The Best Cookbooks for Diabetes, According to a Dietitian

"Eat Complete" provides easy-to-cook recipes for diabetes-friendly food

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Evidence shows that diet is crucial to the overall management of diabetes, but a diabetes diagnosis does not mean that you have to be resigned to a life of flavorless, boring food. Cookbooks for diabetes are a great way to maintain a balanced diet while still consuming the food you love. The best cookbooks for diabetes appeal to your tastebuds and have recipes with clear nutritional values listed, especially carbs per serving.

Reviewed & Approved

Our top pick is "Eat Complete: The 21 Nutrients That Fuel Brainpower, Boost Weight Loss, and Transform Your Health" because its recipes are easy to cook and engineered for optimal nourishment. If you're focusing on balancing your blood sugar and insulin, try "The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook: More than 175 Ultra-Tasty Recipes for Total Health and Weight Loss."

Also consider your cooking level, budget, and time when shopping for a cookbook. If you live an on-the-go lifestyle, a cookbook with shorter and quick-cooking recipes will be a great option. Checking the credibility of the author is another important factor to consider. To help you find the right diabetes cookbook for your needs, we researched a variety of options with these factors in mind.

Here are the best cookbooks for diabetes, according to a dietitian.

Eat Complete: The 21 Nutrients That Fuel Brainpower, Boost Weight Loss, and Transform Your Health

Eat Complete - The 21 Nutrients That Fuel Brainpower, Boost Weight Loss, and Transform Your Health

Courtesy of Amazon

"Eat Complete" is a book for consumers interested in unique, delicious meals packed with nutrition. It's written by Dr. Drew Ramsey, a food psychiatrist, and includes 100 appetizing, easy, gluten-free recipes engineered for optimal nourishment. It also includes a guide that goes over the 21 nutrients to help improve brain function and overall well-being. Reviewers note that the guide is informative and so easy to follow that you can use it to create your own recipes with foods not mentioned in the book if you desire. While it is geared more toward brain health, most recipes are low-carb and high in protein and healthy fats. Each recipe also uses commonly found ingredients, so they're easy to cook and integrate into your meal plans.

The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook: More than 175 Ultra-Tasty Recipes for Total Health and Weight Loss

The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook

Courtesy of Amazon

Dr. Mark Hyman’s Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook piggybacks off of his book, The Blood Sugar Solution, which he describes as a “goof-proof plan to reverse the root causes of diabetes and obesity." In addition to 175 mouth-watering recipes, this book also contains a pantry and suggested shopping list. 

Body Love: Live in Balance, Weigh What You Want, and Free Yourself from Food Drama Forever

Body Love - Live in Balance, Weigh What You Want, and Free Yourself from Food Drama Forever

Courtesy of Amazon

Celebrity nutritionist Kelly Leveque does a fabulous job educating readers about balancing blood sugar through dietary modifications. Using her Fab Four approach—which focuses on fiber, protein, fat, and greens—Kelly provides readers with 88 simple recipes, including sweet tooth-satisfying smoothies with names like snickerdoodle and lemon cookie. 

Diabetic Cookbook and Meal Plan for the Newly Diagnosed: A 4-Week Introductory Guide to Manage Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetic Cookbook and Meal Plan for the Newly Diagnosed

Courtesy of Amazon

Specifically designed for those newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, this diabetic cookbook lays out an easy-to-follow meal plan to prevent side effects and maintain normal blood sugar levels. Written by Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, Lori Zanini, each recipe notes the carbohydrates per serving and features quick reference labels such as no-Cook, 5-Ingredient, and 30-Minutes-or-Less. 

The 4-Ingredient Diabetes Cookbook

The 4-Ingredient Diabetes Cookbook

Courtesy of Amazon

Supported by the American Diabetes Association, this book contains simple recipes that meet the ADA's nutritional standards for diabetes. It's ideal for the consumer who wants to eat healthy but is short on time or interest in cooking. Each recipe calls for four ingredients or less.

The Clean & Simple Diabetes Cookbook: Flavorful, Fuss-Free Recipes for Everyday Meal Planning

The Clean & Simple Diabetes Cookbook: Flavorful, Fuss-Free Recipes for Everyday Meal Planning

Amazon

Looking for a cookbook that has been designed for simplicity? If so, The Clean and Simple Diabetes Cookbook by Registered Dietitian Jackie Newgent is for you. With over 100 recipes, this book is perfect for those who want quick meals made with minimal ingredients, common cooking equipment, and detailed, easy-to-understand instructions. Each recipe has nutrition facts, and the book is supported by the American Diabetes Association.

Diabetes Superfoods Cookbook and Meal Planner: Power-Packed Recipes and Meal Plans Designed to Help You Lose Weight and Control Your Blood Glucose

Diabetes Superfoods Cookbook and Meal Planner

Courtesy of Amazon

Ever stop and wonder, what exactly is a “superfood”? Every recipe in this book written by two dietitians features at least one superfood known to help diabetes and maximize the nutrient density of meals. The book cuts through the marketing and sensational noise around superfoods. It gives readers all of the factual information they need to make flavor-packed meals that meet the American Diabetes Association’s nutrition guidelines.

The Type 2 Diabetic Cookbook & Action Plan: A Three-Month Kickstart Guide for Living Well with Type 2 Diabetes

The Type 2 Diabetic Cookbook & Action Plan

Courtesy of Amazon

Leaving the doctor’s office with a new diabetes diagnosis and a stack of lifestyle modification pamphlets can be overwhelming. The Type 2 Diabetic Cookbook and Action Plan offers readers a three-month plan for managing diabetes, complete with fully customizable meal plans that guide readers through carbohydrate counting.

The Sweet Life: Diabetes without Boundaries

The Sweet Life - Diabetes without Boundaries

Courtesy of Amazon

Sam Talbot is a professional chef, Top Chef contestant, restaurateur, and has been thriving with type 1 Diabetes since age 12. This cookbook offers readers his professional foodie wisdom and 75 innovative recipes for fresh, all-natural dishes anybody can prepare and enjoy.

The Southern Comfort Food Diabetes Cookbook: Over 100 Recipes for a Healthy Life

The Southern Comfort Food Diabetes Cookbook

Courtesy of Amazon

Contrary to common belief, cooking for diabetes does not mean a lack of flavor. Registered Dietitian Maya Feller proves that flavor is still alive and well in her book, The Southern Comfort Food Diabetes Cookbook. The book offers over 100 variations on favorite southern dishes like fried chicken and mac and cheese, made with healthier substitutions like alternative grains and flours, garlic, onion, and chives, instead of excessive starch and salt. Think barbeque sauce and biscuits are a thing of the past? This book shows readers otherwise while keeping the ADA nutrition guidelines in mind.

What Do I Eat Now? 3rd Edition: A Guide to Eating Well with Diabetes or Prediabetes

What Do I Eat Now - A Guide to Eating Well with Diabetes or Prediabetes

Courtesy of Amazon

What Do I Eat Now? 3rd Edition: A Guide to Eating Well with Diabetes or Prediabetes is the newest edition of the American Diabetes Association’s best-selling resource. Written in clear, concise language, each chapter in this beginner-friendly guide explains a vital concept of diabetes nutrition, including carbohydrates and macronutrients, eating patterns for diabetes management and prevention, portion control, smart shopping and cooking techniques, and strategies for eating out. Part guide, part recipe book, grab this book to set your diabetes education in motion. 

The Gestational Diabetes Cookbook & Meal Plan: A Balanced Eating Guide for You and Your Baby

The Gestational Diabetes Cookbook & Meal Plan

Courtesy of Amazon

Pregnancy in and of itself can be a stressful period in life for women. Add a gestational diabetes diagnosis to the mix, and eating well can seem even more challenging. This book offers readers a four-week meal plan with tasty recipes like Italian zucchini boats and maple sausage frittata. In addition to tasty recipes, readers will find a guide on reading a nutrition label and a glycemic load list.

Super Foods for Super Kids Cookbook: 50 Delicious (and Secretly Healthy) Recipes Kids Will Love to Make

Super Foods for Super Kids Cookbook

Courtesy of Amazon

Getting kids into the kitchen is an excellent way to prevent or manage picky eating and get your child excited about nutritious foods. Although this book is not specifically focused on children with diabetes, the recipes within its pages are nutrient-dense and the nutrition information provided helps parents design balanced meal plans. Designed for children ages 8 to 12, many of the steps can be completed by them; however, recipes are labeled if a knife, stove, or oven is needed. Registered Dietitian and author Noelle Martin introduces superfoods like avocados, lentils, and walnuts to get kids excited about food. 

Sweet Laurel: Recipes for Whole Food, Grain-Free Desserts: A Baking Book

Sweet Laurel - Recipes for Whole Food, Grain-Free Desserts - A Baking Book

Courtesy of Amazon

If you have a sweet tooth, this book is for you. The indulgent yet healthful recipes come from trendy LA bakeshop cofounders Laurel Gallucci and Claire Thomas. Although these recipes are not sugar-free, they include nutrient-dense ingredients that are less inflammatory than white sugar and flour found in traditional baked goods. This book is best for those who have been practicing a carbohydrate-controlled diet for a while and are familiar with portion and serving sizes. 

Healing Through Nutrition: The Essential Guide to 50 Plant-Based Nutritional Sources

Healing Through Nutrition

Courtesy of Amazon

For consumers that have been intrigued by the power of plant foods but unsure how to actually eat them, this cookbook is for you. Written by a Registered Dietitian, Eliza Savage, this book focuses on 50 powerhouse healing foods. Following a brief but potent history of nutritional healing and plant nutrition basics, this book contains 94 delicious recipes. Enjoy fiber-packed dishes like banana chia pudding and pesto lentils, yum!

Diabetic Meal Prep for Beginners: Diabetic Cookbook with Simple and Healthy Diabetes Meal Prep Recipes with 30-Day Meal Plan

This simple, easy-to-follow book gives readers a breakdown of the different types of diabetes, including gestational diabetes. In addition to a cohesive introduction, this book lays out a 30-day meal plan that's complete with recipes and helpful nutrition facts.

Eat What You Love Diabetic Cookbook: Comforting, Balanced Meals

Eat What You Love Diabetic Cookbook

Courtesy of Amazon

Written by Lori Zanini—a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, Diabetes Lifestyle Expert at DiabetesEveryDay.com, and fellow person with diabetes—this cookbook features recipes with nutrition information and indicates whether or not the dish is complete on its own or if it should be paired with another recipe to create a balanced plate.

Diabetic Air Fryer Cookbook: Easy and Healthy Diabetic Cookbook Using Your Air Fryer with 30-Days Meal Plan

Diabetic Air Fryer Cookbook

Courtesy of Amazon

Air fryers are all the rage these days and for a good reason. Air fryers keep food tasty and crispy with less oil and cut down on unnecessary extra calories and potentially inflammatory fats. This cookbook walks readers through air fryer recipes specifically designed for people with diabetes.

The One-Pot Diabetic Cookbook: Effortless Meals for Your Dutch Oven, Pressure Cooker, Sheet Pan, Skillet, and More

The One-Pot Diabetic Cookbook

Courtesy of Amazon

Cooking delicious meals that are tasty and healthy is great but dirtying up a bunch of pots and pans, no thank you! Enter the One-Pot Diabetes Cookbook, a book designed to help consumers prepare balanced, full meals that will feed the whole family using only one pot. Recipes are split up into different “pots” with preparation options ranging from a slow cooker to a soup pot and a simple salad bowl.

Diabetic Cookbook for Two: 125 Perfectly Portioned, Heart-Healthy, Low-Carb Recipes

Diabetic Cookbook for Two

Courtesy of Amazon

Whether you are the chef in the house or you are just starting to get comfortable in the kitchen, The Diabetic Cookbook For Two is designed with all skill sets in mind. Featuring 125 low carb recipes, this book provides simple tips for cooking together and meal planning. Readers can easily track macronutrients thanks to the nutritional information provided and enjoy fresh recipes like the cinnamon-almond green smoothie and the edamame walnut salad.

Final Verdict

There are many great cookbooks that you can use for delicious diabetes-approved meals, but we especially love The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook (view at Amazon).

What to Look for in a Cookbook for Diabetes

Nutrition Facts Information

Cookbooks that provide the nutrition information for each recipe make menu planning super easy by taking the guesswork out. Readers should scan the nutritional information and pay attention to serving size when determining how carbohydrate-dense a meal will be.

Carbohydrate Exchange Information

Designed by a committee of the American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Association, the Diabetic Exchange List is a helpful tool for carbohydrate counting and meal planning.  

Recipes

Always take a look at the recipe list to ensure that the recipes included in the book appeal to your tastebuds.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which foods are best for a person with diabetes?

    Like so many others, you may worry that you need to give up all your favorite foods with diabetes. But you can still eat what you like, just in moderation.

    The best foods to eat with diabetes are a mix of healthy, nutrient-dense foods from all the food groups, including fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and dairy.

    It’s also best to include heart-healthy fats such as olive oil, nuts and seeds, and avocados. Including these types of fat, along with your healthy balanced diet, may improve heart health and lower your risk of developing heart disease. 

    When creating meals and snacks, it’s best to follow the meal plan that helps you maintain blood sugar control. Your registered dietitian or health care provider can help you design a plan that works best for you.

  • What is a typical menu for a person with diabetes?

    There’s no single diet or meal plan for people with diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. A typical menu for a person with diabetes should include a mix of healthy foods in the right portions. 

    There are many healthy eating patterns you can follow to help you manage your diabetes, including the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet, or the low-carb diet. When it comes to menu planning for your diabetes, you need to take time to plan your meals, shop, and prepare your food. Eating healthy, whether you have diabetes or not, requires your active involvement.

  • How do I make sure a recipe meets my nutritional goals?

    Many health-focused cookbooks and recipes provide nutrition information, including serving size, calories, carbohydrates, fat, and protein content. Using this information can help you decide if the recipe meets your nutritional goals. If you have a recipe without nutrition information, take a look at the ingredients to see if it includes items you typically eat.

    In general, a healthy diet for diabetes is one filled with nutrient-dense foods. However, all foods fit as long as you're mindful of your portions.

    Even if it’s your famous family recipe for chocolate chip cookies, you can include these treats in your diet as long as you limit your treat to a reasonable portion. 

    In the case of chocolate chip cookies, maybe instead of eating a potato with your dinner, you double up on your salad greens and finish your meal with a small serving of your homemade cookies (usually one or two cookies).

What Experts Say

"When looking for a great cookbook for diabetes, be sure to consider two important factors: taste and time. First, take a look at the table of contents to ensure that the recipes appeal to your taste buds. Second, skim through a few recipes to see the level of difficulty and cooking time. If you're newer to preparing your own meals or aren't yet a confident chef, a cookbook with simpler and shorter recipes may be best for you."
Eliza Savage, MS, RD, CDN

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

As a registered dietitian, Sydney Greene puts the same care and thoroughness when researching these products as she would for herself or her clients. An avid home cook herself, she focuses her attention on assessing the feasibility of recipes and the variety of options available.  

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4 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  4. Ueleman S. Ask the Expert: What is the ADA Diet?. American Diabetes Association Diabetes Food Hub.