There is a vast array of information available at our fingertips and we’re fortunate that so many experts are openly sharing their knowledge and wisdom. Sometimes, though, it can be tough to wade through the stacks of books lining library and store shelves (or your electronic device) to find the culinary nutrition books that are interesting and credible.
To help you with your reading list, we’ve compiled a list of our Top 26 Culinary Nutrition Books. These books span a wide range of topics, from the politics of eating to farming to where our food comes from to mind-body healing. No matter your interests, we’re sure you can find something here that interests you to add to your reading list!
Top Culinary Nutrition Books
Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
This important work, published over a decade ago, examines agriculture in America and where our food truly comes from. Written in an easy to understand and engaging style, Omnivore’s Dilemma has educated thousands of people and inspired them to change the way they eat.
The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz
We’ve discussed on this blog before about how the dietary dogma we learned about fat has proved to be wrong. Fats such as coconut oil, ghee, lard and other animal fats are actually great for our health and this book breaks the why of this down for you. It also exposes the political side of science and how one ambitious researcher bulldozed his point of view into fact despite evidence to the contrary.
Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson
The nutrient content of our fruits and vegetables is on the decline, but this book offers a great solution. Whether you cook, garden or just enjoy good healthy food, there is something for everyone. This book will truly change the way you shop for, cook, grow and store your food. You can read an in-depth review of Eating on the Wild Side from one of Culinary Nutrition Expert grads here.
Staying Healthy with Nutrition by Elson M. Haas
This comprehensive textbook offers well-researched information about almost everything nutrition related, from the nutritional building blocks and supplements to the environment and how to establish a healthy diet. It’s a hefty book, so it’s not one you’ll read cover to cover in one go, but will return to again and again as a reference.
The World’s Healthiest Foods by George Mateljan
If you’d like to learn more about why everything from avocados to zucchinis are great for us, look no further than this book. It lists hundreds of foods, their nutrient content and explains how and why they help the body. It also contains preparation tips and recipes so you’ll discover exactly how to incorporate them into your diet.
Food Matters by Mark Bittman
Mark Bittman is one of our favourite food writers and in this book, he outlines how government policies and marketing have an enormous influence over what we eat. The good news is as consumers, we have a choice – and Bittman shows us how we can eat healthfully, consciously and sustainably.
Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss
Corporations use these three key ingredients to manipulate us, and in this book we learn exactly how and why it happens. You will never look at food the same way after reading this one. For the full scoop, you can also check out the book review by one of our Culinary Nutrition Experts here.
Grain Brain by David Perlmutter
You’ve probably heard of the Paleo Diet by now, and may have heard experts touting its ability to facilitate weight loss, address autoimmune disease, and more. In this book, neurologist Dr. Perlmutter details the impact of grains on the brain in an evidence-based manner and offers a plan to help you eliminate grains if you’re on board.
The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine by Michael T. Murray
This comprehensive text offers guidance on a wide array of health conditions. Each chapter explains a health condition, its causes, and therapeutic treatment suggestions including diet and supplements. It’s a well-researched and well-written reference guide to have on hand when you need it.
Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes
We’ve long been told that fat is what makes us fat, when nothing could be further from the truth. This book makes you reconsider everything you once learned about dieting and weight loss, and details sound scientific evidence as to what we can do to maintain a healthy weight.
Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford
For those who are interested in Chinese medicine, this tome explains the Chinese medicine nutrition perspective in great detail and how certain foods can help to rebalance the body.
Sprout Right by Lianne Phillipson-Webb
This culinary nutrition book is a great guide for all parents-to-be about feeding children. From breastfeeding and formulas to introducing foods to dealing with picky eaters, this one has it all.
The Butcher’s Guide To Well Raised Meat by Jessica Appleton, Joshua Appleton and Alexandra Zissu
As a culture, we’ve become more interested in organic, grass-fed and ethically-raised meat, and with good reason. This book by former-vegans-turned-butchers is a complete guide to buying and cooking meat from nose to tail. You will be inspired to give more love to your butcher after reading this one!
Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think by Brian Wansink
How much do you truly understand the motivations behind your eating decisions? Researcher Brian Wansink lifts the veil on the dietary influences that affect us, from food packaging to plate size comfort foods. We like how this book shows us how to transcend the tricks and make food decisions that align with our values.
Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo
This cookbook has been nicknamed the ‘Paleo Bible’ because it’s such an amazing resource for how to successfully live and eat a Paleo diet. It includes a number of Paleo guides, 120 recipes and eleven different menu plans that address a range of health conditions. Yes, eleven menu plans! They truly relieve the stress of meal prep and cooking.
French Kids Eat Everything (And Yours Can Too) by Karen Le Billon
When she moves to her husband’s hometown in rural France, Karen learns how the French teach healthy eating strategies and a positive relationship with food to children at a young age. Over the course of a year, she chronicles her experience of changing the picky eating habits of her young daughters and shares how we can re-think how we feed our children.
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
Think animal fats and cholesterol are bad for you? If the recent scientific research on fats hasn’t convinced you yet, this book just might change your mind. Sally Fallon, the founder of the Westin A Price Foundation, has been championing animal fats and traditional foods long before the Paleo diet rose in popularity. In this book, she explains the low-fat myths and why a fat-rich diet is so beneficial for our health.
Folks, This Ain’t Normal by Joel Salatin
Ever since we learned about Joel Salatin in Michael’s Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, he’s been one of our favourite food activists. We greatly admire his respect for the land and all the things that live on it – and if you do too, you’ll love reading this book and will be inspired by it.
Meals That Heal Inflammation by Julie Daniluk
We love this book and so do our Culinary Nutrition Expert students! It’s a clear guide to the causes of inflammation and how we can build an anti-inflammatory kitchen. We adore Julie’s positive attitude and relentless passion for making anti-inflammatory foods taste utterly delicious!
UnDiet by Meghan Telpner (*ACN Founder + Director)
Our list of culinary nutrition books simply wouldn’t be complete without UnDiet, written by our school’s founder and director. It’s a practical and modern guide to true health; offering a lifestyle based not on deprivation and painful restrictions, but vitality, mindfulness, and joy. Plus there is an 8-week transformation plan to get you started, along with 35 delicious recipes.
The Dorito Effect by
Foods have been steadily losing their flavour in the last few decades, while companies turn to chemicals and artificial flavours to make up for it. This book examines the food crisis we’ve gotten ourselves into and how we can actually dig ourselves out of it.
The Anti-Anxiety Food Solution by Trudy Scott
The foods we eat inevitably impact our brain health and for those who are suffering from anxiety, food choices influence mood, thoughts and feelings. We appreciate that this guide offers four different anti-anxiety diets to help overcome nutrient deficiencies and foster emotional balance.
Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children by Ann Cooper
School lunches and cafeterias serve a buffet of processed, fried and sugary foods to children that are negatively impacting their health. In this helpful book, renegade ‘lunch lady’ Ann Cooper explains the fundamentals of childhood nutrition and how parents and schools play an important role in changing the way our kids eat.
Gut + Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride
This book examines how the digestive tract impacts learning disabilities and mental health. As a parent of a child with learning disabilities, Dr. Campbell-McBride offers hope for both children and adults that the food they eat can help them manage and overcome their challenges.
What To Eat by Marion Nestle
As one of our most admired food activists, Marion Nestle is an inspiration whose many books and writings should be required reading for anyone interested in food and health. But we enjoy this one because it helps us answer the eternal question of what to eat, clearing the clutter of marketing claims and labeling to provide a definitive guide to making nutritious choices at the grocery store.