The 20 Best Cookbooks for Diabetes of 2021, According to a Dietitian

Enjoy diabetes-friendly food to the fullest

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Our Top Picks
"Written by a psychiatrist, this award-winning cookbook teaches you the 21 essential nutrients and how they relate to brain health."
"When balancing insulin and blood sugar is a priority, turn to this book which offers 175 recipes, from Zucchini Soup to Chicken Satay."
"It promises to help you reach your wellness goals, from your ideal weight and better sleep to decreased inflammation."
"Catered to the newly diagnosed, the four-week guide makes diet transitions less overwhelming and offers easy-to-follow recipes."
"Whether you're new to cooking or looking to simplify your meals, this cookbook features 175 four-ingredient recipes."
"This option offers more than just fuss-free recipes, including grocery shopping tips and meal plans."
"This guide emphasizes superfoods, whether you're working towards your goal weight or controlling your blood glucose."
"This cookbook offers a three-month plan to kickstart your way to better wellness, with recipes, meal plans, and shopping lists."
"Written by a chef living with diabetes, the guide provides insight for lifestyle strategies in and out of the kitchen."
"Lovers of Southern food can learn how to prepare savory meals with less fat and sodium."

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. Consuming nutrient-dense meals and snacks focused on a balance of complex carbohydrates, healthy fat, protein, and fiber in appropriate portion sizes can help to stabilize blood sugar.

Selecting a great cookbook filled with nutrient and flavor-packed recipes helps to make mealtime satisfying and delicious. There are many diabetes-friendly cookbook options available. It's helpful to look at the broader low-carb category to find a book that meets your cooking level, budget, time, and flavor preferences.

Here, the best cookbooks for diabetes:

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

Dr. Drew Ramsey’s Eat Complete book is for consumers interested in unique, delicious meals packed with nutrition. Eat Complete includes 100 appetizing, easy, gluten-free recipes engineered for optimal nourishment. While geared toward brain health, most recipes are low-carb and high in protein and healthy fats.

The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook

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 Cookbook

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

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

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

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.

The Diabetes Superfoods Cookbook and Meal Planner

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

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 Cookbook

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

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? A Guide to Eating Well with Diabetes or Prediabetes

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

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

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: A Baking Book

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

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

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

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

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

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.

The Diabetic Cookbook For Two

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.

What Experts Say

"When looking for a great cookbook for diabetics, 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 tastebuds. 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?

A personal note on her recommendations written above, 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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Article 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.
  1. Asif M. The prevention and control the type-2 diabetes by changing lifestyle and dietary patternJ Edu Health Promot. 2014;3(1):1. doi:10.4103/2277-9531.127541