Discover the best keto meal delivery services to support your health and ketogenic lifestyle.
This article is based on reporting that features expert sources.
U.S. News takes an unbiased approach to our recommendations. When you use our links to buy products, we may earn a commission but that in no way affects our editorial independence.
Keto Meal Delivery Services:
We’re bombarded with messages all the time to eat healthy in order to control our weight and avoid disease. There are a variety of ways one can “eat healthy,” and one that’s gained followers in recent years is the ketogenic diet.
“The classic keto diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet designed to produce ketosis through mimicking the metabolic changes of starvation,” says Cathy Leman, a registered dietitian nutritionist and founder of Dam. Mad. About Breast Cancer, a nutritional consulting firm aimed at helping breast cancer patients and survivors. “Keto diets force the body to use fat as its primary source of energy.”
The diet was originally developed in the 1920s as a therapy for epilepsy.
What Is Keto?
The keto diet can be restrictive and requires that you carefully measure out the various macronutrients – fat, protein and carbohydrates – to keep your body in ketosis and gain the benefits of the diet.
“This original classic keto diet is 90% fat, 6% protein and 4% carbohydrate,” Leman says, adding that it is still used to treat epileptics who haven’t found relief from other treatments.
“Since the 1960s, different variations of ketogenic diets have also become widely known as weight-loss methods,” she says.
For some Americans, it’s become their go-to way to control their weight. This might be a good option for some people, Leman says, because “the emphasis on ‘whole foods’ – such as fish and seafood, low-carb vegetables, nuts, seeds and berries – as the foundation of a keto diet is certainly healthier than the calorie-dense, nutrient-poor, refined, processed foods that form the foundation of the standard American diet.”
In fact, Daryl Gioffre, celebrity nutritionist and author of “Get Off Your Acid,” says that “anything is a good alternative to the standard American diet. The SAD … is an extremely acidic diet that’s pumped up with inflammatory foods, fats and sugars. It’s literally wreaking havoc on peoples’ health.”
The ketogenic diet – when done correctly – can be a great alternative, he says.
When advising clients on the ketogenic diet, Gioffre recommends seeking a ratio of 50% to 70% healthy fats.
“This is where people make the biggest mistake,” he says.
Healthy fats come from things like avocados, raw nuts, seeds and extra virgin olive oil. Instead, some people see that fat is considered a good thing on the keto diet and select dairy products, eggs, cheese, butter and bacon.
In addition to a substantial proportion of calories from fat, a keto diet should incorporate about 20% whole, organic vegetables, Gioffre says. The diet should include 10% to 15% of calories from protein and just 5% of calories from fruit and starches.
Gioffre recommends opting for plant-based proteins when possible and, if you’re choosing animal proteins, select fatty fish like salmon. But be sure it’s wild-caught.
“Wild-caught seafood is better because farmed seafood is fed a corn and soy diet, and that creates inflammatory fats,” Gioffre explains.
Wild seafood has eaten a more varied diet and is, thus, higher in good omega-3 fatty acids.
Similarly, if you’re eating land-based animal proteins, Gioffre recommends selecting grass-fed, organic and pastured meat products. He steers people away from chicken because it is “the most inflammatory of all meats,” he says.
Getting the Right Balance Is Tricky
Maintaining the right ratio of macronutrients (fat, carbohydrates and protein) is an important part of the ketogenic diet, and Gioffre says you should shoot for a maximum of 50 grams of net carbohydrates per day. To calculate the net carbs, simply subtract the grams of dietary fiber from the total carbs.
Getting enough fiber is important, and it’s something that the keto diet doesn’t provide enough of, Gioffre says. You need fiber to help move waste through the digestive system. If you don’t get enough, it can cause digestive problems and elevate the risk for several types of cancer. Fiber also confers heart-health benefits.
Gioffre also notes that research has shown that people who vary their diet are healthier. That means not sticking to the keto diet 24/7.
“The body loves variety and dietary variation,” he notes. “If you have less than 50 grams of net carbs for four or five days, increase it to 150 grams, that will prevent your body from going into a starvation mode where it stores fat.”
Giving your body a rest a couple days a week can actually make the ketogenic diet much more effective as a means of weight loss.
However, despite its upsides, the diet has some drawbacks.
“The exclusion of whole grains, beans, legumes and a broader variety of vegetables and fruits eliminates a wide variety of beneficial nutrients, all of which are included in other healthy eating plans like Mediterranean and vegan/vegetarian diets,” Leman says.
Many dietitians will tell you any diet that excludes whole groups of foods isn’t the healthiest long-term solution.
“Research on long-term effects of the keto diet is underway, but as of now, data is lacking,” Leman adds.
Compare the Most Popular Keto Meal Delivery Services:
|MEAL PLAN OPTIONS||AVERAGE COST PER MEAL||SHIPPING COSTS||AVERAGE PREP TIME|
|Green Chef||Weekly subscription, with two-, four-, or six-person plans available||$12.99||$9.99 per box||30 minutes|
|Sunbasket||Weekly subscription, with two- or four-person plans available||$9.99 to $11.49||$9.99 per order||30-35 minutes|
|Factor||Weekly subscription||$11.00 to $15.00||$9.99 per order||Ready-made meals, just heat and eat|
Companies That Deliver Keto Meals
In the meantime, if you’re interested in trying the keto diet, you might consider looking into a meal delivery service to help you keep up with the strict nutrient ratios.
“Keto meal delivery services are growing in popularity,” Leman says. “For people who don’t cook or don’t have the time or patience to plan and prepare keto meals, a meal delivery service is certainly worth considering. Although cost is also a factor, the value of having a keto-approved, prepared meal home-delivered could outweigh the monetary concerns.”