We’ve reviewed many meal delivery services and at this point and can say without hesitation that bistroMD, and its sister companies Balance and Silver Cuisine, provide the best meal and services in a space that can times feel a little crowded. Read our full bistroMD review.
BistroMD covers all your dietary needs and umbrellas a wide variety of diets and speaking to a numerous nutritional requirements, such as meal programs designed specifically for heart health, diabetes, celiac disease, and even menopause.
The diversity of meal programs is extended to bistroMD’s sister brands, Silver Cuisine and Balance. Read our Silver Cuisine review or keep reading on for full details about Balance by bistroMD, here on referred to as Balance.
Balance is one of the most popular programs by bistroMD. The program’s title refers to meals being a carefully calculated ratio of healthy fats to complex carbohydrates to lean proteins that make up each “Balance” or balanced meal.
Balance is powered by the science of bistroMD and its founding physician, Dr. Caroline Cederquist, who is board-certified in bariatric medicine, which is “the study of how the food we eat is broken down by our bodies and turned into fuel.”
Though the meals are designed by a doctor, they are executed by a team of expert chefs so you’re not just paying for healthy food, but tasty, ready to eat ones as well.
Unlike many other meal delivery programs, Balance does NOT require a minimum order amount, giving you control of which meals you receive, how many, and how frequently.
Another feature we appreciated is Balance not having membership fees, contracts, or subscriptions.
As stated on the Balance site, “we are committed to helping people live longer and healthier lives through great nutrition. We don’t believe in placing barriers in the way of our customers’ health and wellbeing, and never will.”
What You Can Expect From Your Meal
The crux of the Balance program is that they handle all of the nutrition, shopping, and planning and you are delivered ready to heat and eat meals. (The convenience and reliability of the program put it on the top of our review of the best meal delivery programs for seniors.)
Their chefs and team of dietitians plan each meal to provide a balance of macronutrients.
High-quality ingredients are used and that, too, without nitrates, phosphates, and other chemicals or additives.
The Balance program offers a bevy of speciality diets, all appropriate for a balanced weight loss plan. The following speciality diets are what you can choose from:
- Heart health – “Eating meals from this category help control your weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure while maintaining overall cardiovascular health. Meals adhere to the American Heart Association’s (AHA) recommendations for calories, sodium, total fat and saturated fat. Everything is less than 600mg of sodium and less than 3.5 grams of saturated fat.”
- Gluten-free – “You will have over 90 meals options in this category! These portion-controlled meals aid treatment of metabolic dysfunction and maintenance of digestive health. Balance’s gluten-free meals are tested to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gluten free standard (20 ppm or less) and do not contain wheat, rye or barley.” Read our review of top-rated gluten free meal delivery services.
- Diabetic – “These dishes were created to maintain blood glucose levels and contains 25 grams or less of net carbs. You will also see more controlled amount of carbohydrates in these meals.”
- Low-Sodium – “With less than 600mg of sodium and exclusion of particular foods, these meals help lower blood pressure.”
- Menopause – “Each meal on the Balance menopause menu consists of lean protein and a controlled amount of complex carbohydrates in support of hormone regulation.”
- Dairy Free – “These meals expertly combine the right balance of macronutrients all free of dairy.”
- Mediterranean – “These meals are inspired by the cuisines and food patterns of Greece, Southern Italy and Spain with an emphasis on a myriad fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fish and dairy.”
- Vegetarian – “Balance vegetarian meals are plant-based and high in non-animal protein.” (Read why we voted Balance has having one of the best ready to eat vegetarian meals delivered to your home.)
We know, this is a lot to consider! We prefer the plethora of options versus other companies inability to address such a wide variety of diets.
The main takeaway is that no matter what meal you choose, you will have the right macronutrients in them and you can choose meals across diet types. You are not espoused to one diet type, so your order could include meals across different categories.
Ingredients and nutrition facts come on a meal page with each meal that you purchase.
The meals have standard FDA food labeling and adopt the Recommended Daily Allowances from the average USDA 2,000 calorie dietary guidelines.
Having the list of ingredients is critical knowledge to be privy to so you can avoid allergens.
As stated on the Balance site, the average Balance meal “contains 20-25% of calories from healthy fats, 30-35% from complex carbohydrates, and 40-45% from lean protein sources. These macronutrient targets provide your body with the fuel it needs to get through the day without creating nutritional imbalances that could lead to health complications such as weight gain and many others.”
All of your meals will arrive frozen. (In fact, we rated Balance as one of the best frozen meals delivery services.) Before reaching you, foods are cooked from fresh ingredients and then flash frozen so as to preserve the nutrients.
Each Balance meal can be heated in less than 6 minutes in a microwave or 30 minutes in an oven.
When stored in the freezer, Balance meals are safe to eat up to one year after the date of production.
The Balance menu includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, and snack options.
Heart healthy meals offer dishes such as chicken meatball and sausages and low carb bagel sandwiches.
Gluten-free meals often include delicious scrambles, frittas, and pulled meats. (Read why Balance is one of the best delivery services for gluten-free meals.)
Meals providing nutrition for women experiencing menopause may include braised meats with barley, savory, protein packed crepes and english muffin sandwiches.
We could go on and on but would like to impress upon you that no matter what diet you’re trying to follow, you will find numerous dishes to choose from from Balance.
The meals are all delicious. We were especially impressed and satisfied with the bevy of snacks Balance provides. There are numerous low calorie snacks, both sweet and savory, to help you power through the day in a more nutritionally sound way versus eating the low calorie snacks from a vending machine or what you can get from your local grocer (which, sure, are low calorie but also laden with a lot of processed ingredients which is not good for optimal health.)
Their dessert offerings are good yet guilt-free as well. We especially loved their cheesecakes!
Balance by bistroMD delivers to every state with the exception of Alaska and Hawaii. Your order will be shipped via FedEx from the bistroMD frozen distribution center from Monday to Wednesday. Orders received after 11:59 pm on Wednesday will be shipped the following Monday.
All Balance packages will cost $19.95 for shipping regardless of the size of your order so our advice is to cram as much as you can in an order and freeze whatever you won’t eat immediately.
Your meals will arrive inside an insulated cooler and will be packed with dry ice.
All packaging is recyclable and made of recycled cardboard.
Food for Thought
While Balance is not marketed as a weight loss plan, we were thrilled to find that many longtime diners did find themselves losing weight as they ate the meals while also regularly exercising.
We also appreciated that Balance’s price point as being accessible, unlike many other specialty plans.
We should note that while Balance’s menu is extensive, items do cycle out occasionally due to the season and availability, so beloved favorites are not always available.
However, we do appreciate how much the chefs behind the program have branched out recently and the number of entrees and varieties of meats and dishes reflect that.
All in all, if you’re going to pay for a service to try out, we’d recommend Balance by bistroMD as being a no-brainer choice.
Click here to read about Balance’s sister brand Silver Cuisine by bistroMD.