13 Top Plant Based Diet Books (Picks from Dietitians)

If your goal is to start a plant based diet, books might be on your mind!

Check out some picks from Registered Dietitian’s in our 2023 guide.

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Associate affiliate links and other affiliate links. This means: if you click on the links and purchase, I earn a commission. All the book links in this post are affiliate links.

Disclaimer: This article is not a substitute for medical or dietary advice. Always talk to your doctor about any major dietary changes, health concerns, or before starting a supplement.
This list is not definitive, and commenters may not have read all of the pages or prepared all of the recipes from the books mentioned below. Two commenters are authors of certain books mentioned in this list (noted in the text). See our Disclaimers for more details.

This article was originally published on 2/20/22. The recent updated date is listed above.

Here’s a quick YouTube short featuring some of my favorite books about a plant based diet!

What is a Plant Based Diet?

Simply this: a focus on plants at your meals!

Examples of whole foods on this diet include minimally processed vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds.

Plant based foods are also those that mainly come from plants, but might have some animal products (such as whole wheat bread with cows milk protein added).

So, while a plant based diet does not automatically mean “vegan,” many of the popular plant based books seem to lean toward a reduction in animal products.

Following a appropriately planned healthy vegetarian diet (this includes vegan diets) may provide certain health benefits, such as a reduced risk of ischemic heart disease (1).

But the benefits don’t stop there! In general, a healthy plant based diet may reduce your carbon footprint and the suffering of animals.

What do Dietitians think is worth checking out when it comes to books about plant based foods?

I’m so glad you asked. Lets get to the list!

Plant Based Diet Books: The List

Keep in mind that many diet books out there may not be written by doctors or dietitians – or, they might contain cherry picked information.

With that in mind, lets take a look at some nutrition experts (Registered Dietitian) have picked!!

Here’s a quick summary for those who love a book list:

  • Vegan for Life
  • The Proof is in the Plants
  • Eating Animals
  • Nourish: The Definitive Plant-Based Nutrition Guide For Families
  • Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking
  • Vegan Without Borders
  • Green Kitchen at Home
  • Planted Performance
  • The Vegan Kids Cookbook
  • PlantYou
  • The How Not To Die Cook Book
  • (for dietitians): The Dietitians Guide To Vegetarian Diets
  • Going Vegan: A Vegan Lifestyle Journal

I’ve asked, and several RD’s gave their reasons why they like the following books.

Keep reading to hear what they had to say!

For Those Wanting to Learn About Plant Based Nutrition

Vegan For Life – By Jack Norris, RD and Ginny Messina, MPH, RD

the vegan for life book by jack norris and virgina messina on a wood floor background

“As a vegan registered dietitian, my number one book recommendation is Vegan for Life by vegan RDs Jack Norris and Ginny Messina. I recommend it because it’s evidence-based, to-the-point and practical.

Rather than using sensational health or weight loss claims to convince people to eat vegan, this book provides the straightforward nutrition information vegans need.”
Taylor Wolfram, MS, RDN, LDN.

The Proof is in the Plants – By Simon Hill

“If you like learning about plant based nutrition, is a nice ‘geeked out’ yet, ‘digestible’ read! It goes over common misconceptions about plant based diet, explains some potential benefits for going plant based, and more!”

-Christine Milmine, RDN (Dietitian and Blogger on behalf of Plant Powered You LLC)

Learning About Our “Food” (Does a Plant Based Lifestyle Have Significance Beyond Physical Health?)

Eating Animals – By Jonathan Safran Foer

“Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer is part animal agriculture industrial complex exposé and part personal deep dive into the morals of eating animals.

The author explores his own complicated history of eating meat and toying with vegetarianism, which forces the reader to question their own principles.

One of my favorite parts of the book is exploring why we cringe at eating some animals we consider friends, but are fine with the large scale slaughter of others for food.

I read this book when I was beginning my own transition to a plant-based diet and I highly recommend it to others who are vegan curious.”
– Kristina Todini, RDN, author at forkintheroad.co, a sustainable food and green living blog.

Plant Based Diets For Kids

Nourish: The Definitive Plant-Based Nutrition Guide For Families – By Reshma Shah, MD, MPH and Brenda Davis, RD

nourish the book by reshma shah and brenda davis on a wood floor background.

This book is a great resource for parents with plant based children!

It dives into nutrients parents should pay attention to (along with helpful charts), from conception through childhood, and even discusses pregnancy and lactation!

And yes, the book touches on supplements for kids following a plant based eating pattern (as always, talk to your doctor about any major dietary changes or supplements)!

As an added bonus recipes are also included.

I have a plant based daughter, and found this book very helpful!
-Christine Milmine, RDN (Dietitian and Blogger on behalf of Plant Powered You LLC )

Cook Books

Making plant based recipes is a key component to a vegan meal plan!

Discover delicious recipes below (and be aware that there are many free ones online as well)!

Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking – By: Dana Shultz

If you are looking for a book that helps you save time in the time and effort in the kitchen, check this one out!

This entirely vegan cookbook is unique because:

  • Recipes only require 30 minutes or less to prepare
  • Use only 1 bowl or pot
  • Have 10 or less ingredients
  • Nutrient info on all recipes

“I love all of Minimalist Baker recipes. I find all of her recipes to be easy to follow, straight forward, and taste delicious.”
Elise Harlow, MS, RDN from The Flourished Table.

Vegan Without Borders – By Robin Robertson

Could this be the most inclusive vegan cookbook yet? This cookbook, written by a previous restaurant chef, features recipes from 20 different countries, and 5 different continents!

If you are vegan looking to expand your culinary skills with diverse cuisines, you’ll want to check this one out.

“I like Robin Robertson’s Vegan Without Borders for authentic recipes from many cuisines.”
Melissa Altman-Traub MS, RDN, LDN

Green Kitchen at Home – By David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl

Perhaps you are a vegetarian, or want to transition from a vegetarian to a vegan diet. This book, written by best selling authors contains both!

This cookbook contains stunning photos, with tips on how to make many of the included recipes vegan.

“I enjoy Green Kitchen at Home: Quick and Healthy Vegetarian Food for Every Day, which includes vegan recipes that are easy to prepare. Love the tasty and colorful recipes in this book.”
Jinan Banna, PhD, RD.

Planted Performance (Plant Based Athlete, Vegetarian Cookbook, Vegan Cookbook): Easy Plant-Based Recipes, Meal Plans, and Nutrition for All Athletes By Natalie Rizzo MS, RD

“It lays the sports nutrition groundwork of plant-based nutrition for everyday endurance athletes looking to fuel their activity and aid recovery. It has 68 simple and tasty recipes, several meal plans and meal prep tips to ensure plant-based athletes have the energy they need to bring them past the finish line.”
-Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD (please note the author of this book provided this quote!).

Vegan Kids Cookbook – By Karla Moreno-Bryce, MDA, RD, LD

If you have plant based or vegan littles, check this book out!

I love that several recipes use a blender or food processer to cut down on time (something that is very important for me as a mom of two!).

This book even comes with sample meal plans for baby’s (6-12 months old) up 10 years old!

You can a plethora of whole food recipes via Karla’s Vegan Kids Cookbook here.

-Christine Milmine, RDN (Dietitian and Blogger on behalf of Plant Powered You LLC)

PlantYou – By Carleigh Bodrug

“PlantYou by Carleigh is an easy way to incorporate more plant-based foods into your home-cooked meals and snacks whether you’re looking to make the full switch to vegan or intentionally plan to add more plants to your dietary patterns.

I love this book because it has simple recipes filled with images of ingredients and the macronutrient breakdown so you have more direction on which recipes best fit your lifestyle.”
Jessica Crawley RDN

The How Not To Die Cook Book – By Michael Greger, M.D., FACLM

the how not to die cookbook by michael greger on a wood floor background

This is awesome cookbook for vegans who want to focus on fiber fueled whole plant foods!

If you are familiar with Dr. Greger’s famous “Daily Dozen,” (or companion book, “How Not to Die -Discover Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease”), you’ll also appreciate that the recipes also have a list of the the Daily Dozen categories they fall under.

-Christine Milmine, RDN (Dietitian and and Blogger on behalf of Plant Powered You LLC)

Helpful Books Geared Toward Registered Dietitians

The Dietitians Guide To Vegetarian Diets – By: Reed Mangels, Virginia Messina, and Mark Messina

“I love this book! It answers all of the questions about vegetarian nutrition that a dietitian could have.”
-Ashley Krautkramer, RD, CSOWM, CD, CDCES from the Vegan Bariatric Dietitian

Going Vegan: A Vegan Lifestyle Journal – By: Christine Milmine, RDN

Picture of a book titled: Going vegan: a vegan lifestyle journal. there are pictures of common animals used in the animal industry.

Note- the author gave this quote!

“This is my passion project! In this hands on journal, you’ll get guided prompts to track your vegan journey, including grocery list templates to tear out, meal inspiration, and more!
This is great to give as a gift, for dietitians to use, or to pass out if you are a vegan activist!”
-Christine Milmine, RDN (dietitian and blogger on behalf of Plant Powered You LLC)

FAQs About Plant Based Diets

Does plant based mean vegan?

Nope! Plant based could mean any food or diet that is primarily plants. Vegan means all food does not come from animals, including meat, fish dairy, eggs, honey, and by-products of these.

Are Plant Based Diets Healthy?

Plant based diet’s can be healthy but they can also be poorly planned like many other diets. It’s important to plan for a variety of healthy, nutritionally adequate foods, and supplement as appropriate. Learn more in my Vegan for Beginners Guide, and speak with your doctor and Registered Dietitian if you need personalized guidance on a healthy plant based diet.

What are Reasons for Going Plant Based?

Folks may want to go plant based for a variety of reasons, including: to reduce animal suffering, environmental impact, or health benefits.

What did you think about this list?
Would you like us to review other books in the plant based space, such as the documentary Forks Over Knives and the China Study (by Colin Campbell )?
Lets us know in the comments below!

And While your here, why not explore our blog?
Here’s some other articles you might be interested in!
How to Transition to Veganism

Vegan Quotes
Gifts Ideas for Vegan Foodies
Intuitive Eating and Veganism
Whole Food Plant Based Snack Ideas

If you loved this content: 👇

11 thoughts on “13 Top Plant Based Diet Books (Picks from Dietitians)”

  1. I love the recommendations in this post. I am particularly interested to read the vegan without borders and green kitchen at home books.

  2. I’m watched “You Are What You Eat” series on Netflix and am now intrigued with plant-based eating. Not sure I could do it 100 percent, but definitely interested in learning more about. I’ll check out our book list for sure!

  3. Thanks for sharing this list! I am already vegetarian but still looking for recipes that are fully plant based, so will definitely check these books

  4. As someone who is recently plant based, this post is super helpful. I’ll definitely be checking out some of these books.

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