If you’re looking to lose weight, shifting to a low carb diet is better than a low fat diet. Studies have shown that those who ate low carb foods for four months experienced greater reductions in belly fat and total fat mass. They also experienced improved health markers, such as an increase in the levels of good cholesterol and lower blood pressure.
That’s why this diet is popular among those in the fitness movement. It’s also the reason why there’s a lot of demand for low carb cookbooks.
A low carb diet is basically a diet that restricts carbohydrates like those found in sugary foods and pastries while increasing one’s consumption of protein, fat, and veggies. Most diet cookbooks tend to fall broadly within the recommended guidelines but like the low carb diet itself, there’s also a variety of low carb cookbooks to choose from.
There are 8 popular ways to do a low carb (LC) diet. You can do the basic LC diet or you can choose to do the ketogenic, the LCHF (which stands for low carb, high fat), the low carb paleo, the Atkins, the Eco-Atkins, the Zero Carb, or the Low Carb Mediterranean Diet.
Similarly, there are cookbooks that cater to any of these LC diets. You just need to choose the best one that’ll help achieve your health goals.
The best low carb cookbooks are those that feature tasty recipes that don’t make you feel like you’re on a diet. You can have your pick of those that feature quick and easy everyday meals or gourmet and sophisticated weeknight recipes. There are also family-friendly low carb books in case you feel like roping in the rest of your family into your diet.
I’m particularly partial to those that have recipes that are easy to modify. These books are more practical to use because the recipes are flexible. In the event that I drop off from my low carb diet, I can still make these recipes using ingredient substitutions that fit my cravings.
In this list, I’ve compiled the best of the low carb cookbooks to help anyone on their fitness journey. Here are my top 10 low carb cookbooks from Amazon.
Best Low Carb Cookbooks
- The Low-Carb Cookbook: The Complete Guide to the Healthy Low-Carbohydrate Lifestyle with over 250 Delicious Recipes Hardcover
- 30-Minute Low-Carb Dinners: 75 Easy-to-Prepare Meals that are Healthy, Delicious, and Fast Paperback
- Good Housekeeping Keto Diet: 100+ Low-Carb, High-Fat Recipes (Volume 22) Hardcover – Illustrated
- The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook Paperback
- One-Pot Keto Cooking: 75 Delicious Low-Carb Meals for the Busy Cook Paperback – Illustrated
- The Complete Low-Carb Cookbook (Best of the Best Presents) Perfect Paperback
- The Easy Low-Carb Cookbook: 130 Recipes for Any Low-Carb Lifestyle Paperback
- Easy Keto Dinners: Flavorful Low-Carb Meals for Any Night of the Week Paperback
- The Wholesome Yum Easy Keto Cookbook: 100 Simple Low Carb Recipes. 10 Ingredients or Less Hardcover – Illustrated
- Low-Carb Diet for Two: 100 Easy, Flavorful Recipes to Get Healthy Together Paperback
1. The Low-Carb Cookbook: The Complete Guide to the Healthy Low-Carbohydrate Lifestyle with over 250 Delicious Recipes Hardcover
This is a cookbook that features gourmet low carb and high-protein recipes. It’s a collection of flavorful recipes for those who need to limit their carbohydrate intake for the long term. Samples of the recipes include Three-Grain Pancakes with Raspberry-Orange Sauce, Nut-Crusted Swordfish with Romesco Sauce, and Crème Fraîche Ice Cream.
Recipes are well written with step-by-step instructions but do not come with photos. Most of them use ingredients that are easy to find, although there are some recipes that require more fancy and expensive stuff. As this book was published pre-Splenda era, one can use modern sweeteners to replace the book’s recommended sugar substitutes.
Readers liked the book because it features so many useful tips for mimicking the flavors of meaty dish favorites. Another liked how the recipe instructions are so detailed that it even includes the time in between each step.
Recommended for intermediate to advanced home cooks and anyone looking for a reference cookbook on the low carb lifestyle.
2. 30-Minute Low-Carb Dinners: 75 Easy-to-Prepare Meals that are Healthy, Delicious and Fast Paperback
These are quick and easy low carb recipes that range from red meats to seafood, to meatless meals and adaptogenic beverages. Samples of the selection include Zesty Mint Lettuce Lamb Burgers, Apple-Onion Pork Tenderloin, Red Curry Turkey Meatballs with Thai Peanut Sauce, 30-Minute Butter Chicken, Seared Snapper with Summer Basil Salsa; Zucchini Ramen Noodle Soup, and Pumpkin Cauliflower Mac and Cheese.
Recipes are easy to follow with short prep times. Most of them require the use of only one pot or pan. The ingredient lists are short and rely on veggie substitutions to create flavor as well as specific staples like palmini and coconut aminos. There are enough beautiful photos of the featured dishes for reference.
Recommended for keto dieters,and home cooks of all skill levels.
3. Good Housekeeping Keto Diet: 100+ Low-Carb, High-Fat Recipes Hardcover – Illustrated
This selection of keto-approved recipes includes a primer on how to start your ketogenic eating lifestyle. The featured dishes include Tuscan Sausage and Kale Frittata, Berry Blast Smoothie, Tomato, and Mozzarella Bites, Cauliflower “Popcorn,” Sesame Smoked Salmon Bombs, Bacon Cheddar Bombs, Glazed Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Breast, Pancetta Chicken, Wild-Mushroom Beef Brisket, Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps, Grilled Pork with Charred Harissa Broccoli, and Sausage-Stuffed Zucchini Boats.
Recipes have clear directions but not all have color photos of the dish. There are lots of useful tips scattered all over the book. There’s also a chart that indicates the different roasting times for various vegetables.
Recommended for Good Housekeeping readers, and keto home cooks.
4. The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook Paperback
This cookbook features 100 low carb recipes based on the Mediterranean diet and these have been developed for the keto lifestyle. The selection emphasizes the use of ingredients that have lots of monounsaturated and omega-3 fats which help contribute to an increased lifespan.
Recipes are fairly easy to make and are not time-consuming. There is detailed nutritional information for every recipe and most have color photos of the featured dish. Samples of the selection include Superfood Shakshuka, Blender Cinnamon Pancakes with Cacao Cream Topping, Green Goddess Salad, Pancetta Wrapped Sea Bass Sheet Pan, Crispy Salmon Piccata, Fierce Meatball Zoodle Bolognese, Nordic Stone Age Bread, and Chocolate Hazelnut “Powerhouse” Truffles.
Readers liked how well-thought the recipes are in this book. One was impressed by how detailed it is, down to each recipe’s omega-6/3 ratios. Another liked how the recipes make optimal use of the Mediterranean diet’s superfoods in order to make the dishes keto-appropriate.
Recommended for intermediate to advanced home cooks and anyone looking for Mediterranean diet-based keto recipes.
5. One-Pot Keto Cooking: 75 Delicious Low-Carb Meals for the Busy Cook Paperback – Illustrated
The recipes in this cookbook are complete meals so one does not have to go through looking for ideas for mains and sides each time. This is good for helping anyone keep their carb goals under 20g.
Recipes are accessible with reasonable prepping and cooking times. They also use ingredients that are easily available but can also be substituted to accommodate other dietary needs. There are color photos of the featured dishes, as well as macro breakdowns. Samples include Mushroom and Leek Frittata, Pumpkin-Spiced Keto Granola, Hearty Keto Zuppa Toscana, Creamy Chicken Potpie Soup, Incredible Eggplant Parmesan, and Easy Chicken Enchilada Skillet.
Readers liked how conveniently the recipes are presented in the book so that one can go ahead and plan one’s total carb count for the day. One liked how the dishes were flavorful enough to appeal to non-keto eaters. Another couldn’t recommend the book’s Harissa recipe enough.
Recommended for all home cooks and anyone looking for easy low carb recipes.
6. The Complete Low-Carb Cookbook (Best of the Best Presents) Perfect Paperback
There are 130 recipes here that are gluten-free and do not use added sugar. It also includes a lot of helpful tips to reinvent recipes without using processed foods. One can use these techniques to lower the carb content of your favorite comfort foods.
Recipe directions are easy to follow and most recipes come with full-color photographs. Prepping times are short (around 15 minutes) and cooking times generally range from 20 minutes to 2 hours. Those who’ve tried the recipes found the flavors sophisticated and delicious.
Readers like the variety of the recipes. One found the selection useful for transitioning for a flexible, low carb lifestyle. Another uses this book daily for healthy ideas and recipes.
Recommended for anyone looking for low carb, sugar-free recipes.
7. The Easy Low-Carb Cookbook: 130 Recipes for Any Low-Carb Lifestyle Paperback
This is a good introductory cookbook to low carb cooking because it features recipes that can be adapted to fit any weight loss diet, like keto and paleo. It also has practical information on how to stock the pantry with low carb staples and tips on how to make dishes more flavorful.
Recipes are labeled by convenience (30-minute, 5-ingredient, no-cook, and one-pot meals) and are easy to follow. Most of the recipes have high-fat content and use ingredients that are easy to source. There are also tips for modifying the recipes whenever possible. Nutritional information is also available for every recipe. There are, however, no recipe photos, which may bum out beginner cooks.
Those who’ve tried the recipes found them family-friendly and delicious. One liked the book for inspiring her to make variation of its healthy recipes. Another liked the reliability of the recipes.
Recommended for anyone looking for low carb, high fat recipes.
8. Easy Keto Dinners: Flavorful Low-Carb Meals for Any Night of the Week Paperback
This cookbook focuses on keto-friendly dinner recipes that are easy and quick to make. There are more than 50 recipes here that range from freezer-friendly, 30 minute, slow cooker, and one pan recipes.
Recipes have detailed prep instructions and full-color photos. They use ingredients that one can easily find in grocery stores. There are also notes covering serving suggestions as well as tips for simplifying the dinner process. Nutrition facts are listed per recipe.
Readers liked that most of the recipes offer side suggestions to go with each meal. Anyone lactose intolerant will find this book useful since most of the recipes here are dairy-free.
Recommended for keto cooks and anyone looking for delicious weeknight-friendly recipes.
9. The Wholesome Yum Easy Keto Cookbook: 100 Simple Low Carb Recipes. 10 Ingredients or Less Hardcover – Illustrated
The recipes in this cookbook are low carb, keto versions of popular comfort food. There are recipes for Flourless Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Waffles, Sheet Pan Sausage Breakfast Sandwiches, Crispy Keto Chicken Fingers, Spaghetti Squash Ramen Soup, and Keto Garlic Breadsticks. There is also a separate section on recreating the author’s signature “fathead” keto dough which is used for making keto bread and pastries.
Recipes are simple and easy to follow but some use specialty ingredients that may be expensive. There are full-color photos of every featured dish for easy reference.
Readers found the book’s suggestions for swap-outs very useful for substituting high carb ingredients with keto-approved ones. Another liked that the explanations about keto lifestyle are quick but thorough.
Recommended for anyone looking for a good primer on the keto lifestyle.
10. Low-Carb Diet for Two: 100 Easy, Flavorful Recipes to Get Healthy Together Paperback
This cookbook will help you reduce your food leftovers since the recipes were developed to scale for feeding two people. Samples of the recipes include Antipasto Zoodle Salad with Herbed Vinaigrette, Green Curry Poached Salmon Bowls, Beef and Spinach Stroganoff, and Double Fudge Brownies.
Recipes are easily adaptable and include substitutions for making dishes lower-sodium, lower-fat, dairy-free, vegan, or diabetes-friendly. It also includes nutritional info as well as grocery shopping suggestions for sourcing the ingredients.
Those who’ve tried the recipes found them easy to do and fit within the low carb target of 80-100 grams per day. One liked the book for its seasoning recipes. Another liked how the recipes could also be doubled if need be.
Recommended for anyone looking for two-person low carb meals and recipes.
THE LOW CARB COOKBOOK: THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE HEALTHY LOW-CARBOHYDRATE LIFESTYLE by Fran McCullough
The recipes in this cookbook are not bland. Most of them are high fat but they’re versatile enough to work with any diet regimen like Atkins, Sugarbusters, or the Zone. Those who’ve cooked through the dishes in this book found them to be flavorful and delicious that even picky non-dieters will eat it, no questions asked.
It’s also the most user-friendly cookbook. There are suggested menu plans at the end of the book which newbies will find helpful and it gives a lot of great advice on how to shop for the special ingredients used by some recipes by mail order or online.
If you need to have just one low carb cookbook in your kitchen library, you can’t go wrong with having this one in your collection.