Dana Carpender (born October 18, 1958) is an American food writer, best known for writing about low carbohydrate dieting. Carpender lives with her husband in Bloomington, Indiana. She is also the great-niece of Arthur S. Carpender.
She is the author of eight books:
- How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds
- 500 Low-Carb Recipes
- 15 Minute Low-Carb Recipes
- The Low Carb Barbecue Book
- 500 More Low-Carb Recipes
- 200 Low-Carb Slow Cooker Recipes
- The Low-Carb Smoothies Book
- The Every Calorie Counts Cookbook.
Carpender is also a columnist, syndicated by United Media. Her column originally focused solely on low carbohydrate cooking, and was called Low Carb For Life, but broadened perspective to healthy cooking in general, and the title was changed to Cook Well, Eat Well. The column, however, continues to concern itself with glycemic load, which does, indeed, require a careful eye on quality and quantity of carbohydrates.
Carpender began her career as a self-published author. She and her husband invested $3000 to print 1000 copies of How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds. They sold the book by mail, through Amazon.com, and through online low carb specialty merchants like CarbSmart.com. Carpender also started a free ezine called Lowcarbezine!, which helped her draw an audience. They sold 13,000 copies of the self-published edition of How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds, going through several printings.
This attracted the attention of Fair Winds Press, and they tapped Carpender to write 500 Low-Carb Recipes and the subsequent books. They also bought a revised, expanded edition of How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost Forty Pounds. United Media, wanting someone to write a low carbohydrate-focused cooking column in 2003, approached Fair Winds to invite Carpender to write for them.
In 2009, Carpender started writing a column called Ask Dana Carpender @ CarbSmart.com for CarbSmart Magazine, the low carb magazine of CarbSmart.com. Her weekly articles include her commentary on current topical issues in the low carb world as well as updated versions of some of her classic articles. In 2010, she became the Editor of CarbSmart Magazine and is responsible for the direction of the online magazine.
Carpender's name has been misspelled in many library catalogs as "Carpenter".