What's the best way to make sure you stick to a healthy diet? Avoid any and all junk food. But in today's hectic world, avoiding junk food can be easier said than done.
It's so much easier to get a pizza or a few tacos from your local take-out place after work than it is to plan out and prep meals at home. It's easier to grab a few pastries off of the tray in the office than it is to make and bring a salad for lunch during the day.
Meal Kits Offer More Than Just Convenience
At first, it might seem natural to assume that meal kits are going to be as unhealthy for you as the options at your favorite take-out place. After all, they are super convenient, and you've come to associate convenience with poor nutrition.
But many of the meal kits available put health and nutrition front and center. Unlike that local burrito and taco place, they aren't going to serve you a meal that's laden with fat, calories and salt. Many meal kits feature recipes that are full of vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
The meals you prepare from a meal kit are often flavorful, but not because they are doused with sodium. Instead, the kits typically get a lot of their flavor from spices and herbs.
Ingredients and Nutrition You Might Find in a Meal Kit
What might you find in a typical meal from a meal kit? We took a look at the ingredients and the nutritional information provided for some of the meals offered by Blue Apron.
Blue Apron's recipe for Seared Chicken, served with roasted vegetables and miso kale, has 770 calories per serving. It's also chock-full of protein (45 grams per serving), vitamin A, and vitamin C. The meal gives you a fair amount of iron and calcium, too. Plus, it's a good source of vegetables and has nutritionally-dense sweet potatoes, kale, and turnip.
Orange and Soy-Glazed Salmon
Blue Apron's Orange and Soy-Glazed Salmon gives you a healthier take on a popular take-out dish. It has 620 calories per serving, 24 grams of protein, and 4 grams of dietary fiber. Since the dish contains salmon, it's also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Roasted Squash Curry
Blue Apron also offers vegetarian meals, which are perfect for those who follow a veggie diet or for people who want to add a few meatless meals to their week. The Roasted Squash Curry features spaghetti squash and broccoli, both known to be nutritional powerhouses. It contains 640 calories per serving.
Meal Kits Offer Portion Control
Another benefit of meal kits when it comes to health and nutrition is that they come with built-in portion control. Whether you buy a kit designed for two people or one designed for a family of four, each meal in that kit will serve that amount of people and will contain the calories and other nutrition it claims on the included nutritional label.
It's not like when you buy a candy bar that claims to have 150 calories, only to realize that the one half of the candy bar has 150 calories, not the entire bar.
If you've had trouble regulating how much you eat in the past, making dinner from a meal kit a few times a week can help you eat less. Plus, the meals you prepare will still feel satisfying, so you won't want to have a snack or second dinner afterward.
You don't have to trade nutrition for convenience. With meal kits, you can get the best of both worlds.