Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Books Every Low Carber Should Own

Books Every Low Carber Should Own, and Why

Let me start off by saying that these books don’t adhere to one particular low-carb plan, such as Atkins, although all of them contain information and recipes useful regardless of what low-carb plan you’re following.  I have deliberately not listed books that only represent a single low-carb plan (like Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution or whatever) because I'm assuming you all have already acquired the main book or books and done the research on the plan you're following or expect to follow.  If you haven't, shame on you!

Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It OR Good Calories, Bad Calories, both by Gary Taubes.
What it is and why you should read it.  Both books explain the science of low carbing and the horrendous assumptions and wrong thinking in the past about things like the role fat and saturated fat play in weight, diabetes, blood cholesterol and heart disease.  Either book will give you a good rundown of how low carb works in your body, why it works, and exactly what you can expect low carb to do for you.  Which book you buy is your choice.  Good Calories, Bad Calories came out first and is perhaps the more scientifically comprehensive book.  Unfortunately, it reads like stereo instructions.  Why We Get Fat is a little more accessible and interesting.  Taubes is a wonderful scientist.  Great writer?  Not so much.  But he knows a lot of really valuable information and you should take advantage of it.  Not to mention, it’s a good book to shove into the hands of naysayers.

Pretty much any cookbook by Dana Carpender, but particularly 500 Low-Carb Recipes and 500 More Low-Carb Recipes.  Dana Carpender is the undisputed goddess of low carb.  Her recipes are simple, delicious and will offer delicious variety to any low carber, regardless of what plan you follow and what stage you’re on.  Be sure to buy 500 More Low-Carb Recipes.  I contributed four recipes to that book and you need to try them.<G>

A Complete Low-Carb Lifestyle:  An Executive Chef’s Low-Carb Lifestyle Culinary Guide by Gregory Pryor.
What it is and why you should buy it.  This is very possibly the worst-edited book in history.  The grammar and spelling is bad.  It’s full of typos and formatting errors.  The writer isn’t great with words.  That said, this book is essential.  Chef Gregory Pryor worked for Dr. Robert Atkins.  This book is far more than just a cookbook.  It gives not only low-carb recipes, but also teaches you how to convert recipes to low carb, explains cooking techniques that are low carb to begin with, helps you find low-carb equivalents for carby foods, makes suggestions for eating out – it’s exactly what it says it is:  A guide to a low-carb lifestyle.  Buy it, read it, laugh at the really horrible editing, then go back and read it again for the excellent information.

Roasting:  A Simple Art, by Barbara Kafka.  Exactly what it says.  Learn to make a proper tender, juicy roast chicken and so on.  As a low carber, you’re going to be cooking a lot of meat.  Learn how to do it properly.

The Complete Meat Cookbook by Dennis Kelly and Bruce Aidells.  This covers all kinds of meats and techniques, as well as going into interesting detail about how the low-fat movement has completely altered the quality and nature of meat we can buy now – why your grandma’s roast beef recipe doesn’t work anymore and what you can do about it.

The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam and/or Cooking With Coconut Flour by Bruce Fife.  Beware that these books may require some substitutions for recipes calling for sugar, honey, agave nectar or whatever, but they’re invaluable in getting you started on low-carb baking – seriously, my weak point.

Low Carb Recipes Fast & Easy and More Low Carb Recipes Fast & Easy by Belinda Schweinhart.  Belinda Schweinhart actually owned and operated a low-carb bakery.  Her recipes are practical and delicious.

Any of George Stella’s low-carb cookbooks.  Some of George Stella’s recipes are carby enough to fall more into maintenance, but there are plenty ultra low in carbs, and he is so imaginative and creative that his cookbooks will show you just how versatile and adventurous low-carb cooking can be.

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