Mediterranean diet is low in red meat and sugar, high in nuts, fruit, and seafood. This book has lots of tested and tasty recipes, that are not generally as time consuming as some other cookbooks. Divided into useful sections to help you implement the Mediterranean food pyramid. Offers a lot of details on specific ingredients and how they can add to your overall diet.
This is not a quick start-lose weight program, but rather a whole life healthier way of eating. Some ingredients can be expensive.
Perfect for loving your Instant Pot or pressure cooker even more than you already do. Most of the ingredients in this diet are simple, inexpensive, and readily available at most grocery stores. Focuses on making health eating convenient and fast. Encourages lifelong changes.
A basic guide on healthy eating, and cutting out junk. Recommends a very restrictive diet.
A ketogenic diet is a high-fat, high-protein, low-carb eating plan, which was originally designed to help children with epilepsy. Suzanne Ryan is a popular blogger who gives Keto Karma talks about the advantages of a low sugar diet. Book includes a 30-day "get started" plan. Recipes are easy to make.
This diet gets some criticism for being too extreme and not allowing for a balanced long-term way of life.
Includes 100 recipes. Gives you tips on food problems to avoid. Tells Curry's story of weight loss. Lots of practical advice for incorporating a healthy diet with a modern lifestyle. Also focuses on mental health. Lots of color and flavor.
The recipes will likely have you needing to pick up a couple of items at the grocery to make, but he does offer substitutes if you can't find or don't prefer certain ingredients.
The idea behind whole 30 is that you go on a very restrictive diet for 30 days and it resets your eating patterns, helps you lose weight, and makes you feel better. You eat whole foods only and skip processed foods. If you feel like you are addicted to junk food or sugar, this plan is designed to help you quickly break that addiction.
This is literally a 30-day plan. While the authors say it could be healthy, they also advise it is not very practical as a long-term food total solution.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Food is the fuel that keeps us going. But how do we know we’re choosing the right foods to power our body?
If you’re looking to improve your overall health, trying a new diet is a great place to start. And there are certainly plenty of popular ones to choose from, including the keto diet, whole foods diet, and Mediterranean diet. Whether your goal is weight loss or you simply want to feel healthier from better food choices, investing in a new diet cookbook could provide you with the motivation you need for success.
Diet cookbooks present recipes and help educate on the impact certain foods have on our bodies. They also offer helpful tips and life hacks for the novice and little gems of information for more seasoned cooks.
To learn more about what diet cookbooks can offer, read on. When you’re ready to get started, consider choosing one of our top picks.
Before any major lifestyle change, especially one to your diet, consult with your doctor first. Certain diets may not be suited for your health or medical conditions.
Food allergies: If you have any food allergies, sensitivities, or intolerances, it might affect whether certain diets will have enough options that work around them. You could also explore whether substitutions are amenable to the diet.
Bigger grocery bill: Some diets have a strong focus on quality foods and ingredients. Organic, gluten-free, and sugar-free foods could cost more, as they’re often considered specialty items in supermarkets. Frozen vegetables are a cost-effective option, however, certain diets require only fresh picks.
Small kitchen appliances: Diet cookbooks include a variety of soups, stews, and other dishes, so it matters to have the right small kitchen appliances to cook with. Because so many recipes revolve around convenience or low-maintenance preparation, instant cookers, slow cookers, and blenders are essentially required if you start a new diet. Some diet cookbooks even recommend investing in dehydrators or air fryers.
Since starting a new diet is a major change for your body, be as informed as possible when you make your choice. Look into the background of the diet you are interested in to determine whether there has been substantial research done on its safety and efficacy. Cross-reference case studies, testimonials, and peer-reviewed research to decide whether the diet is hype or if it’s scientifically supported from credible sources.
Sticking to your new diet isn’t always going to be easy. Luckily, online communities exist for nearly every diet, and it’s important to connect with others when you think you might need support. Some diet cookbooks come with access to their online platforms and offer subscriptions for more recipes, tips, or online classes. There are also general groups on social media platforms or online forums with outside moderators. These are typically free informal online groups where fellow dieters share their dieting experiences.
Often when diets are invented, they seek innovative ways to achieve optimal health results. Sometimes that’s weight loss, and other times that manifests as other health benefits. Regardless, diets focus on initiating changes, both internally and externally, in some of these areas:
Reducing intake of certain types of foods
Low carb: Low-carb diets require you to cut back on sugary foods, like pasta, pizza, cake, and bread. They tend to substitute these calorie- and carb-dense foods with an increase in protein, vegetables, and fats. Some diets suggest cutting back on carbohydrates, while other diets are entirely predicated on their full elimination or close to it.
Low sugar: Diets that are considered low in sugar approach this from a couple different ways. Some recommend reducing or eliminating the amount of sugar in your everyday diet and suggest sugar substitutes like Stevia, Splenda, or Equal. Other diets recommend limiting naturally occurring sugar and controlling your intake of certain foods, particularly fruit.
Low-processed food: Many diets highlight the benefits of cutting out processed food, particularly fast food. Others are a bit more stringent and cut out foods in the frozen aisle, canned foods, and other packaged foods. Even stricter diets advise against prepared foods and recommend that you prepare all aspects of your meal before consuming.
Upping your veggies
Most diets stipulate that increased vegetable intake is required since they’re nutrient-dense foods. They also tend to be lower in calories when compared to other foods they could replace on your plate. Some diets, however, are picky when it comes to which vegetables are preferred. Starchy vegetables are preferred by some diets as the ultimate pre- and post-workout fuel, whereas they’re seen as counterproductive to weight loss in others. Because diets focus on balancing macros, it’s important to check which vegetables are preferred in your cookbook to receive the maximum benefit.
Short-term: Short-term diets are popular if you need to drop a few pounds in a limited time frame. They also help to reset your body or prepare you for a new phase of fitness or a different diet. Some short-term diets are extremely restrictive, though, and could result in gaining some weight back (or even more).
Moderation: Diets that preach moderation are considered to have positive long-term effects. They’re more sustainable because they’re less restrictive and are reasonable with substitutions. Sometimes it takes longer to lose weight with moderation diets, though some studies say weight tends to stay off more than with other types of diets.
Permanent lifestyle changes: Some diets require permanent lifestyle changes. It could be a personal choice or in response to a recently diagnosed health issue, such as diabetes. These major lifestyle changes tout long-term benefits, but physical and emotional hardships could arise from such strict adherence.
Find your basal metabolic rate (BMR) to determine how many calories you need to cut if your goal is weight loss. There is more than one way to calculate it, so research the different formulas.
Measure food by weight if possible. There could be slight discrepancies with measuring cups, and using a food scale is more accurate to the gram or ounce.
If you switch to salt-free or low-salt versions of foods, be aware that some manufacturers substitute the salt for potassium. Some people are sensitive to potassium, as there are reports it could trigger headaches.
Inexpensive: For close to $10, you’ll mostly find short paperback books with fewer recipes.
Mid-range: Between $15 and $20, cookbooks tend to feature more detailed recipes and are usually hardcover. You’ll find plenty in this range authored by well-known chefs, fitness gurus, and other foodie celebrities.
Expensive: For $25 to $30, you’ll find hardcover cookbooks with more expensive binding or limited access to an app or online platform.
One thing to note about diet cookbooks is that many of them are much cheaper in their Kindle versions, sometimes as much as $10 to $15 less than their print counterparts.
Product in depth
America's Test Kitchen The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook: 500 Vibrant, Kitchen-Tested Recipes for Living and Eating Well Every Day
World flavor meets your plate
This heart-healthy cookbook has a place in every kitchen, from brand-new cooks to refined foodies. The dishes are colorful and vivacious with a regional emphasis on vegetables, and simple preparation techniques make these recipes enjoyable to create. It’s easy to try unfamiliar ingredients for the first time (and perhaps discover a newfound love for them) as they are often paired with other well-loved staples.
Consider food allergies. Some diets are heavy on certain foods, such as fish or legumes. If you have a food allergy or intolerance, keep that in mind as you select a diet. You may need to choose a different one if substitutions aren’t an option in recipes.
Choose a convenient calorie tracker. For most diets, you’ll need to count your calories to some extent. Find an easy way to track foods so you’re consistent. Some people like apps, whereas others stick to a pen and journal.
Invest in a cookbook stand. If you’re short on counter space, use a cookbook stand while you’re cooking. You’ll be able to view the recipe more easily, plus you’ll have extra space with the book standing upright.
Get to know your grocery store. Save time by optimizing your shopping trip. Figure out where your staple items are, and write your list in the order you shop the store.
Quick and flavorful recipes
This cookbook offers recipes that easily overcome two main obstacles to weight loss: time and taste. With very little prep time, these recipes are made flavorful by incorporating multiple vegetables in a single dish. The wholesome recipes are filling with moderate calorie counts to keep you satisfied after each meal. You’ll also learn plenty of ways to combine seasonings, so you can reduce your salt intake.
There are diets out there for everyone, even those who don’t want to feel like they’re on one. The Dude Diet is geared toward those who refuse to give up their comfort foods and are open to trying healthier versions of them. The diet also focuses on more successful healthy food pairings, so it’s an educational lifestyle book as well as a cookbook.
If you’re training for an event or want to pursue a cleaner diet, Everyday Paleo is an ideal option. The diet focuses on eating healthy whole foods and eliminating (or trying to avoid) processed foods. The cookbook is a modest introduction to the paleo diet, and offers some simple recipes with few ingredients as well as more advanced ones with 12 or more ingredients. Some fitness enthusiasts report that the diet is wildly successful in helping them achieve their training goals.
Q. I don’t know why this diet cookbook helps my friend lose weight, but not me. What am I doing wrong?
A. There are several variables as to why you may not be experiencing the same type of weight loss. Be positive and refocus on what you can change. Measure and track your food more accurately, or try different recipes in the book. Perhaps introduce exercise into your daily routine to create a larger calorie deficit. It takes about a week to 10 days to notice changes, so consistency is important.
Q. Why don’t my recipes ever look like the pictures in the book?
A. Simply put, professional food photography highlights the best attributes of a dish. Sometimes colors are enhanced or food is placed on fancy plates to create a visual effect. As long as you enjoy the taste of your food, that is all that matters. If you are still concerned about the look of your dishes, though, you can contact the publisher or the book’s online community for help.
Q. I’m not a good cook, so should I bother even getting a cookbook?
A. Absolutely! Everybody needs to start somewhere, and a step-by-step cookbook with images and tips is a great starting point. Many cookbooks are divided into easy, intermediate, and advanced sections, so you can progress at your own pace.
America's Test Kitchen
The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook: 500 Vibrant, Kitchen-Tested Recipes for Living and Eating Well Every Day
Suzanne Ryan: Keto Karma
Simply Keto: A Practical Approach to Health & Weight Loss, with 100+ Easy Low-Carb Recipes
Kevin Curry: FitMenBook Food & Drink App
Fit Men Cook: 100+ Meal Prep Recipes for Men and Women―Always #HealthyAF, Never Boring
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