The number of books on real food, paleo, keto and AIP diets have proliferated over recent years. When I first tried paleo six years ago there were only a handful of titles and a few blogs to guide my journey. Now there are hundreds! While all of these new resources are wonderful, and can be a struggle to separate the wheat from the chaff…. or whatever the grain free version of that metaphor is. So I am here to help! Some of these titles have been out for years and still hold up as some of my favorites, others are more recent publications. All of the below I have personally read and can recommend.
The Best of the Best
These are my absolute favorite real food books, the information is presented so clearly and pursuasively. I highly recommend them to every reader seeking more information on adopting a holistic health, real food focused lifestyle.
Practical Paleo – This is my go-to book whenever anyone wants more information on paleo. With a great guide to the diet and the science behind it, recipes, meal plans and tear out shopping lists. If you are going to get only one book about the paleo diet, this should be the book.
The Paleo Approach – This book is a great guide to the autoimmune protocal (AIP) paleo diet. Written by Sarah Ballyntine, scientist and autoimmune disease sufferer who uses her science background to explain all the nitty gritty detail of how autoimmunity works and how our food choices can help manage symptoms. (Also available, the Paleo Approach Cookbook)
The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook – This is a practical guide for those diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. With guidance for building your healthcare team as well as real food diet recommendations to reduce inflammation and symptoms.
The Keto Diet – This title does a great job of explaining the Keto Diet and appropriate variations, especially for women (though all audiences can benefit). Similar to The Paleo Approach, the early chapters cover the theory and practice and the latter half of the book includes recipes and meal plans.
The Holistic RX – When they say holistic in the title they mean it. This book covers not only the need for nutriet dense foods but also sleep, movement and social-emotional support necessary for a healthy life.
The Wahl’s Protocol – Based on paleo principals, Dr. Wahl’s explains how she used a nutrient dense diet based on large daily servings of vegetables to put her MS into remission. Others have used this diet along with AIP to bring great relief to neurodegenerative and autoimmune conditions. (Also available The Wahl’s Protocol Cooking for Life)
The Primal Connection – A follow up The Primal Blueprint (see below), this book takes a holistic view of health, including not just antiinflammatory real food, but also movement, sleep and other lifestyle habits that encourage overall health.
Deep Nutrition – As the title would suggest, this book is all about we need whole, nutrient dense real food for our bodies to work at their best. Not just our own bodies either, but the bodies even of our children and their children.
Whole 30 – If you haven’t heard of the Whole 30 yet you might be living under a rock. Though the program is available for free online, this book is a great way to compile all the core information in one handy reference guide. It includes the principals of the plan (basically a strict paleo diet) along with recipes. (Other titles by Melissa Hartwig are available as well, see below)
Real Food: What to Eat and Why – This book (recently re-released) was the book that first started me down the whole food path. It is the reason I use real salt and butter to this day and always try to choose the best quality meats, fruits and vegetables that I can afford. Even if you are not interested in going paleo or keto or AIP – this book has great advice on following a real food diet that is well within reach of anyone.
Some Other Great Titles
These books don’t make my Top 10, but are still great resources for recipes and further guidance, inspiration or information on particular topics.
- 100 Days of Real Food
- Against All Grain
- Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic
- Dangerous Grains
- Digestive Health with Real Food
- Eat Like a Dinosaur
- Eat Q
- Eat the Yolks
- Everyday Grain-Free Baking
- Everyday Paleo
- Fat Fast Cookbook
- Food Freedom Forever
- Food to Live By: The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook
- Gluten Free Girl
- Going Against the Grain
- Good Calories, Bad Calories
- Grain Brain
- I Quit Sugar: Your Complete 8-Week Detox Program and Cookbook
- It Starts with Food
- Make it Paleo
- Nom Nom Paleo
- Nourishing Traditions
- Omnivore’s Dilemma
- Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry
- Paleo Lunches and Breakfasts on the Go
- Primal Body, Primal Mind
- Primal Cravings
- Primal Cuisine
- Primal Fat Burner
- Secrets to a Healthy Metabolism
- The 21 Day Sugar Detox
- The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking
- The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living
- The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook
- The Autoimmune Solution
- The Case Against Sugar
- The Fertility Diet
- The Gluten-Free Table
- The Healing Kitchen
- The Ketogenic Cookbook
- The Ketogenic Kitchen
- The Nourished Kitchen
- The Obesity Code
- The Paleo Chef
- The Paleo Cure
- The Paleo Diet
- The Paleo Kitchen
- The Paleo Miracle
- The Paleo Solution
- The Primal Blueprint
- The Primal Blueprint 21 Day Total Body Transformation
- The Primal Blueprint Cookbook
- Well Fed and Well Fed 2
- Wheat Belly
- Why Women Need Fat
What “crunchy” books have you enjoyed lately? Any books you love that I missed on the list? Share in the comments!