The 8 Best Healthy Cookbooks to Buy in 2018

Get inspired for mealtime with these handy guides

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If you want to develop healthy eating habits but aren’t sure where to start, you could definitely benefit from the help of a healthy cookbook. There are dozens of amazing cookbooks out there with recipes that are equally delicious and nutritious, and when you find the right one, it will make it a breeze to learn good habits and stick with a healthy diet.

Because there are so many options to choose from, you’ll want to pick a cookbook that fits into your lifestyle. Are you looking for low-calorie recipes? Or maybe recipes designed just for two people? Do you want to learn how to meal prep? Or are you planning to use these meals to fuel athletic endeavors? Ask yourself these questions, then pick the healthy cookbook that’s best for you. Read on to learn about the best healthy cookbooks you can buy right now.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: The Laura Lea Balanced Cookbook

For a top-rated cookbook that will help you love healthy eating, you can’t go wrong with The Laura Lea Balanced Cookbook: 120+ Everyday Recipes for the Healthy Home Cook. This healthy cookbook was created by Laura Lea Goldberg, the blogger behind LLBalanced, and it’s designed to help you be more consistent about eating right, all while providing mouth-watering nutritional recipes.

The Laura Lea Balanced Cookbook has more than 120 recipes, encompassing everything from smoothies to healthy bread and filling dinner entrees. Many of the recipes can be made ahead of time, making healthy eating more accessible to those with busy lifestyles, and the majority of the meals come together in 30 minutes or less. The book also contains shopping lists and menu plans to make the prospect of eating right exciting instead of cumbersome.

Perhaps the most compelling part of this cookbook are the hundreds of glowing reviews. Users write that The Laura Lea Balanced Cookbook is one of their favorites, thanks to its delicious recipes, beautiful pictures, and overall versatility.

Best Budget: The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook

You don’t have to shell out major cash to discover healthy recipes. The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook: Easy and Wholesome Meals to Cook, Prep, Grab, and Go by Tobi Amidor is an incredibly budget-friendly cookbook that has more than 100 simple, wholesome recipes to get you excited about eating right.

The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook teaches you how to create balanced, delicious meals, even when you’re short on time. It contains dozens of breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes, including nutritional information and portion guidelines, all written in easy-to-understand language. Additionally, you’ll find three two-week meal plans, weekly shopping lists, and illustrated guides on how to best prep and store your meals.

Reviewers agree that this cookbook is a worthwhile purchase, especially for the price, thanks to its helpful tips and tricks, wide variety of recipes, and easy-to-follow instructions. If you’re looking to delve into the world of meal prepping or healthy eating in general, this cookbook is a good place to start.

Best for Families: Feeding the Whole Family: Cooking with Whole Foods

It can be tough to feed your family nutritious meals if your kids turn up their noses at certain foods, which is why it’s important to get them eating right early on. With the help of Feeding the Whole Family: Cooking with Whole Foods, you’ll be able to build a solid foundation for your family, helping your little ones develop good habits that will benefit them for years to come.

This family cookbook by Cynthia Lair has over 200 recipes based on a whole-food diet. While there are plenty of meals in the book, you’ll also find actionable information on topics like breastfeeding, transitioning babies to solid foods, food allergies, and the importance of eating meals as a family. Plus, many of the recipes in Feeding the Whole Family are specially designed so you can have a simpler version for the kids and a more complex dish for yourself—cool, right?

According to reviewers, the recipes in this cookbook are quick, easy, and healthy. Many note that the meals are delicious and kid-friendly, making Feeding the Whole Family a staple in their homes.

Best Low Calorie: The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor

One of the biggest struggles people face when eating healthy is that they tend to consume too many calories on a daily basis. If you’re looking to cut back on calories while still enjoying tasty meals, you should invest in The Skinnytaste Cookbook by Gina Homolka.

The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor is all about how to make delicious recipes without the high calorie count. There are 150 recipes in the book, all of which include nutritional information. You’ll find meals like Fettuccini Alfredo with Chicken and Broccoli, Make-Ahead Western Omelet "Muffins," and even Double Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies—yes, these mouth-watering recipes are all low-cal!

This low-calorie cookbook has close to 2,000 5-star reviews from happy users. People say the hype is well-deserved, thanks to the amazing recipes, stunning images, simple instructions, and helpful tips. If you’re looking to cut down on calories without sacrificing flavor, you need this book!

Best for Two People: Healthy Cookbook for Two

If you live alone or with your partner, it can be challenging to commit to healthy recipes that make a huge number of servings, especially if you’re not keen on leftovers. Luckily, the Healthy Cookbook for Two is the solution to your woes, providing hundreds of perfectly portioned recipes for smaller households.

Healthy Cookbook for Two: 175 Simple, Delicious Recipes to Enjoy Cooking for Two comes with ample recipes for every meal of the day, and it provides detailed nutritional information to boot. You’ll discover meals like Couscous Avocado Salad, Classic Minestrone, Oven-baked Fish and Chips, Chicken Cacciatore, and Juicy Lamb Burgers, all designed to feed just two people. Additionally, the book contains meal plan guidelines and shopping tips to help make your new healthy lifestyle easier than you thought possible.

Reviewers note that the recipes in this cookbook are “easy, economical, and delicious.” Many users enjoy that there are little to no leftovers from the meals, so they don’t end up eating the same thing all week.

Best for Athletes: Run Fast. Eat Slow.: Nourishing Recipes for Athletes

It’s no secret that athletes need proper nutrition to fuel their active lifestyles. The New York Times bestselling cookbook Run Fast. Eat Slow.: Nourishing Recipes for Athletes may be a worthwhile purchase if you’re looking for power-packed recipes to keep you at peak performance.

Run Fast. Eat Slow. contains more than 100 recipes for every meal of the day, containing tasty options like Arugula Cashew Pesto, Bison Meatballs, Superhero Muffins, Kale Radicchio Salad, and Double Chocolate Cookies. The book, written by former Olympian Shalane Flanagan and chef Elyse Kopecky, seeks to dispel the myth that fats are bad for athletes. The book also discourages reliance on restrictive diets to improve performance. It includes helpful guides on how to stock your pantry as well.

This cookbook for athletes is another one with hundreds of 5-star reviews. Reviewers call it a “must-have” for active people, writing that the recipes are delicious and flavorful. Many also love that each recipe includes a story behind it, making it more than your average cookbook.

Best for Meal Prep: Meal Prep: The Complete Meal Prep Cookbook For Beginners

Meal prepping can seem pretty intimidating, but once you get the hang of it, it’s an unbeatable way to stay on track with your healthy eating goals. Is your interest piqued? If so, you can learn everything you need to know about this lifestyle from Meal Prep: The Complete Meal Prep Cookbook For Beginners by Lynda Rhodes.

This cookbook is a comprehensive guide to meal prepping, even if you’ve never tried it before. It’s packed with meal-prep friendly recipes like Lamb and Salad Pita Pockets, Chicken and Root Veggie Bowls, Quinoa Sushi Rolls, and Salmon and Egg Muffins, but it also provides a lot of beginner-friendly information about the art of meal prepping. You’ll learn tricks for prepping faster and more efficiently, explanations of macro nutrients, tips on grocery shopping, weight loss strategies, and more.

Again and again, reviewers mention that this is a wonderful book for beginners, saying that the author does a great job explaining the basics of meal prepping and providing easy, tasty recipes. Many appreciate the variety of the meals, saying it helps combat the common issue of getting bored with pre-prepared food.

Best for College Students: Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day

Everyone knows about the “freshman 15” that sneaks up on college students, which is why it’s important for young adults to learn about eating right. To that end, Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day is a helpful resource for college students who want to eat healthy while maintaining their tight budgets.

Good and Cheap by Leanna Brown is all about how you can eat well without breaking the bank. This cookbook for college kids includes more than 100 recipes like Spicy Pulled Pork, Barley Risotto with Peas, Chorizo and White Bean Ragu, and Vegetable Jambalaya, and all the recipes can be made for $4 per day. The book also contains resources on how to shop smart, build up an arsenal of key kitchen tools, and maximize every ingredients—all essential skills in college and beyond.

Reviewers write that this book can change the way you approach cooking for the better. While it is designed for anyone on a budget, it is especially helpful for college students who are just starting out on their own.

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