Courtesy of Freshly
If you’re new to the ketogenic diet, getting started on restricting carbohydrates and sugar for the first time can feel extremely overwhelming — especially if you’re working to manage other nutritional goals or restrictions besides a keto approach, like a dairy or gluten aversion. Whether you’ve turned to keto due to holistic health requirements or a diet goal, you’ll learn fast that the key to maintaining ketosis (a state in which your metabolism burns fat primarily for energy) requires you to follow quite strict dietary rules while cooking and eating out.
Turning to a keto-friendly meal kit, including ready-to-eat options, can certainly save you time and stress around carb-counting to avoid wrecking a keto diet approach. But keto meal delivery subscriptions can also be a fantastic way to inherently teach yourself what kind of ingredients you’ll be relying on, and which ones you’ll need to skip in order to maintain strict ketosis, a goal you may tweak down the line if you’re more into a “lazy” keto approach. You’ll be able to move into your own fully custom keto meal plan once you master these basics — or, you may decide a more holistic low-carb meal kit is better suited for you.
Finding the best keto meal delivery service can be tricky, especially if you’re unsure of which kinds of keto-friendly meals you’ll enjoy. Food and nutrition experts in the Good Housekeeping Institute conducted a sweeping survey with over 150 different testers over three months to garner real-world feedback for leading recipe-kit and meal delivery services across the industry. With the help of Stefani Sassos, MS, RD, CDN, deputy director of the GH Institute’s Nutrition Lab, editors have filtered results to pinpoint the best meal kits and ready-to-eat meal delivery services for keto dieters interested in making this complicated program much easier. Below, we’re exploring true standouts in tests for keto dieters, as well as a few runner-ups for those on the hunt for specific dietary options.
Our top picks
- Best Overall: Green Chef
- Best Value: FreshlyFit
- Best Organic: Fresh N Lean
- Best Ready-to-Eat: Factor
- Best for Weight Loss: Performance Kitchen
- Best Gluten-Free: Territory
Editor’s note: Weight loss, health and body image are complex subjects — before deciding to go on a diet, we invite you to gain a broader perspective by reading our exploration into the hazards of diet culture.
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How we chose the best keto meal delivery services:
Food and nutrition experts within the Good Housekeeping Institute tested each of the meal delivery services featured on this guide and used a tester panel for real-world feedback on ease and taste. GH Institute pros conducted a survey of more than 800 home cooks to determine which meal kit delivery services and offerings are leading in the market, before coordinating home testing on 40 different services and brands through over 150 testers who gathered detailed feedback in their kitchens.
Our evaluations are based on each meal kit’s ease of direction for recipes, meal quality, overall taste and other feedback based on shipping processes and packaging. Whether you’re a longtime meal-kit subscriber or have yet to try ready-to-eat products or recipe meal kits at home just yet, these meal kit delivery services will make following a traditional keto diet program much easier due to pre-portioned servings and strict carbohydrate tracking.
What is the keto diet?
If you’re wondering why keto meal kits are drastically different from other health-focused meal kits, you may not understand the concept of ketosis fully. Sassos explains that the keto diet was first invented to help individuals holistically manage epilepsy, but that its primary objective revolves around optimizing one’s metabolism to use fat as a source of daily energy in place of carbohydrates. Meal kits like the ones featured on this list will ensure that foods containing sugar, carbs or otherwise, won’t prevent your metabolism from using fat as a main energy source. In most traditional keto diets, only 10% of daily calories — just about 20g in total — can come from carbohydrate sources, whereas 70% of calories come from fat-saturated sources.
Keto has long been considered one of the harshest, strictest diets currently popularized by the diet and wellness industry. You’ll work to fully restrict major food groups, including grocery staples like starchy vegetables that are otherwise considered part of a healthy, balanced diet. There are other diet plans — and delivery meal kit services — that can help you work towards weight management goals without requiring you to sacrifice entire food groups.
How much does keto meal delivery cost?
Most keto meal delivery services have a per-portion price model that escalates based on how many people you are cooking for; if the meals are pre-prepped, they’re priced per single-serving, which is easier for single home cooks. Our budget pick starts at just $8.99 per ready-to-eat meal, a better deal for single cooks. Most kits designed for keto-friendly recipes range between $12 and $15 per serving, with some instituting a two-serving minimum per meal, and price models range lower for larger parties.
Keep in mind that all of the keto meal delivery services on this list don’t require you to commit to a long-term subscription — you can cancel (or in some cases, pause) your subscription at any time. Some allow you to do one-time orders, though pricing may be higher in this instance. You can find trial discounts and new customer offers for most of these brands; our top pick, Green Chef, currently offers 50% off the first meal box for new subscribers while maintaining a long-term discount program for military members. Be sure to inquire about new subscription discounts prior to signing up if cost is a concern for you.
Why trust Good Housekeeping?
The Good Housekeeping Institute provides expert reviews and test kitchen advice around meal delivery services, and extensively reviews products designed for keto dieters. Testing for this guide was partially overseen by Stefani Sassos, MS, RD, CDN, deputy director of the nutrition lab in the GH Institute. Stefani has an extensive knowledge of food labeling and nutrition requirements on food products, rigorously evaluating hundreds of claims for products that apply for the Good Housekeeping Seal. Growing up with a family in the restaurant business, Stefani was able to combine her nutrition expertise with culinary skills taught to her by her mother and grandmother. She is an avid home cook and a meal prep expert, and she is passionate about incorporating unique flavors from different cuisines into her dishes.
As Health Editor, Zee Krstic works hand in hand with nutrition authorities in the Good Housekeeping Institute to evaluate consumer products in the diet and nutrition industry and marketing claims in the same space. He fostered a strong background in holistic nutrition early in his career by previously working with a team of registered dietitians at Cooking Light.
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