There are a few things to consider when you’re shopping for books about nutrition. Here are our top tips:
- Consider the source. Be sure to check the author’s credentials and look for books from experts in the field, such as dietitians, physicians, or personal trainers, whenever possible.
- Be wary of outlandish health claims. Steer clear of books that make exaggerated claims that seem too good to be true. Instead, look for authors that back up their statements with studies and references from credible sources.
- Look for realistic approaches to nutrition. We recommend avoiding books that promote fad diets, unhealthy habits, or overly restrictive eating patterns. Instead, look for books with a more realistic and sustainable approach to healthy eating.
- Read customer reviews. Customer reviews can provide helpful insights to help you decide before you buy. Plus, these reviews are a good way to determine whether a book is a good fit for your level of nutrition knowledge.
- Make sure the recipes align with your health needs and goals. Especially when purchasing a cookbook, it’s important to make sure that the recipes and advice caters to your dietary needs and preferences.
All of the books on our list were chosen based on the following criteria:
- Vetting. All the publishers included have been vetted to ensure that they meet Healthline’s business standards.
- Author authority. We included books written by experts in their fields.
- Quality information. We looked for books that provide engaging, useful, and credible information.
- Customer reviews. All of the books below have mostly positive online reviews.
Written by seven-timeNew York Times best seller Michael Pollan, “Food Rules” aims to help readers understand what and how much they should eat by providing clear and concise guidelines with evidence-based explanations.
With 64 simple, common-sense principles outlined throughout its chapters, this book ditches the restrictive food rules and fad diets that dominate the nutrition industry and takes a totally different approach to healthy eating.
Best healthy eating cookbook
Well known for her healthy eating blog, Erin Clarke’s “The Well Plated Cookbook” is a must-have for anyone looking for quick, healthy recipes that don’t require expensive or hard-to-find ingredients.
With recipes like Sticky Asian Cauliflower Wings and Ultimate Creamy Mac and Cheese (4 Ways), these recipes are sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.
While she’s not a nutrition expert, Clarke has been cooking up nutritious twists on family classics since 2012. Plus, her non-diet approach to healthier eating is one we can get behind.
Best book on sustainable food
Fifty years ago, author Frances Moore Lappé made history with “Diet for a Small Planet,” her bestselling book that covered the environmental impact of food production.
In “Diet for a Hot Planet,” her daughter Anna Lappé — author and educator on sustainable food systems — has sparked the conversation once again by examining the intricate relationship between diet and climate change.
The book gets rave reviews for being informative about the issues surrounding food and sustainability, as well as providing actionable steps to become a more sustainable eater.
Best nutrition book for a healthier relationship with food
Intuitive Eating for Every Day: 365 Daily Practices & Inspirations to Rediscover the Pleasures of Eating
“Intuitive Eating for Every Day” aims to transform your relationship with your body, your food, and your health.
Written by registered dietitian Evelyn Tribole, the book covers honoring your hunger, making peace with food, and ditching the diet mentality. It also provides daily exercises intended to help you reflect, practice self-compassion, and cultivate gratitude.
If you’ve ever been interested in intuitive eating, “Intuitive Eating for Every Day” is a great place to start.
Best nutrition book for beginners
Hailed as the most trusted manual for healthy eating, the “Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Complete Food and Nutrition Guide” is a great book to have on hand if you’re a newbie to nutrition.
The book lays out clear-cut, simple strategies for healthy living, along with practical, evidence-based advice for every stage of life.
Unlike others on this list, the book isn’t designed to be read cover to cover, but instead acts as a resource for all of your basic nutrition-related questions.
Best nutrition and fitness book
Known for his blunt approach to fitness and nutrition, personal trainer James Smith offers refreshingly straightforward advice on how to adopt healthier habits, boost your training routine, and improve your life in his bestselling book titled “Not a Diet Book.”
The book also explores a variety of other complex topics, including metabolism, fitness fallacies, supplements, fat loss, muscle growth, and more.
With over 5,000 mostly 5-star ratings, the book gets rave reviews from readers who appreciate Smith’s evidence-based and uncomplicated advice on weight loss and exercise.
Best nutrition book for athletes
“Peak” is a must-have for athletes looking to upgrade their performance and maximize their potential.
Written by performance nutritionist Dr. Marc Bubbs, “Peak” takes a deep dive into the science behind sports nutrition and training techniques.
He also addresses the importance of other factors that can affect performance, such as gut health, recovery, sleep, and hormone levels.
Best book about food policy
Author and professor of nutrition and public health, Marion Nestle tackles all things food policy in her prize-winning exposé, “Food Politics.”
In addition to learning how food and nutrition policies have been driven by politics and economics, the book explains how you can make a difference by voting with your fork.
Best healthy eating book for science lovers
Pediatric neuroendocrinologist and bestselling author Dr. Robert Lustig presents a well-researched critique of modern medicine in “Metabolical,” which investigates the connection between diet, health, and chronic disease.
Backed by plenty of research and years of experience, Dr. Lustig offers a science-based look at how changing what we put on our plate can affect our health and the planet.
Best healthy eating book for new parents
Written by a pair of pediatricians and parents, “The Pediatrician’s Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers” takes the guesswork out of feeding your child and provides information on everything you need to know, from food allergies to baby-led weaning and beyond.
What’s more, it includes a variety of recipes and nutrition information to make mealtime a breeze.
Referred to as the ultimate resource for parents by several reviewers, this book is the perfect gift for any soon-to-be parent in your life.
Best easy-read nutrition book
Written by Dr. Frank Lipman, who’s frequently referred to as a leader of functional medicine, “How to Be Well” includes a variety of simple, everyday habits that can support health and well-being.
The book gets high ratings from reviewers who appreciate how the book breaks down complex nutrition research topics and presents them in an easy-to-understand format.
Customers also love that it includes helpful illustrations, sample menus, and meal ideas.
Best book about supplements
Shopping for supplements can be an overwhelming process. Fortunately, supplement expert Dr. Tieraona Low Dog aims to clear up the confusion around supplements and empower consumers to take control of their health in “Fortify Your Life.”
Not only does she cover label reading and how to shop for vitamins and minerals, but she also explores research on the connection between supplements and diet, along with how you can use supplements to feel your best.
Best book about the food industry
Author and journalist Michael Pollan takes an in-depth look at the food industry, including an examination of how it has changed over the years and the role of ultra-processed foods.
In addition to taking a deep dive into nutrition science, food politics, and the modern diet, “In Defense of Food” explores how to make thoughtful food choices and redefine what healthy eating really means.