Keto Diet Myths And Why You Should Try Blue Apron Keto-Friendly Prepared & Ready Meals

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Considering the global keto market is expected to grow to a whopping $14.5 billion by 2031, it's safe to say that this diet plan isn't going anywhere soon. But it's actually been around a lot longer than you might think. The term "ketogenic diet" was established back in 1921, so it's only natural that over the last century, this diet (like almost any other) stirred up some debate, largely due to misconceptions about how it works and what it accomplishes.

We're here to clear the air about the ketogenic diet as we separate fact from fiction — backed by the expert opinion of Heather Sachs, registered dietician and Director of Nutrition & Regulatory Affairs for Blue Apron, the popular service that offers fresh, chef-designed recipes and meal kits you can easily whip up at home. The company is looking to meet the growing consumer demand for keto-friendly options with its new line of Prepared & Ready Meals. The dietician-approved offerings, with a focus on high-protein, low-calorie, keto-friendly, carb conscious meals, are available for delivery now.

If you're a little hesitant about diving full-force into the keto diet, these already-prepared meals that you can heat up in just a few minutes are an ideal entry point. But even for those curious about keto in general, let's dispel some myths commonly associated with the diet.

Myth: Keto is simply a high-fat diet

If you don't know too much about keto, you might believe that it's simply the "high fat" or "all-fat" diet. But once you peel back the curtain, there's much more nuance to consider here. The basic idea behind the standard keto diet is that replacing some of your daily carbohydrates with fats can send your body into ketosis, which is a state that burns fat much quicker. While "fat" often appears to be synonymous with "unhealthy food" in American culture, that perception is misguided, according to Dietician Heather Sachs, as there are a lot of healthy forms of fat. She notes that salmon, olive oil, and nuts are sources of the "good" fats, aka the ones that can help lower your cholesterol and boost heart health.

Plus, the keto diet isn't about eating only fat, all the time. "While the vast majority of macronutrients in a keto-friendly lifestyle come from dietary fat, consuming protein and high fiber carbohydrates are still important," Sachs says. For example, Blue Apron's keto-friendly meals boast at least 30 grams of protein or up to 30 grams of net carbs per serving. That means you can still enjoy delectable, well-rounded dinners like creamy pesto chicken with riced broccoli and asparagus, while easing into the keto diet.

Myth: Carbohydrates aren't an important aspect of the keto diet

It's true that the keto diet aims to limit your carbohydrate intake, often to about 50 grams or less per day, so your body can enter ketosis. But keep in mind that carbs are an essential nutrient for any diet and that holds true even when following keto guidelines. However, there's a specific kind to focus on here: Complex carbs, which are high-fiber options that Sachs says help you feel full and promote healthy digestion.

Whole grains, beans, and fiber-packed fruits and veggies are all nutritious ways to include complex carbs in your daily intake. So while you're on the keto diet, feel free to continue eating foods like quinoa and brown rice; whole-wheat bread and pasta; kidney, black, or lima beans; and produce like apples, raspberries, acorn squash, and sweet potatoes. There's plenty of room for variety, delicious food, and (luckily) some carbs.

Blue Apron's keto-friendly meals incorporate complex carbs in delicious ways. The company's Prepared & Ready dishes feature seasonally-inspired produce and signature sauces, so you'll find everything from tasty servings of riced cauliflower with garlic herb butter to broccoli and asparagus tossed in alfredo sauce and pesto.

Myth: A keto-friendly plate isn't well rounded

Since following a keto meal plan focuses on fat intake, it's easy to assume that you'll be neglecting other important nutrients in the process. But as we've mentioned, protein and carbs are an important part of this way of eating, and you can still incorporate a plethora of different unprocessed meat, fish, seafood, dairy, vegetable, and fruit options on your plate. Some of our favorite recipes include chicken cordon bleu, pecan-crusted pork chops, and homemade granola — all tasty dishes that follow the guidelines of the keto diet.

But following a meal plan can be a lot of work, and if you don't want to add the labor of making dinner from scratch on top of it, ready-made options are a great alternative. With Blue Apron's keto-friendly Prepared & Ready meals, the work of shopping for and prepping keto ingredients is done for you — all you have to do is pop the dish in the microwave and your meal is ready in as little as two minutes. With over 26 single-serve meal options, and more keto-friendly options coming out in May 2024, you can try everything from Mediterranean-Style Pork & Vegetables with Feta Cheese to Cheesy Shredded Beef & Riced Broccoli. While these meals won't help you consistently maintain strict ketosis, they stick to a ratio of about 10% carbs, 20% protein, and 70% dietary fat to support a keto-friendly lifestyle.

Myth: Desserts are forbidden from the keto diet

We know you can enjoy tasty, well-rounded meals on the keto diet, but what about dessert? Luckily, Sachs says plenty of sweet treats can be enjoyed in moderation while following the keto lifestyle. What you'll need to take into consideration are the ingredients in the desserts you consume. "Pursuing desserts free of sugar is important, as refined carbohydrates are to be minimally consumed on a keto-friendly diet," she says. Desserts with healthy fats and flour alternatives, such as those made from almonds or chickpeas, are also signs that you're headed in the right direction. But Sachs assures us that you can still find ways to savor what you love. "Even indulgent favorites like cheesecake or brownies can be made keto-friendly!" she says.

Not sure where to start? Our keto-friendly chocolate peanut butter fudge swaps out the traditional condensed milk for butter, allulose (a natural sugar), heavy whipping cream, and vanilla extract. But if you don't want to start from scratch, keep your eye out in the grocery store, as you can find low-carb and sugar-free versions of everything from ice cream to brownie mix. Paired with your favorite Blue Apron Prepared & Ready dinner, you've got all the makings for a seamless, delicious meal plan on the keto diet.