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In theory, a keto diet sounds pretty simple. Cut out carbs, eat more protein and fats.
But waving goodbye to carbs is something that probably seems unachievable for more than a few days at a time. Especially if you’re new to the world of keto dieting and supplement most meals with a piece of bread, a scoop of rice or a helping of potatoes.
The best keto diet books aim to challenge your traditional beliefs about low carb dieting, showing you easy methods to successfully swap carbs for protein-heavy replacements without waving goodbye to delicious dishes and your favourite foods. Our recommendations below don’t only share recipes but also give you nutritional breakdowns, tips to stay on track and scientific evidence to back up your diet plan safely.
What is a keto diet?
A keto diet is a very low carb, high fat diet which causes the body to stop using glucose reserves (from carbs) for energy. After a few days of eating very low carbs, the liver starts producing ketones, causing the body to enter ketosis, when it starts to burn its own fat reserves for energy instead. A keto diet typically comprises 70-75 per cent fat, 20 per cent protein and 5-10 per cent carbs – although this varies from person to person.
Keto plans from the past will tell you to eat helpings of bacon, butter and cheese for every meal but if you’re looking for something more exciting, consult a keto cookbook. These will detail how to incorporate everything from healthy snacks and side dishes right the way through to four-course meals, low carb pizzas, desserts and more.
Read on for all of our top picks.
The Essential Keto Diet Cookbook 2022 by Brady Brown
If you’re looking to transition to a keto diet but don’t want to invest in a whole stack of new cookbooks, The Essential Keto Diet Cookbook 2022 is the one to keep you going. Home to 500 recipes, you could feasibly cook up a different recipe every single day from this book for a year and still have plenty to work your way through.
Many of the recipes are probably already familiar favourites, just slightly edited to fulfil the keto requirements by swapping common carbs for protein. Others might be a little more inventive but are still easy to cook up from scratch. Rather than focusing purely on weight loss, this Keto Diet Cookbook also teaches you tricks to increase energy levels and generally feel a bit better in yourself.
Buy now £9.68, Amazon
I Can’t Believe It’s Keto! by Leili Malakooti
“Oh, I couldn’t survive without bread!” you say, in horror. “A life without pizza? Without cupcakes? Without donuts and fried chicken and scones?” I Can’t Believe It’s Keto! will have you drooling from cover to cover with its seemingly-miraculous keto-friendly equivalents of carb-heavy dishes.
Many of the 60 recipes from this book work perfectly as supplements to healthy dishes, like the Pesto Breadsticks or Cheesy, Crunchy Mozzarella Sticks. Sure, it’s not the healthiest keto book out there, but it might be the one that keeps you on track next time you’re craving something heavy.
Leili Malakooti lost 100 lbs following her keto plan so, in theory, if you wanted to eat Churro Cheesecake Bars and Crazy Glazed Donuts every week and still lose weight, this is your guidance on how to do so.
Buy now £13.61, Amazon
Tom Kerridge’s Dopamine Diet: My low-carb, stay-happy way to lose weight by Tom Kerridge
Tom Kerridge’s book doesn’t explicitly call itself a keto diet book. But this low-carb diet follows most of the rules of keto, sticking to high protein, high(ish) fat recipes with plenty of healthy ingredients.
Replacing typical carbs with tasty, veggie-based equivalents (like shepherd’s pie with creamy cauliflower topping), Kerridge’s book includes all of the tips he used himself to lose eleven stone over the past three years. Called the “Dopamine Diet”, it’s less of a diet plan and more of a taste adventure, showing you healthy alternatives to your favourite dishes while broadening your horizons to keep it interesting.
Popular recipes inside include soy glazed cod with chilli, garlic and ginger, Chinese pork hot pot and chocolate mousse with sesame almond biscuits. And, spoiler, typically diet-banned ingredients like double cream remain on the cards.
Buy now £10.00, Amazon
Keto Diet by Dr Josh Axe
Keto Diet keeps things simple: a staple book that breaks things down into the essentials to kick-start a healthy keto diet. Based around an easy-to-follow 30-day meal plan, Keto Diet teaches you the foundations of successfully incorporating a new meal plan without feeling overwhelmed or falling off track.
This is more than just a recipe book: it’s an all-encompassing journey into a new, healthier way of life. Complete with shopping lists, delicious recipes, complimentary exercise routines, and accessible explanations of the science, Keto Diet shows you not just how to eat the right diet, but also the reasons why you should do so.
Buy now £14.99, Waterstones
The Easy 5-Ingredient Ketogenic Diet Cookbook by Jen Fischer
The Easy 5-Ingredient Ketogenic Diet is the keto diet cookbook for busy people. If you’re perpetually running around, cramming in meals whenever you’ve got a spare five minutes and not really paying too much attention to the finer details, this is the book to buy.
Simple to follow with no after-class reading required, the premise of this book focuses on straightforward recipes that require five main ingredients or less. Sure, if you find yourself with a luxurious extra 15 minutes you can elaborate on the essentials but, if you’re looking to jump into keto quickly and easily, these 30-minute or one-pot recipes are the way forward.
Buy now £10.62, Amazon
Good Food: Low-Carb Cooking by BBC Good Food
You’ll never get bored of following a keto diet with the addition of BBC’s Good Food low-carb cooking book. Featuring 101 recipes, many of which are keto-fied from other popular Good Food recipes, you’ll look forward to cooking every evening with this handy cookbook.
As well as recipes, you’ll find a full nutritional breakdown and colour photo, so you know exactly what you’re eating and what – hopefully – it should look like when you’re finished. A great cookbook for choosing entire dinners rather than simple meals, it features main courses, snacks and treats to tick all the boxes for your new diet plan. At £4.49, it’s also the most budget-friendly of the lot.
Buy now £4.99, WH Smith
Unlocking the Keto Code by Steven R. Gundry
Unlocking the Keto Code is a keto diet book for the inquisitive: one that offers recipes but focuses more so on the behind-the-scenes element of the diet plan. If you’re someone who likes to know reasoning and logic before throwing yourself towards a new idea, Unlocking the Keto Code breaks down the science of ketones and the benefits of ketosis allowing you to embark on a new Keto diet plan safety.
Part of bestselling author Dr. Steven Gundry’s book actually – almost – discredits the keto diet, before clarifying exactly how to incorporate this plan the right way. It’s the science of keto made interesting, with recipes, food tips and more along the way.
Buy now £19.99, Blackwells
Keto-Tarian by Will Cole
Ignore the idea that you have to feast on meat and cheese all day to successfully follow a keto plan. Will Cole’s book flips the switch on the keto diet, showing how to healthily lose weight on a long term basis while eating a mostly plant-based diet.
A revolutionary addition to the keto diet book industry, Ketotarian includes 75 recipes that are vegetarian, vegan or pescatarian to suit all diets. Wondering how to eat low carb, high protein without forgoing a meat-free diet? This is your answer.
Buy now £13.98, Blackwells
Keto Comfort Foods by Maria Emmerich
Keto Comfort Foods might just be your secret weapon for ignoring food cravings and losing weight while eating dishes that, traditionally, would seem very unhealthy.
Designed as one of those books that’ll have you gleefully digging into cinnamon rolls, steak fries, chicken cordon bleu and tiramisu cheesecake without breaking your diet plan, it’ll have you believing you never need to welcome high carb dishes back into your life again.
While this book focuses on comfort foods, it doesn’t wave goodbye to health. Many of these recipes are low fat while tasting delicious.
Buy now £24.59, WH Smith
The #2022 Keto Diet Book by Morgan Parkins
The #2022 Keto Diet Book is all about efficiency – pulling together recipes that taste great without taking up too much of your time. You’ll find recipes here for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, none of which take hours to prepare or cook.
It’s not a strictly vegetarian-friendly book but plenty of the recipes included can be made with or without meat. All the recipes included are easy to whip up, without compromising on either flavour or nutrition. Many keto plans throw caution to the wind with macros, but this one offers a full nutritional breakdown alongside each recipe, making it even easier to stay on track.
Buy now £9.99, Amazon
The Low Carb Weight-Loss Cookbook by Katie Caldesi & Giancarlo Caldesi
The Low Carb Weight-Loss Cookbook isn’t strictly a keto book but, as its name suggests, a low carb diet book which can easily be tailored towards a keto diet plan. Suitable for those looking to dip their toe into the world of low carb recipes right through to anyone with a rigorously tailored, keto-specific plan, this book rates all recipes on its unique CarbScale.
The result? Recipes that you can pick and choose from easily, depending on your desired carb intake per day. Its easy to read format strips out any notions of complex breakdowns or confusing guidelines. Overall, it’s versatile and helpful for a large range of low carbers.
Buy now £13.99, Amazon
The Greatest Keto Diet Cookbook by Grace Studridge
“The Greatest Keto Diet Cookbook” is quite a self-confessed accolade but Grace Studridge’s book certainly is inclusive when it comes to sharing information. Designed specifically for women over 50 who may struggle with a slow metabolism during or post-menopause, this keto cookbook takes things one step further with recipes chosen to help reset your metabolism and lose weight without using fancy products that just waste your time and money. As well as recipes, it includes a list of foods you should avoid, supplements you can take and tips to accompany your diet plan.
Buy now £21.39, Blackwells
From appetisers and side dishes through to dinners, desserts and drinks: if you’re looking for one keto cookbook that does it all, The Essential Keto Diet Cookbook 2022 is the way to go. The 2022 edition comes newly updated with more guidance and recipes so, even if you already own an older version, it’s worth updating for new inspiration.