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September 5, 2020

What’s the Best Diabetic Meal Delivery Program?
Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Creating a diabetic-friendly meal plan comes pretty easy to me. This isn’t a humble brag so much as a skill I had to learn as a private chef to many clients grappling with diabetes and their diets.

I learned to plan and execute menus which omitted refined starches and added sugars, were whole foods-forward, and used fiber-rich ingredients.

It wasn’t enough to make meals nutritionally appropriate; meals had to be tasty, too. My clients had to feel compelled to eat my meals knowing it was good for them and tasted good.

I learned to strike a balance between creating delicious, portion-controlled meals, yet not compromising one's health and effing up blood sugar levels.

However, all this “know how” didn’t come in handy when I perhaps needed it the most.

When my own mom was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and was told she’d need to alter her eating habits ASAP, I was crestfallen that I couldn’t cook for her since she lives in Tennessee and I in New York.

Her mobility issues made it challenging for my mom to shop, prep, and cook every meal in congruence to guidelines that came with her new diagnosis.

She couldn’t cook for herself nor could she hire a personal chef and so, we both came to the conclusion that ordering diabetic meal delivery services was the only feasible option we could entertain that would bring some immediate relief and real life changes for her.

I tasked myself with this question: What meals would I want to give my mother who 1. Has diabetes 2. Needs an affordable meal plan that requires minimal prep or cooking and 3. Desires healthy meals that won’t, in her exact words, “taste like no stinkin’ hospital food!”

These questions stimulate this review as I researched and tested what diabetic meal delivery services are good enough for MY mom?

Reminder: As you make your way through this review, please remember none of the following meal programs treat or cure diabetes nor serve as a substitute for diabetes medications.

I recommend you consult your physician before starting any of these programs long term. 

Best Diabetic Meal Delivery Services 2021

Best Overall: bistroMD

Tastiest: Home Bistro

Most Customizable Plan: Diet to Go

Freshest: Sun Basket

Best Diabetic Menu: Silver by bistroMD

Best for Snackers: Nutrisystem

Most Balanced: Mom's Meals

Most Flexible: Magic Kitchen

Overview of Best Diabetes Meal Delivery Companies

1 - BistroMD (Editor's Choice)

  • Best Match For: Dieters looking for a flexible doctor-designed meal plan with delicious dishes that support weight loss.
  • Commitment Level: Subscription with weekly delivery
  • Availability: The contiguous US (No Alaska or Hawaii)
  • Value: $9.5-$13/meal depending on the program you choose; $19.95 shipping fee; 25% off and free shipping on first order
  • Type: Fully prepared frozen meals for weight-loss and healthy ready-to-eat snacks

My mom and I found some of these meals a little on the blander side. We wanted more jerk in our jerk chicken and more depth of flavor in the lamb rogan josh, though even having these choices is more adventurous than other meal services. Also, it’s nothing that couldn't be countered with some salt-free seasoning.

Where bistroMD lacked in mind blowing taste, it more than made up for in stability and reliability.

I was hesitant for us to try meals created by dietitians, thinking the food would taste and look like hospital food but, the reality is far from that.

Though all meals are created by dietitians at bistroMD, actual chefs execute the meals. You’ll want to read more about all the science and culinary prowess that backs up these meals by clicking here.

This means that from afar, I can be rest assured that everything my mom puts in her body from the bistroMD diabetic program will be less than 25g net carbohydrates, created to maintain healthy blood glucose level, and chock full of adequate lean proteins.

There’s absolutely no tallying either she or I will have to do to make sure each of her meals are nutritionally balanced for her needs. That to me is well worth subscribing to the program that, yes, is pricier than others on this list, but provides so much more value.

Worth noting is that aside from the meals, your subscription also affords you access to individualized dietary support through 1-on-1 consultations with bistroMD registered dietitians. All that and access to 100 rotating diabetic meals?!

We subscribed to bistroMD and have continued with this service because it best coincides with my mom’s needs and budget.

Read our full bistro md review here

bistroMD's Meal Delivery Service

PROS

  • Science-based meals developed by a physician
  • Over 100 entrée options for diabetics
  • MybistroMD tool with access to dietitians and meal customization options
  • Delivery on dry ice in eco-friendly packaging

Cons

  • No expedited or free delivery options

2 - Home Bistro

  • Best Match For: Anyone looking to enjoy restaurant-quality gourmet meals prepared by world-renowned chefs at the comfort of their home.
  • Commitment Level: No commitments - Order at any time
  • Availability: Fast nationwide delivery
  • Value: $14.95-$34.99/meal; Free shipping
  • Type: Fully prepared gurmet frozen meals

Both Mom and I prefer Home Bistro’s taste to bistroMD but what Home Bistro lacks in comparison to bistroMD is the number of diabetic meals offered.

There are only 10 diabetic meals available but, if you don’t mind some level of repetition, this program’s for you because they knock it out of the park taste-wise.

If you’re looking for diabetic meals on the cheaper side of the spectrum though, these meals are not for you.

With everything from udon to chicken tagine to mediterrean steak I think you--like us--will be pleasantly surprised that these meals aren’t from a chic bistro AND are diabetic friendly.

Meals come in bags which are designed to be boiled for optimal reheating in as little as under ten minutes. 

Read our more detailed review of Home Bistro by clicking here

Home Bistro's Meal Delivery Program

PROS

  • High-quality diabetic meals with quick delivery
  • No subscription needed
  • You can pick both à la carte and diabetic meal combos
  • Nutritional information and reheating instructions for easy preparation

Cons

  • Slightly limited diabetic meal selection and delivery options

3 - Diet-to-Go

  • Best match for: People looking for delicious dietitian-designed meals that support healthy weight loss.
  • Commitment Level: Subscription with weekly delivery
  • Availability: The contiguous US (No Alaska or Hawaii) 
  • Value: $9.49-$13.99/meal; $9.99 shipping fee
  • Type: FFully prepared fresh or frozen meals

Diet-to-Go’s Balance-Diabetes meal plan follows the American Diabetes Association guidelines for preventing and managing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Meals have less than 45g of carbs, and more than 15g of protein per meal, making managing your diabetes, and even preventing diabetes, more of a reality and less of a challenge.

Like bistroMD, you also have access to a community and professional health professionals when you sign up for Diet-to-Go’s meal programs; we found Diet-to-Go to offer more in this department.

You’ll have access to a registered dietitian, a nutritionist, and a certified health coach to support your goals.

The meals were all solid in terms of taste. Nothing mind-blowing and perhaps teetering on the side of mundane, unlike Home Bistro, and even bistroMD. It gets the job done so to speak though and tapping into the community’s support certainly helps in keeping up with this meal plan.

The biggest feature that we appreciated was the ability to customize the menu with our meal preferences after we placed our order. With Diet-to-Go, there’s more wiggle room with orders; you can substitute out meals you don’t like and try other plans. 

Diet-to-Go's Meal Delivery Service

PROS

  • Proven weight loss results
  • You won’t have to worry about meal planning with their 5-week program
  • You can choose between home delivery and or pickup at one of 200 health clubs
  • Reheating a meal only takes 2-3 minutes

Cons

  • You have to go with the 5-week program, and can’t order à la carte meals

4 - Sun Basket

  • Best match for: Anyone looking to put meal planning on autopilot and receive organic gourmet ready-to-eat meals and fresh meal kits.
  • Commitment Level: Weekly subscription 
  • Availability: Most zip codes in the us, excluding AK, HI, MT, ND, and parts of NM
  • Value: Prices start at $8.99/meal; Free shipping on your first order
  • Type: Fully prepared fresh meals (heat and eat) and fresh meal kits (needs to be cooked)

What’s extremely unique about Sun Basket that you won’t find elsewhere on this list is that it offers two types of meal plans: 1. fully prepared, ready to heat and eat meals and 2. meal kits which means you’re sent ingredients and recipes and you’re responsible for the cooking.

Both types can be found under the umbrella of the Diabetes Friendly Meal Plan. These meals are specifically designed to help with type 2 diabetes prevention and management.

Every diabetic meal is under 700 calories, with low added sugar, saturated fat, sodium, and high protein content.

What Sun Basket offers more so than any other meal delivery company on this list is their commitment to offering organic produce and responsibly sourced proteins. Check out our review of Sun Basket's meal plans.

Sun Basket's Meal Delivery Program

PROS

  • Fresh organic produce and quality ingredients
  • Deliciously balanced recipes
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • Easy and customizable ordering and delivery

Cons

  • Certain recipes could be complex for newbie cooks

5 - Silver Cuisine by bistroMD

  • Best match for: Seniors looking for a doctor-designed meal plan for their unique dietary needs.
  • Commitment Level: No commitments - Order at any time; Recurring orderss
  • Availability: The contiguous US (No Alaska or Hawaii)
  • Value: $5.99-$13.99/meal; $19.95 shipping fee
  • Type: Fully prepared frozen meals and ready-to-eat sweets and snacks for seniors

Silver Cuisine by bistroMD’s diabetic friendly menu contains 25 grams or less of NET carbohydrates and follows recommendations for people with diabetes to consume a consistent amount of carbohydrates at each meal.

Recipes are inspired by the Mediterranean diet, with lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Each meal has less than 25g of carbohydrates per serving.

Unfortunately, their meals are not customizable but, with good reason. Silver believes that they use the “perfect combination of ingredients to provide your body with the optimal nutrition it needs to support a healthy lifestyle” and that changing the ingredient profile of the meals may result in an imbalance of nutrients. Makes sense! 

Silver Cuisine by bistroMD's Meal Delivery Program

PROS

  • A delivery service tailored to seniors
  • Over 150 meals to choose from
  • User-friendly website with lots of information
  • Complete flexibility with the ordering process

Cons

  • No expedite or free delivery options

6 - Nutrisystem

  • Best match for: People looking to lose weight with perfectly portioned, nutritionally balanced meals on a budget.
  • Commitment Level: One time orders; Subscription
  • Availability: All 50 states (shipping outside the continental US includes additional charges)
  • Value: Starting at $9.29 with a basic plan; Shipping is free in the continental US with most plans
  • Type: Fully prepared frozen meals, fully prepared fresh meals, and ready-to-eat snacks 

Nutrisystem is a popular meal delivery service that helps customers achieve weight loss goals with healthy eating and portion control. The company offers three meal plans for people with type 2 diabetes, with an intent to regulate symptoms such as high blood sugar levels.

Each diabetic meal in Basic-Diabetes, Uniquely Yours-Diabetes, and Ultimate-Diabetes plans contains the right balance of nutrients, and your daily menu has between 1200 and 1500 calories.

Snacking is encouraged, and you will eat every 2-3 hours to keep your blood glucose steady.

Take a look at our Nutrisystem review to find out more!

Nutrisystem's Meal Delivery Service

PROS

  • Complete meal plans with snacks and weight loss shakes
  • Three different diabetic meal plans, with over 160 different recipes
  • Free diabetic meals delivery
  • Helpful app to track your diet with free counseling

Cons

  • Not everyone can commit to a 4-week meal program

7 - Mom’s Meals

  • Best match for: Older individuals and people with health problems who require affordable dietitian-designed meals to ensure proper nutrition for their condition.
  • Commitment Level: No subscription needed; Subscription (10% off)
  • Availability: The contiguous US (No Alaska or Hawaii)s
  • Value: $6.99-$7.99/meal
  • Type: Fully prepared fresh meals (heat and eat)

Mom’s Meals is a delivery service offering a unique eating plan catered for different specialty diets, including a diabetes-friendly program and here’s something they offer that others don’t: they serve clients who are covered under

  • Medicare Advantage plans
  • Medicaid plans
  • Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) programs or the Older Americans Act
  • By individuals or their caregivers who are looking for a self-pay program

Mom’s Meals dishes have been designed by a dietitian, and they offer a mix of whole foods, veggies, lean protein, and low carb content, which is essential for managing blood sugars.

When the meals were delivered, we weren’t impressed by how they looked. But looks can be deceiving as we’d learn. The meals all taste way better than they look so we encourage you to give them a try and manage your expectations accordingly.

Mom’s Meal's Meal Delivery Program

PROS

  • All dishes are designed to stay in the refrigerator for up to 14 days
  • Great flexibility and no long-term commitment
  • Scheduled delivery to the contiguous United States
  • Option to order over the phone

Cons

  • Somewhat limited diabetic meal variety

8 - Magic Kitchen

  • Best match for: People who need to follow a special diet, and want an extensive menu with delicious and nutritious ready-to-eat meals.
  • Commitment Level: One time orders; Subscription with weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly delivery
  • Availability: The continental US
  • Value: $10-$14/meal; Shipping starts at $18.95
  • Type: Fully prepared frozen meals, meal bundles, meal gifts, specialty eating plans, and more

Magic Kitchen offers a wide range of meal kits suitable for any diet plan, including diabetic meals designed by a dietitian to have low sodium and sugar content. Each delicious diabetic meal contains a main course and one or two sides.

Magic Kitchen has one of the best frozen diabetic meal selection out of all delivery services with over 80 different dishes on their menus.

These healthy diabetic meals are simple to re-heat in the microwave or oven, they are low in sodium <700mg (although most are <500mg), and all meals have controlled carbohydrates and sugars (most meals 20-45g carbs, but cannot exceed 65g carbs).

We enjoyed the taste of many of the meals and though we understand that portion control is an integral part of managing weight and blood sugar, we found Magic Kitchen meals being too small. Rather, not waiting though tasty. For that reason, we didn’t put it higher on our list. 

Magic Kitchen's Meal Delivery Program

PROS

  • Over 80 dishes in a “diabetic meal” category
  • A la carte and complete meal selections
  • Shipping is available for all states, including Alaska and Hawaii
  • Preparing each meal is easy and convenient

Cons

  • Certain meals can be bland for some people

Why Is Nutrition so Important for People With Diabetes?

Diabetes is characterized by our body’s inability to control blood sugar levels, and its health effects can be life-threatening. Type 2 diabetes is mostly triggered by lifestyle, and it can be managed with regular exercise and healthy eating. That is why it is crucial to adjust your diet and eat diabetic meals designed to reduce health risks.

Every diabetic meal is created to have fewer carbohydrates, especially refined sugars, as they are directly connected to blood glucose spikes, diabetic patients are trying to prevent. Most recipes also contain less sodium, trans fats, and more lean protein, and lower caloric content per meal. This nutrient balance helps people maintain steady blood sugar levels and minimize health risks.

Meal delivery services with diabetic programs offer convenience, as you don’t have to spend too much time researching and preparing your meals. You can simply choose a service you like, order a number of portions you need, pick the recipes based on your food preferences, and wait one or few days for delivery. Most companies ship frozen meals that can be reheated in a matter of minutes!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which meal delivery service is best for diabetics?

Depending on personal preferences, all meal delivery services we listed are excellent for people caring about diabetes management. Our number one spot goes to bistroMD.

Does HelloFresh have diabetic meals?

HelloFresh offers low carb and low-calorie meals. However, they don’t have exclusive diabetic meal menu options.

Does Blue Apron have diabetic meals?

Yes, since the beginning of 2020, Blue Apron has introduced diabetes-friendly recipes. The company pledged to feature at least two diabetic meal recipes every week on its signature Two-Serving menu.

Which frozen meals are best for diabetics?

Every diabetic frozen meal is designed to meet unique nutritious requirements for people with diabetes, so all frozen meals labeled as diabetic-friendly are the same health-wise.

What Diabetic Meal Plan Should You Choose?

When it comes to meals designed for diabetics, we have to choose bistroMD as our number one meal delivery company. Their doctor-designed meals offer low carbohydrate content and a perfect balance of all nutrients.

Their recipes are not just healthy, they are easy to make, and most importantly, delicious!

BistroMD offers a wide selection of diabetic meals, which is perfect for all the picky eaters out there. Additionally, with My bistroMD tool, you can easily set your food preferences, modify diabetic meal plans, or get advice from a team of expert dietitians and nutritionists.

Ordering is easy, all food is shipped straight to your home, and you can enjoy all the free time you’ll save on meal planning and preparation.

It's also the only one on this list that my mom continues to subscribe to and you know what they say... mom knows best! 

bistroMD's Meal Delivery Service

BistroMD

Our #1 Recommendation

  • Science-based meals developed by a physician
  • Over 100 entrée options for diabetics
  • MybistroMD tool with access to dietitians and meal customization options
  • Delivery on dry ice in eco-friendly packaging
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of July

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