that require preparation and cooking. Consider how much time you have to cook before making a decision.
While quality and staying in line with your dietary preferences are important, so is price. The cost of meal delivery services varies greatly. Additionally, many companies offer substantial discounts, especially for first-time customers. Always check for deals and consider shipping costs to determine if a meal delivery service fits your budget.
Most meal delivery services have rotating menus to offer variety. Because low-carbohydrate meals are restrictive, many prefer a company offering an extensive meal selection. For example, Balance by BistroMD offers over 100 options, whereas Home Chef offers fewer than five options weekly.
Since your situation may change at any given moment, check to see the company’s cancellation policy and if they charge you to cancel or skip weeks. All companies covered today do not charge to cancel or skip a week.
Low-carb diets can be challenging to follow. Opting for a low-carb meal delivery service can help take the guesswork out of planning, preparing, and cooking nutrient-dense, low-carbohydrate meals.
Because low-carb diets are restrictive, it is vital to purchase your meals from a reputable company that offers generous portions of low-carb fruit and non-starchy vegetables in their dishes to help you meet your daily nutrient needs.
Before starting a very low carbohydrate diet, such as the keto diet, it’s important to consult your healthcare provider and closely work with a registered dietitian to ensure your micronutrient needs are met.
Frequently Asked Questions
If your healthcare provider has suggested that you follow a low-carb diet, using a low-carb meal delivery service that provides detailed nutrition information can make it easier to stay on track. It can also save you a substantial amount of time in the kitchen.
Among the best low-carb meal delivery services are Factor, Trifecta Nutrition, Balance by BistroMD, Home Chef, and Fresh N’ Lean.s.
The cheapest meal delivery service is Home Chef, with low-carb meals starting at $7.99 per meal.
Founded by a board-certified bariatric medicine physician, Balance by BistroMD is the best home meal delivery for weight loss. However, most of the reviewed services have meal plans that can lead to weight loss if paired with a healthy lifestyle, and a calorie deficit is maintained through diet and exercise.
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