10 diabetes cookbooks to keep in your kitchen

You can find plenty of healthy yet delicious recipes -- you just need to know where to look. Our list includes only diabetes cookbooks, but people without diabetes are welcome to try them out. Experimenting with these foods can help them eat better, too. The books stand out for different reasons, and we listed them in alphabetical order here for you to enjoy.

1. Blending Science with Spices: Tasty Recipes & Nutrition Tips for Healthy Living (Gita Patel, MS, RD, CDE, CLT, LD; Gita Patel, 2011)

Overview: Take a culinary journey through Western India. This guide to vegetarian, gluten-free cuisine discusses free radicals, antioxidants and health in relation to our contemporary lifestyles and chronic disease. The author also talks about organizing the kitchen and planning for success before introducing the recipes.

My take: This fantastic book enables those with diabetes to savor flavor-filled, ethnic food. Many diabetes cookbooks offer very traditional American fare, so one that appeals to those with more broad tastes is a real gem.

2. The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook (Jackie Newgent, RD, CDN; American Diabetes Association, 2008)

Overview: A lot of diabetes cookbooks use processed, artificial sweeteners or ingredients, but these recipes are based on real, whole foods.

My take: Real, whole foods are the way to go for me. They taste better and are more satisfying and better for you. One note: Since this book came out, whole grain flours have become much more readily available, so I'd replace the white flour in many of the recipes with whole wheat, or whole wheat pastry flour.

3. The American Diabetes Association Diabetes Comfort Food Cookbook (Robyn Webb, MS; American Diabetes Association, 2011)

Overview: These delicious, belly-warming, soul-refreshing foods are designed for those with diabetes.

My take: Often, the recipes we turn to in times of stress and anxiety are the ones we shouldn't be eating too much of. This book offers those classic, comforting recipes with fewer carbs and calories, and less salt and fat.

4. Betty Crocker Diabetes Cookbook: Great-tasting, Easy Recipes for Every Day (Betty Crocker Editors, Betty Crocker, 2012)

Overview: Just like the title says, easy recipes for those with diabetes. Simple, short ingredient lists, too -- always a plus in our hustle and bustle lives.

My take: A newer version of an almost 10-year old book that was full of simple, easy, convenient recipes. As with many of the books, it includes a great primer on diabetes and healthy eating.

5. Diabetic Meals in 30 Minutes -- or Less! (Robyn Webb, MS; American Diabetes Association, 2006)

Overview: Check out these quick meals designed for people with diabetes. Always a good tool to have in your kitchen.

My take: Due to lack of time, many of us turn to fast food and eating out more than we should, but with this book, you can make nutritious meals in the same amount of time as it would take you to order and pick up take-out food.

6. Eat What You Love (Marlene Koch, RD; Running Press, 2010)

Overview: You'll find far more than poached fish and steamed greens here. Koch lets you delight in the flavors of your favorite foods -- chicken parm, onion rings, home-made versions of your favorite take-out and much more.

My take: This book brings you all of your favorite flavors but in a much healthier form. No feelings of deprivation with these recipes.

7. Eat More of What You Love (Marlene Koch, RD; Running Press, 2012)

Overview: She did it again. This book features your favorite foods, the ones you can't imagine giving up, but they are healthier and can easily fit into a nutritious eating plan.

My take: Sweets, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and more. These recipes help people enjoy their favorite foods guilt-free.

8. Fix-It and Forget-It Diabetic Cookbook: Slow Cooker Favorites to Include Everyone (Phyllis Good with American Diabetes Association; Good Books, 2005)

Overview: Nutritious recipes that take moments to throw together and cook while you're busy about your day.

My take: I love coming home to the delicious smells of dinner in the slow cooker. With this book, individuals with diabetes can have the same experience -- and the same convenience.

9. Simple Everyday Diabetic Meals (Better Homes and Gardens, Meredith Books, 2004)

Overview: No fancy ingredients you've never heard of and can't find. This book is full of easy recipes made with stuff you probably have in your kitchen.

My take: Love the ease and convenience and simplicity of these recipes. Plus, the book calls out those recipes that kids would especially like.

10. Taste of Home Comfort Food Diet Cookbook: Diabetic Edition (Taste of Home Editors; Taste of Home/Reader's Digest Association, 2012)

Overview: Comfort foods are revisited so you can relish the foods that make you feel good.

My take: In true taste of home style, these recipes are submitted by real people, just like you and me, and then tested and reviewed by registered dietitians to ensure they meet diabetic guidelines. I love that aspect because I know that real families have cooked and perfected these dishes, which takes away some of the hesitancy in trying new recipes.

About Heidi McIndoo

Heidi McIndoo, MS is a registered dietitian who has been counseling women, men, and children about healthy eating for twenty years. She firmly believes food should be enjoyed and all foods can fit into a healthy diet -- it's just a matter of how much and how often.

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