The chances are that everything you could ever want to know about the ketogenic diet can be found with a simple google search. However, there is so much information when it comes to dieting to lose weight, and especially a keto diet that you may become overwhelmed.
Additionally, when it comes to the keto or low carb space, there are simply too many zealots and misinformation being spread, leaving people to ultimately find themselves stuck wondering why they don't see results.
The great news is that as the ketogenic diet becomes more and more popular, newer research is being conducted and giving us an insight into keto and its different applications.
While I may be biased and think you can find all of the information you need on this site, these are some of my favorite books as they pertain to the ketogenic diet that helped shape my knowledge and flavors.
Remember, you don’t have to be an expert to have success with a ketogenic diet. However, having a fundamental understanding of what keto does and why it works may dramatically improve your adherence and your results.Best Keto Books For Beginners
1. The Ketogenic Diet by Lyle McDonald
This is the book that started it all for me. The Ketogenic Diet was published over 20 years ago and still holds as the most scientifically accurate book, in my opinion.
I’d be surprised if any of the current authors of books that delve into any of the scientific details about keto haven’t read this book and learned a thing or two.
The author, Lyle McDonald, takes an unbiased and objective look at the ketogenic diet, including the different types (SKD, CKD, TKD).
He also goes over basic physiology of ketosis, tips on how to lose weight using keto, and even how to transition of a ketogenic diet.
With over 100+ references cited, you’d be hard-pressed to find another book that goes into as much accurate detail as The Ketogenic Diet by Lyle McDonald.
If you’re looking for a book covering the science behind keto, a book that focuses on the essentials and without the fluff, this book is for you.
However, if you’re looking for a book that just gives you a blueprint with a do this do this and do that, this may not be the book for you.
2. The Ketogenic Bible by Dr. Ryan Lowry and Dr. Jacob Wilson
The Ketogenic Bible is one of the latest books (released mid-2017) that goes over a lot of the science of the ketogenic diet as well. In addition to citing the current literature, some of the book delves into research they’re doing themselves.
The Ketogenic Bible was meant to be a one-stop-shop for ketogenic dieters, offering a bit of everything with the book, including history, science, and practical advice to get you started. The book also provides 75 recipes to give you some ideas in the kitchen.
Also, they do address some of the common questions and concerns that people first starting a ketogenic diet may run into.
If you’re looking for a more recent book, with a little bias thrown in, and that covers a little bit of everything, then I’d recommend The Ketogenic Bible.
3. Keto Answers
You can think of Keto Answers almost as a FAQ book, that’s because the entire book is laid out in a question and answers format.
When coming up with the content for the book, they decided to take their own experience, combined with interviewing individuals at different stages of their keto journey, and even those using keto for different purposes (weight loss, performance, disease management).
I think the goal of the book was to help beginners and advanced keto dieters alike. The book can serve as a reference guide that you would turn to when you have a question, similar to that of an encyclopedia if you’re old enough to remember what those are 😉
Beyond that, they do have a little Keto 101, but the entire book is literally a q&a.
The book would be handy no matter what stage of the diet you’re in, and it’s straightforward to digest as well. If you ever have a question, you would simply flip to the index and find the section that pertains to your question, and chances are it's in there.
- Purchase Keto Answers
* Bonus The Carnivore Diet
The Carnivore Diet by Shawn Baker M.D. is probably thee “resource” when it comes down to the carnivore diet.
While not exactly “keto,” a carnivore diet will likely have you in ketosis due to the lack of carbohydrate-based foods, even vegetables.
You'll have to read the book with an open-eye and make a judgment call on whether or not it's worth it to you to experiment.
If you're not familiar with the carnivore diet, it's exactly what it sounds like… a diet based on animal-based foods and nothing more.
Read further to the cookbook section for a book of recipes geared toward the carnivore diet.
Best Keto Books On Audible
I know there’s plenty of people who aren’t to keen to pick up a book but give them an audiobook or podcast, and they’re all for it.
Unfortunately, when it comes to audiobooks, not every book is made available in audio format; otherwise, I would probably recommend the same books, just in audio.
That being said, here are some keto books on audible that are a great listen, do have some valid information, but would still be skeptical of some of the advice given. These would have possibly been next in line with my recommendations for physical books.
4. Keto For Life
One of the newest on the block as of December 2019/January 2020.
Keto For Life comes from Mark Sisson, who is the founder of the Primal Blueprint. For those who’ve been in the space awhile, The Primal Blueprint first evolved as a Paleo oriented site over a decade ago.
Now, Mark has shifted his gears more toward a ketogenic type of lifestyle and has written a couple of books on the Ketogenic Diet.
Keto For Life doesn’t just focus on the diet and weight loss, but also what he calls the “Four Pillars” to living a healthy life.
You can expect to not only learn about keto, but also physical and mental health advice and activities to live a healthy keto lifestyle.
The book is also packed with some great recipes to help accompany you on your journey.
I’ll be first to admit that the written book is probably a better buy than the audio version. Personally, I wasn’t fond of the narration, but if you can get past it, then kudos to you.
Keto is another book that combined a little bit of science, a bit of recipes and other interesting facts.
Maria and Craig (husband and wife) break down some of the science in a very easy to understand way. I do believe Craig was a former engineer, so taking the diet and reverse engineering it to give you a better idea was a big bonus in how he explains some concepts.
If you’re interested in more than keto, but also some information about other factors that may play a role in your health, give this a listen.
6. Keto Clarity
Keto Clarity is written by low-carb keto blogger and podcaster Jimmy Moore along with Dr. Eric C. Westman, a low carb researcher.
This book explains the science, benefits, history, and even setbacks of following a ketogenic diet.
Aside from weight loss, Keto Clarity focuses on the therapeutic potential of living a keto or low-carb lifestyle. Things such as preventing diabetes to helping manage neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Keto Clarity also contains interviews with different experts from various fields explaining the ketogenic diet.
Lastly, the book will also give you a step by step guide to starting your keto journey.
Best Keto Cookbooks
I’m more of a meat and veggies type of guy, so using all sorts of complicated recipes isn’t really my thing.
That’s why, when it comes to cookbooks, I want recipes that utilize very minimal ingredients, give me clear instructions, and taste delicious.
What more can you ask for, right?
7. The Easy 5-Ingredient Ketogenic Diet Cookbook
This was probably the first keto cookbook I ever purchased and thank goodness!
Remember how I mentioned minimal ingredients? Well, five is pretty insignificant to me, but I will admit that some of the recipes technically have more than five ingredients.
What’s even better is that many of the recipes can easily be made in a single pot for easy prep and easy cleaning.
The recipe book also provides substitution tips and variations to recipes to give it a spin and keep things new and rotating for those that get tired with the same meals over and over again.
Some recipes suggest “specialty ingredients,” but you can likely substitute them to something else you have on hand or can easily find available.
8. The Keto Guido Cookbook
If you’re a fan or ever heard of the Jersey Shore, you’ll know who the Keto Guido is. Vinny Guadagnino decided to take up the keto lifestyle a few years ago and has had massive success.
I’ll admit, I was a bit skeptical when he was coming out with a cookbook, because… I mean C’mon…
However, many of the recipes I’ve tried from the book are pretty easy and delicious, with many of the meals taking less than 30 minutes on average to cook.
Vinny takes the keto diet and shows how simple it is and how uncomplicated things can be.
Also, he provides a 7-day meal plan that you can follow or easy alter to fit your needs and preferences.
The only problem… it’s a recipe book without pictures. If pictures are a big deal for you in a cookbook, then you can probably give this one a skip.
9. The Carnivore Cookbook
If you’ve been in the keto space for some time now, you’ve probably heard of the carnivore diet.
A lot of people who’ve had success with a ketogenic diet and have stalled in their progress, or find they don’t tend to digest many of the plant foods very well, experiment with the carnivore diet.
If you’re unfamiliar with the carnivore diet, it’s precisely what you might be thinking it is.
You simply eat only animal products and nothing else. You can think of the carnivore diet as the ultimate elimination diet.
Many people thrive on meat one diets, and if that’s something you’re interested in, then you might be wondering how many ways can you possibly spruce up meat.
Well, I’ve got news for you… there’s a cookbook for that!
Along with learning a bit more about the carnivore way of eating, including science, charts, and graphs, Maria provides over 100 recipes. Who knew there were over 100 ways to cook and eat just animal products???
*Bonus Keto Breads Cookbook
One of the biggest things I had trouble giving up when starting a ketogenic diet was bread.
Naturally, I thought I would bite the bullet and cut out bread, but luckily enough, there are so many recipes out that fill the void.
This book, in particular, has so many recipes that include bread, buns, biscuits, and even pizza crusts.
If you're looking for the ultimate book for different bread recipes, give this one a try.
Purchase the keto bread book here.
When they say knowledge is power, it really is.
Having a fundamental understanding of why keto works gives you the freedom to change variables to suit your needs and when you want to achieve specific goals.
You will also garner the ability to troubleshoot your own questions and problems as they arise if you know what to look out for.
Just remember, not all the information out on the internet can be used as a reliable source. In that case, the first three books I mentioned are what I’ve found to be the most factual and truthful pieces of information for those wanting to learn about a ketogenic diet.