Honest Review: Which Diabetic-Friendly Meal Kits Are Worth It?

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Having lived with type 1 diabetes since I was 12 years old, I realized the healthier I eat, the better I feel. Autoimmune disease or not, eating plenty of green vegetables, lean meats, and herbs can help keep inflammation at bay long term, reducing the likelihood of developing other illnesses or complications down the road. I’ve rounded up the best meal kit delivery boxes for diabetics. I’ve tried several of these meal kits out for myself, but others I’ve researched and included based on ingredients, reviews, and expert recommendations.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where your immune system destroys the insulin-making cells in the body. Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic syndrome that typically consists of resistance to the insulin your body makes. Type 2 diabetes happens for a variety of reasons, but specifically due to metabolic circumstances. The body cannot use the insulin it makes properly, and/or the pancreas cannot produce sufficient insulin. It’s a difficult cycle, that can sometimes be improved with anti-inflammatory and nutrition-infused diets, along with other healthy habits.

Remember: Always consult your physician before beginning a new diet plan. This is not medical advice. The writer, a diabetic, conducted research, analyzed reviews and determined these are the best meal delivery services for diabetics in the form of meal kits and subscription boxes.

Best Meal Kit Deliveries for Type 1 Diabetes:

Best Meal Kits for Type 2 Diabetes:

Best Meal Kits for Type 1 Diabetes

Freshly

Freshly offers excellent gluten-free dishes that are actually comfort foods! What personally caught my eye was how easy it is to click on each meal, before any commitment, to see what it consists of. For example Freshly’s Homestyle Chicken is coated with almond flour, oven baked, then served over top brown rice macaroni and cheese, with garlic green beans on the side. Typically “unhealthy” foods are given a glycemic-index-friendly twist. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease, and 6% of people with autoimmune type 1 diabetes have celiac as well. To put this in perspective, only 1% of the population is documented to have celiac disease.

  • Pros: Offers 100% certified gluten-free meals

  • Cons: Lack of organic options

  • Best for: Those who prefer gluten-free meals or are also living with Celiac disease in addition to diabetes

Trifecta Nutrition

Trifecta Nutrition’s Paleo meal plan is also dairy free, not just grain free. I enjoyed diving deeper into their menu offerings, which also clearly display the macro nutrients. Those with type 1 diabetes know that carbs, proteins, fat, and how much we eat of each, can impact our blood sugar. Protein can actually spike blood sugar, since the liver can use it to create a form of glucose—this process is known as glucogenesis. I try to eat organic, since things with artificial ingredients had unpredictable effects on me growing up, and Trifecta uses organic produce and humanely raised meats.

  • Pros: Humanely-raised meats, money back guarantee, a la carte available

  • Cons: No more than two preferences offered on a meal plan

  • Best for: Those who avoid artificial ingredients carefully

Modify Health

IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and type 1 diabetes have been shown to have some type of connection, one of the reasons being that diabetes may affect the nerves in the gut, causing symptoms. A low FODMAP diet may reduce symptoms of IBS. High FODMAP foods contain certain sugars that may cause intestinal distress. Both of Modify’s meal plans are gluten-free, and I also love that they are more geared toward the Mediterranean diet. I’m always singing the praises of the Mediterranean diet, because it’s all about the stuff I feel like I should be eating, like lean protein, veggies, olives, avocados, and a little bit of fruit.

  • Pros: FODMAP Certified

  • Cons: Natural, but not always organic

  • Best for: Fans of the Mediterranean diet

Hungry Root

Hungry Root has been one of my favorite meal services, because it focuses on creating delivery kits for specific diet types. Gluten free is my go-to, but if you are vegan, egg free, or pescatarian, they have quick assemble meals for you too. Ingredients in the box are wholesome, and even the packaging is more sustainable with biodegradable ice packs and recyclable boxes. Hungry Root offers a wide variety of snacks as well, from fresh fruit, to my favorite, the black bean brownie batter, which doesn’t cause harsh spikes in my blood sugar.

  • Pros: Quiz to suggest recipes, offers top healthy grocery brands along with Hungry Root exclusives, recyclable boxes, snacks offered

  • Cons: More of a grocery delivery than meal plan

  • Best for: Someone who likes to cook for themselves

Daily Harvest

Daily Harvest is one of the ultimate options for convenience, as their smoothies, and veggie overflowing harvest bowls can be placed in the freezer, and pulled out to enjoy basically whenever. No dairy or gluten is used with any of their products, which is a major bonus, as those can be inflammatory, which may make it harder for insulin to work. I can’t vouch much for the taste of Daily Harvest, because although I committed to inputting my email address and ZIP Code to get to the next step, the price was always higher than I was comfortable spending. But with all of the packed in nutrition, and super easy prep, I will likely order at some point.

  • Pros: Convenient, healthy

  • Cons: Lack of price transparency, pricier of the options available

  • Best for: Someone looking for the most low-effort, high nutritional value option

Hello Fresh

Being short on time sometimes means that I have to skip making dinner all together, and Hello Fresh makes it easy to skip a week of delivery when needed. While you can pick a more veggie-based plan, and other specifications like family friendly and fit and wholesome, I found it hard to navigate, having a food allergy myself. It’s fair to note that a nutrition card does come with the recipes. If you don’t have a food allergy, Hello Fresh sounds convenient and delicious.

  • Pros: Skip deliveries easily

  • Cons: Gourmet, Gourmet Plus, Surf & Turf, Taste Tours and Craft Burger meals will be an additional charge if selected

  • Best for: Someone who enjoys cooking at home but wants a simpler, always-delicious option

Home Chef

Home Chef meals can take as little as five minutes to make. I’d probably go with the meals under the carb conscious tab, which would reduce how much insulin I’d have to calculate at meal time. When I am short on time, I find eating carbohydrates, or at least a lot of them, to be more complicated than it’s worth. Home Chef‘s pork cheeseburger lettuce wraps look both indulgent and easy on the blood sugar, while only taking about 10 to 15 minutes to make. Just to note, type 1 diabetics should closely monitor ketones and blood sugar when on a low carb diet.

  • Pros: Indulgent choices, carb or calorie conscious options, customizable

  • Cons: Delivery day options depend on proximity to production facilities

CookUnity

CookUnity is all about getting chef created meals to customers’ refrigerators. Sustainably sourced meals are created with some serious skill, and you’ll be able to enjoy things like bulgogi ramen, seared steak and brussels, or Beyond Meat tacos. From a personal perspective, I like that you can select the specific meals you want, based on that week’s menu. Ultimately, we know what works best with our body. Recyclable and reusable packaging is used in each shipment.

  • Pros: Simple heat and eat instructions

  • Cons: Not available everywhere

  • Best for: Someone committed to sustainability

Purple Carrot

Meals from Purple Carrot use significantly less water during production than average American meals according to the site. The company also connects farmer’s excess produce and food, to in need communities. Not being anti-animal, but rather pro-veggie, meals focus on largely plant based foods. I’ve learned plant based foods tend to work well with my blood sugar, as long as gluten isn’t involved. When you click on a meal kit, it will detail at the top if it’s gluten or dairy free for example, or easy to make. Green Goddess Bowls are gluten free and contain broccoli, avocado, brown rice, dill, pumpkin seeds and vegan ranch dressing.

  • Pros: Clear allergy labels

  • Cons: Requires some (very, very basic) ingredients on hand, like oil.

  • Best for: Plant-powered eating

Best Meal Kits for Type 2 Diabetes

BistroMD

BistroMD meals have been specifically designed by a doctor, to reduce the symptoms of metabolic dysfunction. Type 2 diabetes is a combination of metabolic issues, known as metabolic syndrome. Meals from here are clinically proven, since they provide a specific amount, and a variation of, macro nutrients. Aspartame, and other artificial sweeteners are not incorporated into the meals or snacks. This is particularly important, because aspartame can actually make insulin resistance worse, by increasing levels of cortisol in the body, as studies suggest.  In my early stages of type one diabetes, I consumed a lot of artificial sweeteners, as many of those products were recommended at the time. After removing these products from my diet, I noticed it was easier to control my blood sugar. Type one diabetics can experience insulin resistance just like everyone else.

  • Pros: Create custom programs, option for snacks, diabetic specific plans

  • Cons: Not always organic

  • Best for: Type 2-friendly meals specifically designed to reduce the symptoms of metabolic dysfunction

Green Chef

What immediately stands out about Green Chef, is that a lot of their meals contain anti-inflammatory herbs and vegetables, which can decrease insulin resistance. Meals are divided into categories like vegan, gluten-free, Paleo, keto and Mediterranean. Many of the meals fall into several of the categories simultaneously, which I personally feel makes it much easier to navigate. Premeasured meals are much easier to cook, and much quicker. Green Chef has gotten creative with meals and has crafted things like egg roll bowls, and maple barbecue meatloaf.

  • Pros: Organic, eco-friendly packaging

  • Cons: Doesn’t deliver to Alaska, Hawaii, or parts of Louisiana, currently.

  • Best for: Keeping it interesting with variety

Factor_

Factor_ meals are prepared by chefs, and delivered fresh. These preassembled meals are sometimes essential for me, while I work a full-time job during the day, and do some part-time work at night. I know within each meal, exactly how many carbohydrates I’m getting, since portions are already measured out. Cauliflower is something our household has come to have a great appreciation for, and Factor_ meals incorporate fun spins, like cauliflower grits.

  • Pros: Dietitian consultation available

  • Cons: Meals are good for seven days, while in the fridge of course

  • Best for: Portion control and macro checking in the simplest way

Gobble

Meals from Gobble will be ready to eat in about 15 minutes, because all of the chopping and measuring will be done for you, in advance. I found the Gobble site somewhat difficult to navigate, and while the pictures I saw of their Classic, and Lean and Clean plans looked delicious, I couldn’t locate a full menu. But with six meals being just $36, I would give this one a try.

  • Pros: Packaging is recyclable

  • Cons: Lack of fully allergen-free meals

Marley Spoon

Eat Sunny is dedicated to healthy, organic living, that is also easy. Since everyone’s lives vary from day to day, I find it refreshing that the company has an à la cart option, or you can pick from breakfasts like turkey sausage and egg cups, and classic dinners like herb roasted salmon. Snacks are also available, and sound both satisfying and healthy, like banana chocolate muffins. With a Mediterranean-like focus, Eat Sunny promises to never market to you for weight loss, because you should just eat healthy for you.

  • Pros: Recyclable and biodegradable packaging, organic, no cooking required

  • Cons: One time purchases are more expensive than subscriptions

  • Best for: A refreshing break from weight loss-focused menus


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