In looking for some of the most credible plant-based diet books available to read, I delve into figuring out which ones were top picks for this year. I figured the research I did could also be very useful to you. Read one of these top picks and it may very well change your life!
Keep in mind though, that authors of plant-based books are often biased toward Veganism. They may even cherry-pick research to support claims. Make sure you do your research (even looking into their research). I did a video on one of these authors here: Is Dr. Greger Lying About Meat Making You Fat? Nutrition Expert Uncovers!
Note: this article contains affiliate links that lead to Amazon, because I am working hard to eventually turn my passion for helping others live a healthy lifestyle into a sustainable gig! I appreciate your support. ❤️
Diet Books Inspired by the Whole Foods Plant-based Community
I had a lot of help compiling this list of plant-based diet books from some Reddit friends in nutrition groups I participate in. The most supportive Reddit community for me has been /r/WholeFoodsPlantBased/. They also happen to be the group that suggested I read the #1 book on this list in the first place, thus inspiring me to change my diet to whole food plant-based! 😋
Plant-based Diet Books Ranked with Mad Skills
I also did quite a bit of my own research. Being the detail-oriented nerd that I am, I put the list of plant-based diet books in a spreadsheet with both their Goodreads ratings and Amazon ratings, and tried to figure out a method to rank them. Since some of the books had far more ratings than others, I wanted to more accurately normalize the ratings.
Confused, I enlisted the help of my boyfriend to apply a function to normalize the rating score based on the total number of ratings. He’s good at excel and is an engineer, so I was confident he would apply a better method than I would. I hope you appreciate that we went overboard researching and ranking these for you. 🤓
All 15 of these plant-based diet books are excellent, as is apparent by the small difference in weighted ratings. However, I still ranked them in this list backwards from 15 (lowest weighted rating) to 1 (highest weighted rating). I provided the total number of ratings in sum between Goodreads and Amazon, so you can get a feel for their popularity. I have also noted the publication year. All links go directly to that book on Amazon.
Also worth noting, at the time of this writing, I am attending the 2020 Food Revolution Summit, which is free to attend while it’s live. Don’t miss these 25 experts tell you the truth about nutrition! You can purchase recordings – the Empowerment Package – later or in advance. I purchased them so I can make sure I soak up all the knowledge I can to create the most nutritious plant-based dishes to serve to you! Make sure you subscribe to my newsletter so you don’t miss any!
Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life
The thrive diet is a long-term eating plan to help all athletes (professional or not) develop a lean body, sharp mind, and everlasting energy. As one of the few professional athletes on a plant-based diet, Brendan Brazier researched and developed this easy-to-follow program to enhance his performance as an elite endurance competitor…
Undo It!: How Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Reverse Most Chronic Diseases
Dean Ornish, M.D., has directed revolutionary research proving, for the first time, that lifestyle changes can often reverse–undo!–the progression of many of the most common and costly chronic diseases and even begin reversing aging at a cellular level…
In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto
Michael Pollan’s last book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, launched a national conversation about the American way of eating; now In Defense of Food shows us how to change it, one meal at a time. Pollan proposes a new answer to the question of what we should eat that comes down to seven simple but liberating words: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Pollan’s bracing and eloquent manifesto shows us how we can start making thoughtful food choices that will enrich our lives, enlarge our sense of what it means to be healthy, and bring pleasure back to eating…
Meat Is for Pussies: A How-To Guide for Dudes Who Want to Get Fit, Kick As*, and Take Names
From author, triathlete, and punk rocker John Joseph, a provocative, entertaining, and eye-opening guide to plant-based life that crushes the myth that eating meat is macho.
At first glance, few people would associate the word “vegan” with John Joseph. As the lead singer of a punk rock band and a competitive triathlete, his tattoo-covered biceps don’t exactly scream “plant eater.” But it’s that very misconception he rallies against in his provocative book, Meat Is for Pussies…
Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health
For decades, that question has fascinated a small circle of impassioned doctors and researchers—and now, their life-changing research is making headlines in the hit documentary Forks Over Knives. Their answer? Eat a whole-foods, plant-based diet—it could save your life.
It may overturn most of the diet advice you’ve heard—but the experts behind Forks Over Knives aren’t afraid to make waves…
The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter’s 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds
Professional athlete-turned-firefighter Rip Esselstyn is used to responding to emergencies. So, when he learned that some of his fellow Engine 2 firefighters in Austin, TX, were in dire physical condition-several had dangerously high cholesterol levels (the highest was 344!)-he sprang into action and created a life-saving plan for the firehouse. By following Rip’s program, everyone lost weight (some more than 20 lbs.), lowered their cholesterol (Mr. 344’s dropped to 196), and improved their overall health. Now, Rip outlines his proven plan in this book.…
Vegan for Life: Everything You Need to Know to Be Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet
Are you considering going vegan, but you’re not sure how to start? Are you already committed to an animal-free diet, but are unclear about how to get proper nutrients? Vegan for Life is your comprehensive, go-to guide for optimal plant-based nutrition. Registered dietitians and long-time vegans Jack Norris and Virginia Messina debunk some of the most persistent myths about vegan nutrition and provide essential information about getting enough calcium and protein, finding the best supplements, and understanding the “real deal” about soy.…
Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss
When Mehmet Oz or any of New York’s leading doctors has a patient whose life depends on losing weight, they call on Joel Fuhrman, M.D. In EAT TO LIVE, Dr. Fuhrman offers his healthy, effective, and scientifically proven plan for shedding radical amounts of weight quickly, and keeping it off.
Losing weight under Dr. Fuhrman’s plan is not about willpower, it is about knowledge. The key to this revolutionary diet is the idea of nutrient density, as expressed by the simple formula Health=Nutrients/Calories. When the ratio of nutrients to calories is high, fat melts away and health is restored…
The End of Diabetes: The Eat to Live Plan to Prevent and Reverse Diabetes
The thrive diet is a long-term eating plan to help all athletes (professional or not) develop a lean body, sharp mind, and everlasting energy. As one of the few professional athletes on a plant-based diet, Brendan Brazier researched and developed this easy-to-follow program to enhance his performance as an elite endurance competitor. Brazier clearly describes the benefits of nutrient-rich foods in their natural state versus processed foods, and how to choose nutritionally efficient, stress-busting whole foods for maximum energy and health. Featuring a 12-week meal plan, over 100 allergen-free recipes with raw food options—including recipes for energy gels, sport drinks, and recovery foods—and a complementary exercise plan, The Thrive Diet is “an authoritative guide to outstanding performance” (Neal D. Barnard, M.D., Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine)…
The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, and Long-term Health
More than thirty years ago, nutrition researcher T. Colin Campbell and his team at Cornell, in partnership with teams in China and England, embarked upon the China Study, the most comprehensive study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease. What they found when combined with findings in Colin’s laboratory, opened their eyes to the dangers of a diet high in animal protein and the unparalleled health benefits of a whole foods, plant-based diet.…
The Starch Solution: Eat the Foods You Love, Regain Your Health, and Lose the Weight for Good!
From Atkins to Dukan, the fear-mongering about carbs over the past few decades has reached a fever pitch; the mere mention of a starch-heavy food is enough to trigger a cavalcade of shame and longing.
In The Starch Solution, bestselling diet doctor and board-certified internist John A. McDougall, MD, and his kitchen-savvy wife, Mary, turn the notion that starch is bad for you on its head. The Starch Solution is based on a simple swap: fueling your body primarily with carbohydrates rather than proteins and fats. This will help you lose weight and prevent a variety of ills…
Proteinaholic: How Our Obsession with Meat Is Killing Us and What We Can Do About It
An acclaimed surgeon specializing in weight loss delivers a paradigm-shifting examination of the diet and health industry’s focus on protein, explaining why it is detrimental to our health, and can prevent us from losing weight.
Whether you are seeing a doctor, nutritionist, or a trainer, all of them advise to eat more protein. Foods, drinks, and supplements are loaded with extra protein. Many people use protein for weight control, to gain or lose pounds, while others believe it gives them more energy and is essential for a longer, healthier life. Now, Dr. Garth Davis, an expert in weight loss asks, “Is all this protein making us healthier?”…
The End of Heart Disease: The Eat to Live Plan to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease
Joel Fuhrman, M.D., the New York Times bestselling author of Eat to Live, Eat to Live Cookbook, Super Immunity, The End of Diabetes, and The End of Dieting, presents a scientifically proven, practical program to prevent and reverse heart disease—coinciding with the author’s new medical study.
Heart disease and strokes are the leading cause of death in the United States—but it isn’t inevitable. The cure for America’s most lethal killer doesn’t require expensive medications or rounds of invasive surgery. In fact 99 percent of heart disease–related deaths are entirely preventable with diet and nutrition. The cure for reversing heart disease is as simple as changing the food we eat…
How Not to Diet: The Groundbreaking Science of Healthy, Permanent Weight Loss
Every month seems to bring a trendy new diet or weight loss fad—and yet obesity rates continue to rise, and with it a growing number of diseases and health problems. It’s time for a different approach.
Enter Dr. Michael Greger, the internationally-renowned nutrition expert, physician, and founder of Nutritionfacts.org. Author of the mega bestselling HOW NOT TO DIE, Dr. Greger now turns his attention to the latest research on the leading causes—and remedies—of obesity…
How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease
From the physician behind the wildly popular website NutritionFacts.org, How Not to Die reveals the groundbreaking scientific evidence behind the only diet that can prevent and reverse many of the causes of disease-related death.
The vast majority of premature deaths can be prevented through simple changes in diet and lifestyle. In How Not to Die, Dr. Michael Greger, the internationally-renowned nutrition expert, physician, and founder of NutritionFacts.org, examines the fifteen top causes of premature death in America — heart disease, various cancers, diabetes, Parkinson’s, high blood pressure, and more — and explains how nutritional and lifestyle interventions can sometimes trump prescription pills and other pharmaceutical and surgical approaches, freeing us to live healthier lives…
Bonus: Plant-based Cookbook
I tried to stay focused on books that contained research and not just recipes, however I wanted to put this one in here as a bonus because it is very well rated and has delicious recipes!
Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck
Thug Kitchen started their wildly popular web site to inspire people to eat some Goddamn vegetables and adopt a healthier lifestyle. Beloved by Gwyneth Paltrow (“This might be my favorite thing ever”) and named Saveur’s Best New Food blog of 2013—with half a million Facebook fans and counting—Thug Kitchen wants to show everyone how to take charge of their plates and cook up some real f*cking food…
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