Is Nutrisystem really a healthy diet? If you’re considering joining Nutrisystem, it’s a good idea to know the daily amount of nutrients and calories, and whether it’s really a healthy diet. We did our homework and here’s how nutrisystem stacks up for calories, protein, carbs, sodium, and fiber.
Is Nutrisystem Healthy?
Their food is high in protein, “smart” carbs, and fiber. The meals have no artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, or trans fats. Ok, that’s a good start. Let’s look at the nutritional info.
Nutritional Info: (Daily)
Here’s how Nutrisystem stacks up against the recommended daily allowances of calories and nutrition: (for women on a diet)
|Nutrisystem: (Women)||Daily Recommended:|
|Sodium:||1900-2300 mg||2300 mg (source)|
|Sat. Fat:||6-9g||9-12g (source)|
*Based on recommended daily amounts for women on a diet. You can view health and nutritional information for men here
How Many Calories?
Consider that a pound of fat contains about 3500 calories. That means if you are going to start dropping pounds, you have to reduce the number of calories you eat each day so that your body switches to burning calories from fat instead of carbs.
A healthy intake of calories is about 2000 per day, so to lose weight you have to aim for a lower number than that.
A day of Nutrisystem food amounts to 1200-1500 calories per day to achieve a sustainable 1-2 pounds of weight loss per week.
How Much Sodium?
A lot of people ask if Nutrisystem is high in sodium because it is based on prepared food. A day of their meals has 1900-2300 mg of sodium, which is just within the FDA’s recommended amount, but well below the average American’s daily intake of 3400 mg.
So, compared to the amount of sodium you might already be getting, Nutrisystem would be a healthy improvement.
How Many Carbs?
Is Nutrisystem a low-carb diet? No, Nutrisystem is not officially a “low-carb” diet, although their food is generally low in carbohydrates, especially during the initial Turbo 13 phase. A true low-carb diet requires that you eat fewer than 100 carbs a day, which is very low and a bit controversial among nutritionists who champion the value of “good” carbs.
The Nutrisystem diet provides about 170g of carbs per day which is within the recommended amount to achieve weight loss. This is more carbs than diets (Atkins, Paleo, South Beach) which brand themselves as being “low-carb.”
Remember that not all carbs are equal, as some carbs are very healthy, such as those from vegetables, brown rice, and whole grains. Nutrisystem targets these “good” carbs, which are the best source of energy for your mind and body.
How Much Protein?
Protein is also the foundation of the Nutrisystem diet. Their plans for women and men (drop 18 now!) provide significantly more protein each day than the FDA’s recommended amount at over 70g per day.
How Much Fiber?
The health benefits of fiber include controlling blood sugar levels, healthy bowels, (that’s a great name for a band!) and achieving healthy weight. Nutrisystem food has more fiber than the recommended daily amount, (especially their vegetarian plan) and focuses on fiber more than most other diets. They also ask you to supplement their prepared meals with high-fiber fruits and non-starchy vegetables from the grocery store.
I Would Say that Nutrisystem Is a Healthy Diet
Nutrisystem is high in protein and fiber and low in bad carbs. The diet is also within the recommended daily amounts of calories, sodium, and fat. Because of this data, I would say yes, Nutrisystem is healthy.