These are my recommendations for the Top 15 Best Plant-Based Diet Books on bookshelves today! With so many books out there giving health advice and providing recipes, it can be difficult to distinguish which ones provide reputable researched facts, and delicious and simple recipes, and which ones will end up collecting dust on your bookshelf.
These recommended books provide excellent and easily digestible information to help you on your journey to a plant-based lifestyle, as well as the best cookbooks to help you know what to buy, how to prepare meals, and make easy and delicious recipes.
What is a plant-based diet?
Choosing to follow a whole food plant-based diet means that you consume natural plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, tubers, and legumes. This means that dairy products, eggs, meat, and seafood are excluded from the diet. A whole food plant-based diet also limits or excludes all types of cooking oils, refined sugars, and processed foods.
While at first, it may seem that a plant-based diet is limited, you’ll soon find out that starting a WFPB diet is easier than you think. There are numerous resources, recipes, tips, shopping lists, and more to help you get started. That’s where these excellent books come in handy!
What are the benefits of starting a plant-based diet?
There are three main reasons why you may want to choose to follow a plant-based diet. I choose a plant-based diet for all three of these reasons.
- Improve your health and well-being
- Help the environment
- Promote animal welfare
As the books in my recommended list explain, a plant-based diet has the potential to prevent and in some cases reverse chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. In addition, a plant-based lifestyle promotes weight loss and increases your intake of fiber, which can lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Not only does a plant-based diet do a body good, but it also helps the environment by reducing your carbon footprint, and promotes animal rights.
In the list below you’ll find three categories of books.
- Nutritional Science Books-These books provide the scientific research behind the health benefits of following a plant-based diet.
- Nutritional Program Books-These books provide the science as well as a program, and in many cases, recipes, and meal plans to get you started
- Cookbooks-These are simply cookbooks that provide delicious, healthy, easy-to-follow recipes that follow a whole food plant-based lifestyle.
These books are listed in no particular order or hierarchy.
Best Plant-Based Nutritional Science Books
How Not to Die by Michael Gregor, M.D.
In Dr. Michael Gregor’s book, How Not to Die, he provides evidence-based science to explain how to prevent and reverse chronic disease. He examines the top 15 causes of premature death in America and explains how adopting a plant-based lifestyle will help you live a longer healthier life.
Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition by T. Colin Campbell PhD, and Howard Jacobson, PhD
In, Whole, T. Colin Campbell the author of The China Study and Howard Jacobson, PhD, explains the evidence-based science behind how a whole food plant-based diet is the ticket to health and longevity. They go in-depth on why there is so much confusion about nutrition and food, and what we can do to change it.
The Plant-Based Solution by Joel K. Kahn, MD
Dr. Joel Kahn a leading cardiologist known as the Heart Doc has helped thousands of patients prevent and reverse heart disease. In The Plant-Based Solution, he brings scientific research and in-depth case studies that demonstrate how a plant-based diet can help prevent heart disease and other chronic conditions, such as adult diabetes, obesity, gut health, osteoporosis, and autoimmune disease.
Fiber Fueled by Will Bulsiewicz MD
In this book, Dr. Bulsiewicz shows you how to optimize your gut microbiome for optimal health by eating colorful fruits and vegetables, and the connection between fiber and a healthy gut. This book takes you through a 4-week plan to optimize your gut health with plant-based foods. You’ll find recipes, a shopping list, and information that is easily digestible (no pun intended).
The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II
The new revised and expanded edition shows you the research behind how a plant-based nutrition can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. The new edition includes the latest research and evidence for the correlation between a plant-based diet and improved health.
Best Plant-Based Nutritional Science and Program Books
The Starch Solution by John McDougal, MD and Mary Mcdougal
Dr. John McDougall explains how carbs are not the enemy when it comes to health and weight loss. In The Starch Solution, he explains how a diet high in fiber-rich carbohydrates, rather than high in protein and fat, can not only help you lose weight but also prevent and cure many chronic diseases.
Dr. McDougal and his wife Mary provide a 7-day starter plan, a menu planner, and many delicious recipes to help you begin your plant-based lifestyle.
Eat for Life by Joel Fuhrman, MD
Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s most recent book, Eat for Life, offers a comprehensive guide that explains the science of how a plant-based diet can heal your body, reverse chronic conditions, and bring back your vitality and energy. His bold claims are backed by numerous testimonials. In this book, you’ll find a complete nutrition program based on the latest science, recipes, menu plans, and testimonials.
Forks Over Knives the Plant-Based Way to Health Edited by Gene Stone
After the groundbreaking documentary Forks Over Knives, this book brings together the information presented in the film from doctors, scientists, and researchers such as Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, and Dr. Colin Campbell. This book presents success stories, the benefits of a plant-based diet, tips on transitioning, as well as 125 recipes to get you started.
Best Plant-Based Cookbooks
The Vegan 8: 100 Simple, Delicious Recipes Made with 8 Ingredients or Less by Brandi Doming
After transitioning her family to a plant-based diet after her husband’s diagnosis of gout, Brandi Doming, the creator of the blog The Vegan 8, provides delicious, healthy, and simple recipes with only eight ingredients! The photography is gorgeous, and the recipes are perfect for beginners.
Plant-Based on a Budget by Toni Okamoto
Toni Okamoto the creator of the blog Plant-Based on a Budget found herself in her early twenties living paycheck to paycheck and making a vegan lifestyle change. She shares her wisdom on how to eat plant-based and save money in the process. Her recipes are simple, delicious, and cost-saving!
Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon
Angela Liddon’s first cookbook is a classic that should be on your shelf. Her easy-to-follow recipes will become staples in your kitchen. The photography is gorgeous. She uses fresh ingredients and follows a true plant-based diet free of oil and refined sugars. You will find mouth-watering recipes, you’ll come back to again and again.
The Plant-Based Diet for Beginners: 75 Delicious, Healthy Whole Food Recipes
Ready to start a plant-based diet but not sure where to begin? In Gabriel Miller’s Plant-Based Diet for Beginners, you’ll find 75 healthy whole-food recipes. You’ll also find beginner basics, such as how to cook beans, and grains, a complete shopping list, a menu plan, and more. You’ll also learn the benefits of adopting this lifestyle for your health, the planet, and animal welfare.
The Plant-Based Cookbook: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free Recipes for Lifelong Health by Ashley Madden
This beautiful cookbook provides 280 pages with beautiful photos. You’ll find creamy pasta dishes, healthy bowl recipes, decadent breakfast recipes, appetizers, and more. All of the recipes in this book are vegan, gluten-free, and oil-free, following the whole food plant-based no oil approach.
PlantYou: 140+ Ridiculously Easy, Amazingly Delicious Plant-Based Oil-Free Recipes by Carleigh Bodrug
This cookbook contains plant-based recipes that are also oil-free. You’ll find simple recipes breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and more. Full of flavor, with simple ingredients, this cookbook will keep you inspired in the kitchen.
Plant-Based Diet in 30 Minutes by Ally Lazare
If you’re looking for simple dinner recipes you can prepare in 30 minutes, this is the book for you. In this book you’ll find 100 recipes that you can prepare either in one pot, 5 ingredients, ore little prep time. All of the recipes are delicious and balanced, yet simple to make!