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My Top 10 Books for Healthy Eating

Updated on June 26, 2015
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Kathy is a busy mom of two teens who loves to cook tasty and simple food for her family and friends.

Healthy cooking books on my bookshelf in the kitchen
Healthy cooking books on my bookshelf in the kitchen | Source

Over the last few years, I have been on a journey to healthy eating. To me, eating healthily means reducing the amount of processed foods I eat and choosing whole foods as much as possible, with a focus on a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains.

When I eat in this manner, I feel better, lose weight, don't get sick as often and have more energy. Research has also shown that this type of diet may be helpful in reducing the risk of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer.

The books listed below are all books that I have in my personal library and that I have found to be most helpful in my quest to eat healthier.

My Favourite Books for Healthy Eating

Book Title
Ace Your Health: 52 Ways to Stack Your Deck
Theresa Albert
The Best of Clean Eating
Editors of Clean Eating Magazine
Jamie's Food Revolution
Jamie Oliver
The Eat-Clean Diet
Tosca Reno
Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook
Weight Watchers
The Looneyspoons Collection
Janet & Greta Podleski
The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia
Rebecca Wood
American Heart Association Healthy Family Meals
American Heart Association
The Whole Family Cookbook
Michelle Stern
HeartSmart: The Best of HeartSmart Cooking
Bonnie Stern

My Top Ten List:

Ace Your Health: 52 Ways to Stack Your Deck by Theresa Albert

This book focuses on simple steps and lifestyle shifts you can take to improve your health. It is divided into sections mirroring a deck of cards, with weekly challenges each represented by a different card in the deck. Theresa Albert is a registered nutritional consulting practitioner, so a lot of the book's advice is about healthy food and good eating habits, but there are also tips for other ways to improve your health, including losing weight, sleeping better and reducing stress and anxiety. There are recipes interspersed throughout the book, and some of them have introduced new foods to my diet that I now eat on a regular basis, such as the Magic Muesli recipe.

The Best of Clean Eating: Improving Your Life One Meal At A Time from the Editors of Clean Eating Magazine

This is a beautiful cookbook, containing over 200 recipes from Clean Eating magazine. The recipes focus on using fresh whole food ingredients, and the book is full of amazing food photography of many of the recipes. There is a good variety of recipes, from quick and easy meals and healthy snacks, to holiday recipes and delicious desserts. Interspersed throughout the cookbook are clean eating tips, nutritional bonuses and guides on different ingredients such as spices, flours, grains and herbs. There are also sample weekly meal plans and shopping lists.

The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia: A Comprehensive Resource for Healthy Eating by Rebecca Wood

A great resource for anyone trying to eat more whole foods, this book provides information about more than 1000 different whole foods, in alphabetical order. It provides information about each food's nutritional information and health benefits, along with tips on purchasing and preparing the food. There are some recipes, but the primary focus is on educating people about the foods themselves.

The Eat-Clean Diet by Tosca Reno

I'm not a big fan of the word "diet" - too many diets are unrealistic, unhealthy and simply aren't sustainable. Tosca Reno 's approach is different, and encourages a healthy relationship with food. She advocates avoiding over-processed, refined foods, chemicals, preservatives and artificial sugars and eating more frequent, smaller meals primarily made up of complex carbohydrates and lean proteins. Recipes in this book are built around whole grains, lean proteins and fruits and vegetables and are accompanied by full-page colour photographs. There is a lot of information about the reasons behind her recommendations, tips for how to make changes, information on superfoods, sample weekly meal plans and shopping lists, and much more.

If you're already familiar with the principles of clean eating and are looking more for recipes, then you may want to get one of Tosca's cookbooks instead. The food photos are delicious looking and should inspire you to try some of the healthy recipes.

The Looneyspoons Collection by Janet & Greta Podleski

This is the latest cookbook from Canadian sisters Janet and Greta Podleski. Previous titles include "Looney-Spoons: Low Fat Food Made Fun," "Eat Shrink and Be Merry: Great Tasting Food That Won't Go From your Lips to Your Hips," and "Crazy Plates: Low-Fat Food So Good, You'll Swear It's Bad for You!" As with their other bestselling cookbooks, this cookbook is full of recipes for healthy food with funny and playful names, such as "Honey, I Shrunk My Thighs!" and "Moroccan and Rollin Quinoa Salad." There is a light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek tone to the cookbook with lots of word play and quirky humour. Food facts and nutrition tips are interspersed throughout the book in a fun way.

Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook: Over 500 Delicious Recipes for the Healthy Cook's Kitchen

This is a great cookbook to have in your kitchen, whether you are trying to lose weight or not. You don't have to be following the Weight Watchers plan to benefit from the hundreds of healthy recipes in this book. Most of the recipes are very straight-forward, with basic ingredients most people would already have in their kitchen. There is a wide variety of recipes, and the dividers in the binder version make it very easy to find what you are looking for. The section on recipes for sauces, marinades and dressings is very helpful for making some healthy changes to your diet that can be incorporated into many different types of meals.

American Heart Association Healthy Family Meals: 150 Recipes Everyone Will Love

This book is great for busy families that are short on time for meal preparation. It focuses on recipes for entrees that don't take a lot of time to cook, and provides suggestions for simple side dishes to make it a full meal. The book is divided into four sections: Everyday Dinners, Busy Nights, Plan-Aheads and Cook Once, Eat Twice. The recipes provide healthy alternatives to convenience foods, and full nutritional information is included for all recipes.

The Whole Family Cookbook: Celebrate the Goodness of Locally Grown Foods by Michelle Stern

This is an excellent cookbook for anyone trying to instill healthy eating habits in their children. Its focus on kid-friendly recipes using wholesome fresh ingredients is a great way to teach kids of all ages about cooking and healthy eating. The recipes are colour-coded to help parents determine which steps are appropriate for different age groups, and the beautiful photos will appeal to both kids and adults.

Jamie's Food Revolution: Rediscover How to Cook Simple, Delicious, Affordable Meals by Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver is a British chef who has developed quite a following with his TV shows around the world. Jamie believes that learning to cook good food from scratch is one of the "most essential and fundamental skills that every single person on this planet should have." In this book, Jamie provides step-by-step instructions for healthy homemade meals, and shares stories of how teaching others to cook has empowered them. Many of the recipes are accompanied by photos of the meal at different stages in the preparation process, which is very helpful.

HeartSmart: The Best of HeartSmart Cooking by Bonnie Stern

This cookbook from Canadian chef Bonnie Stern and the Heart and Stroke Foundation is the latest in a series of cookbooks designed to show that healthy eating can still be delicious. It contains over 300 of the best recipes from cookbooks over the past decade, along with 75 new ones. There is a wide range of recipes, from simple and quick dinners to elegant entertaining, and complete nutritional information is provided for each recipe.

There you have it - the ten books I have found most helpful as I try to live a healthier life. If you're looking for something to inspire you, I'd recommend any of these books.

If you have a favourite book on healthy eating that's not on my list, please tell me about it in the comments below.

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