12 cookbooks with low-sugar recipes for diabetic, paleo and keto dieters

Adella Miesner

There are many reasons to follow a low-sugar diet, including following a keto or paleo lifestyle or diabetes management, and these cookbooks make eating well easy and delicious. I have a friend who was recently diagnosed with diabetes, and her new eating lifestyle has been a difficult adjustment, especially because she […]

There are many reasons to follow a low-sugar diet, including following a keto or paleo lifestyle or diabetes management, and these cookbooks make eating well easy and delicious.

I have a friend who was recently diagnosed with diabetes, and her new eating lifestyle has been a difficult adjustment, especially because she loves trying new things and taking pictures of all the beautiful and delicious food experiences she shares with her loved ones. So after her diagnosis, I picked up a diabetes-friendly cookbook for her to show her that even though her diet is much more restricted, she can still be as adventurous with foods as she once was.

While I was doing my research to make sure my friend would be fine to eat the meals in her cookbook, I found that the diet diabetics follow is similar to the paleo and keto diets, in that they are low in sugar and carbs. So, whether you need to cut sugar out for health reasons or are looking to experiment with a new diet, these cookbooks are all worth picking up and diving into.


This cookbook was written by a dietician and diabetes expert, so it includes the newest information we have about managing diabetes in the context of the meals you eat. It includes both meal plans and hundreds of recipes that will prevent any serious side effects a newly diagnosed diabetic may be afraid of. It also helps that, even though they are low in sugar and carbs, these meals — like the salmon, quinoa and avocado salad and herbed chicken meatball wraps — are delicious.


Anything Betty Crocker is bound to be flavorful, homey and delicious. If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, let this cookbook be a reminder that you don’t have to give up any of your favorite meals. In this book, you’ll find plenty of breakfasts, lunches and dinners (including blueberry-almond brown bread, pork chops with raspberry-chipotle sauce and herbed rice and even pumpkin-chocolate chip cookies) you can eat until you’re good and full.


While this cookbook is similar to the others in that it contains well-rounded and health-conscious recipes for a diabetic, I like that it also contains budgeting advice. With more and more doctor’s appointments, treatments and equipment to pay for just to keep your diabetes under control, money may be tighter than you’d like to admit. With a built-in budgeting guide, this book assures you that you don’t have to break the bank for your new dietary lifestyle.


It simply is not possible to go without dessert. Luckily, there are tons of cookbooks like this one that focus just on desserts. But don’t worry — all the recipes in this book are perfectly healthy for diabetics. The sweets in this book — which include mocha fudge cake and peach crumble — are healthy and delicious and the recipes are easy to follow.


Even though we are now moving into keto (and, eventually, paleo) cookbooks, I just want to mention that most — if not all — of the recipes in the following cookbooks are healthy for diabetics as well. Keto and paleo diets follow a low-carb and low-sugar regimen that coincides with diabetic diets. However, if you are unsure, definitely consult your doctor and make sure you’re monitoring your blood levels.

This cookbook is great because all the recipes are keto-friendly, but they are also perfect for anyone who’s on-the-go and perpetually busy. You’ll find recipes with five or fewer ingredients, meals that can be made in 30 minutes or less and entire meals that can all be prepared in one pot, including a BLT breakfast salad, garlic butter shrimp and berry cheesecake fat bombs.


Instant Pots remain wildly popular because they are so versatile in how you can use them — and, of course, you can make amazing meals with little to no effort. If you got an Instant Pot and are now afraid that your new diet may limit your ability to use it, have no fear! This cookbook has plenty of Instant Pot recipes the whole family will love — like deep-dish pizza dip, cauliflower and bacon chowder and southern sugar pie — that are all keto-friendly, so you won’t get bored on your diet any time soon.


Meal prepping is a huge part of dieting. You prepare well-portioned, healthy meals so that you have lunch and dinner for the week and you’re not tempted to eat fast food on the run. When you start your keto diet, you may also want to start meal prepping to ensure that you’re sticking to your plan. Try this cookbook that focuses on the meal prepping process and is in line with the keto diet. Recipes include ham and cheese breakfast muffins, Italian zucchini boats and pork burrito bowls.


While the title of this cookbook only mentions the keto diet, it is advertised as perfectly good for paleo and diabetic diets as well. Even people on seriously restricted diets need a little something sweet every now and again — and what better than ice cream as we head into the summer months? Make healthy ice cream and frozen treats including strawberry cheesecake pops, apricot sherbet and chocolate avocado ice cream with this book.


Like Instant Pots, spiralizers have gotten a lot of attention in the past few years. Spiralizers allow you to finely slice vegetables so that they have the consistency and appearance of noodles. People replace regular pasta (which is high in carbs) with these vegetable noodles for a healthier, paleo-friendly option, which works great for keto and diabetic diets, too. Featuring several different vegetables — including beets, carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, turnips, cabbage and bell peppers. With recipes including creamy fettuccini alfredo, turnip curly fries and cucumber noodle poke bowls, this cookbook will help you master your spiralizer while sticking to your diet in the most delicious way possible.


I’m a big fan of “for beginners” cookbooks because they do a great job of teaching you about your new diet and offering delicious meals that motivate you to stick to it. So whether you’ve just been diagnosed with diabetes or you’re thinking of starting the paleo diet, this cookbook (with recipes including high-protein grain-free burgers, buffalo chicken wraps and paleo waffles) is a great investment.

Danielle Walker

This cookbook, in addition to paleo meals, shopping lists and quick and easy-to-follow recipes (there’s barbecue salmon with peach salsa, Peruvian-style chicken, meyer lemon curd cakes and no-cook chocolate pudding), contains additional options for gluten- and dairy-free meals. So even if you’re just trying to avoid dairy, you’ll find something great in this cookbook — with slow cooker, one-pot and 30-minute recipes too.


You can’t possibly think I forgot about dessert! This paleo-friendly cookbook is full of decadent and tasty cakes, cookies, doughnuts, waffles and more — including vermont maple doughnuts, gingerbread pancakes and celebration chocolate cake — all without grains, gluten, dairy or refined sugar. Who says you can’t satisfy your sweet tooth while sticking to your diet?

More healthy eating essentials

This story was written by Toniann Pasqueralle for CNET’s sister site Chowhound.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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