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Balance by BistroMD is a meal delivery service that aims to help people eat more healthful, balanced meals.
The company tailor the meals to an individual’s preferences and specific dietary needs.
This article discusses the pros and cons of Balance by BistroMD and explains how the service works.
Balance by BistroMD offers preprepared meals. Users can select the number and type of meals they want on any schedule that works for them.
Unlike some other meal delivery services, Balance by BistroMD is not a subscription service. The meals do not arrive at regular intervals unless a person orders them.
With Balance by BistroMD, customers choose as many meals as they want, whenever they want. After ordering, the meals arrive within a few days.
Users can choose lunches, dinners, and snacks. Meal prices vary, but most meals are about $8 to $10.
Balance by BistroMD offers a wide variety of foods on each of its custom menus.
People with special dietary needs can filter their meal options by health goal.
Some examples include:
- Gluten-free: Examples include chicken cordon bleu and chicken, rice, and cheddar casseroles.
- Diabetes-friendly: Examples include apple cinnamon oatmeal with scrambled eggs and avocado bagels with egg and tomatoes.
- Heart-healthy: Examples include chicken spinach meatloaf with tomato glaze and dark chocolate coconut bars.
- Low sodium: Examples include bacon cheeseburger meatloaf with yuca fries, BBQ beef, and cheddar sliders.
- Low carb: Examples include bagel sandwiches with egg, roast beef, and pepper jack and baked pasta marinara with chicken sausage.
- Menopause-friendly: Examples include baked pasta marinara with chicken sausage and broccoli cheddar-stuffed chicken.
- Dairy-free: Examples include granola and roasted tofu with charred red pepper sauce.
- Mediterranean: Examples include cranberry orange multigrain cereal with ham and grilled chicken marsala.
- Vegetarian: Examples include tilapia with smoky tomato sauce and stuffed shells with vodka marinara sauce.
It is important to note that although BistroMD have options they classify as vegetarian, many of these meals contain fish and seafood, which means that they are not actually suitable for vegetarians.
People following a strictly plant-based diet may therefore find that Balance by BistroMD offers limited options.
Learn more about foods to eat and avoid in a vegetarian diet here.
Although BistroMD claim that some of their options may offer benefits for certain people or specific diets, there is no objective research or studies to support these health claims.
The benefits of Balance by BistroMD include the following:
- Convenience: Meals require almost no preparation, little planning, and no cooking. They only need heating. This can save time, especially if a person uses the service to replace most of their meals.
- Adaptability: The service offers a wide variety of meal options. Also, users do not have to sign a contract or purchase a set number of meals.
- A predictable menu and budget: People who choose to buy most of their meals using this service may have a more consistent menu and budget.
The drawbacks of Balance by BistroMD include the following:
- No subscription service: This means that users have to remember to order meals, which may be difficult for people with busy schedules who want regular meals.
- Meals are not fresh: As with any meal delivery service, there is a risk that the meals may not arrive fresh. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend checking the temperature of all food and discarding anything that has been warmer than 40ºF (4ºC) for longer than 2 hours.
- Price: These meals can be expensive, especially when compared with other meal delivery services. However, users who buy fresh produce and high quality protein may still save money, as grocery store prices can also be high.
- Limited plant-based options: Most of the “vegetarian” meals include fish, and there are no strictly vegan meals. Learn about vegetarian meal delivery service options here.
Most people in the United States do not follow government nutrition recommendations. In fact, about three-quarters of the population do not get enough fruits and vegetables in their diet.
Balance by BistroMD claims to provide healthful, nutritionally balanced meals. The company suggest that their meals offer the following health benefits:
- Meals to suit different health needs and requirements: They offer a range of meals tailored to special dietary needs, including heart-healthy, low fat, and low sodium options. Meals can also be gluten-free, dairy-free, and diabetes-friendly.
- A more balanced, varied diet: Balance by BistroMD uses a wide variety of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, potentially helping a person eat more nutritious foods than they might otherwise eat.
- Weight loss: Some research suggests that eating portion controlled meals may help a person lose weight. People who rely primarily on Balance by BistroMD may eat fewer calories and more healthful meals, supporting weight loss. However, there is no evidence to suggest that using Balance by BistroMD specifically will aid weight loss.
- Eating fewer unhealthful ingredients: Balance by BistroMD offers low sodium and low sugar plans tailored to a person’s health goals and dietary needs.
BistroMD’s health claims have no support from objective research or studies. There is no evidence to suggest that BistroMD meals offer any particular health benefits.
Some potential alternatives to Balance by BistroMD include:
- Nutrisystem: Nutrisystem focus on weight management and offer meals specifically tailored to suit various dietary needs.
- Seattle Sutton’s: Seattle Sutton’s offer dietitian-prepared meals to help people lose weight and eat a more balanced diet.
- Daily Harvest: Daily Harvest offer plant-based meals, including smoothies. It is a good alternative for people who want more breakfast and on-the-go options.
Some users may also choose to subscribe for a short time to get meal ideas, then replicate those meals at home.
Balance by BistroMD helps reduce meal preparation and shopping time. It may benefit people who choose to replace most of their meals with the delivery service.
As with all meal plans and major diet changes, users should consult a doctor or dietitian beforehand, particularly if they are trying to lose weight or have chronic health issues.