Top 5 RD Cookbooks for 2018

One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight and/or eat more healthfully. As dietetics professionals, many of us recommend preparing healthful meals at home so cooks can have control over the ingredients and calories the meal contains. With more and more dietetics professionals publishing healthful cookbooks, here is the top 5 to recommend to clients or add to our own healthful recipe collection.

1. Balance: Simple Recipes for the Cook Who Loves All Food by Sarah Pflugradt, MS, RDN

Balance is a collection of more than 45 easy, family-friendly recipes for the home cook. Recipes include Pizza Dough, Fresh Flour Tortillas, Cinnamon Rolls, and Sweet Potato Pie; all can become staples and family favorites. The book explains how it’s possible to include all foods in a healthful diet with a little willpower and some common sense. The simplicity of the recipes and pretty pictures make it a great addition to any healthful cookbook collection. This cookbook was released November 28, 2017.

2. Flat Belly 365: The Gut-Friendly Superfood Plan to Shed Pounds, Fight Inflammation, and Feel Great All Year Long by Manuel Villacorta, MS, RD

In Flat Belly, Villacorta provides the science behind losing weight around the midsection. His secret to beating the bloat and enjoying lasting weight loss is a healthy gut. A healthy gut—fueled by superfoods, anti-inflammatory fats, and prebiotic and probiotic foods—can balance appetite, reduce cravings, regulate blood sugar, fight inflammation, and fuel the body with key nutrients for optimal health. Recipes include Fig Jicama Salad, Beef Bone Soup, Chocolate Smoothie Bowl, and California Avocado Gazpacho. Plans can be adapted for all eating styles including vegetarian and vegan. This book was released January 2, 2018.

3. Idiot’s Guide To Plant-Based Nutrition: Second Edition by Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT, and Raymond J. Cronise

This is a comprehensive review of nutrition across the lifespan in an easy-to-understand format. This revised edition adds new information from the intersection of health span (ie, the amount of time a person is alive and healthy, not simply alive) and longevity research and a plant-based diet. Also included is The Food Triangle, a new paradigm for organizing foods that eliminates macronutrient confusion and 45 delicious, nutritious, whole food, plant-based recipes, including several from celebrity plant-based chefs. This book hits shelves on January 9, 2018.

4. Generations of Love and Food by Meme Inge, MS, RDN, and Sarah Druhan Davis

Meme and her grandmother Nan have been cooking together for many years, so they created this cookbook that balances time-honored recipes that are both healthful and tasty. While Nan likes entertaining and experimenting in the kitchen, Meme enjoys creating recipes that are filled with plants. Together they create recipes that showcase how much fun living well can be. This fun and delicious cookbook was released on December 18, 2017.

5. The Low-FODMAP Diet Step by Step: A Personalized Plan to Relieve the Symptoms of IBS and Other Digestive Disorders — With More Than 130 Delicious Satisfying Recipes by Kate Scarlata, RDN, LDN, and Dédé Wilson

Kate Scarlata is the FODMAP (fermentable oligo-, di-, and monosaccharides and polyols) guru, and her latest cookbook, The Low-FODMAP Diet Step by Step, hit store shelves December 19, 2017. The book is meant for folks with gastrointestinal disorders to help them find relief. The chapters discuss meal planning, list recommended groceries, and provide optional daily challenges, along with including a plethora of FODMAP-friendly recipes.

— Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is the founder of Toby Amidor Nutrition and the author of the new cookbook The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook: Easy and Wholesome Meals to Cook, Prep, Grab, and Go, as well as The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day. She’s also a nutrition expert for and a contributor to US News Eat + Run,, and Muscle & Fitness.

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