The following Plant Based Diet Books are a perfect way to motivate and encourage you to incorporate more plants into your eating pattern.
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Plant-Based: Why Eat This Way?
Eating a plant-based diet places an emphasis on foods that are nutrient dense – foods that are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Plant foods are also naturally low in sodium, added sugar and saturated fat. Making plant based eating a heart healthy lifestyle choice.
What is a Plant-Based Diet?
Following a plant-based diet means your food intake consists mainly of plant-based foods. For some, this means they do not eat any animal products, while others may still choose to include certain ones in their diet. A plant-based diet can be modified to fit the needs and eating preferences of every individual.
The foods focused on in a plant-based diet are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds. Animal products are eliminated or consumed less frequently, especially those that are high in sodium or saturated fat.
Some of the books on plant based diets mentioned throughout this article may still include some animal products, but usually in limited amounts.
What Dietary Patterns are Plant-Based?
There are many different dietary patterns that can be categorized as plant-based. Some common ones that you may have heard of include:
- Mediterranean Diet
- DASH Diet
- MIND Diet
- Portfolio Diet
- Flexitarian Diet
- Pescetarian Diet
- Vegetarian Diet
- Vegan Diet
- Peripheral Artery Disease diet
- Diet After Stent
- POTS Syndrome Diet
What are the Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet?
Studies have suggested that eating a plant-based diet can help lower your risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke. This is mainly due to the limited consumption of animal products that are often high in sodium and saturated fat (1).
The DASH Diet and Mediterranean Diet are two plant-based eating patterns commonly recommended for heart health.
The MIND Diet stands for the Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (2). It has been suggested that following this dietary pattern may help to reduce cognitive impairment and dementia (3).
Some of the nutrients that are abundant in plant-based foods have been shown to potentially reduce the risk of certain types of cancer (5). These nutrients include the vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and fiber found specifically in plant-based foods (5).
Eating a more plant-based diet can have multiple environmental benefits. Producing plant-based products takes considerably less energy, water and land when compared to meat and dairy production which consumes far more water, energy and land (6). There is also less greenhouse gas emission from the production of plant-based foods (6).
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Difference Between Plant-Based And Vegan?
The difference between plant based and vegan is that if you follow a plant-based diets you may still consume some animal products. However, those specifically following the vegan diet will not consume any sort of animal products.
Veganism often extends beyond just the health benefits of eating plant-based and is also concerned with the ethical issues related to the consumption of animal products.
Can A Plant-Based Diet Lower Cholesterol?
Yes, a plant-based diet can help to lower cholesterol. Foods that are high in fiber are known to help lower cholesterol. These foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, all of which are prominent in plant-based diets.
Foods known to raise cholesterol are animal products that are highly processed and contain saturated fats. By eating a plant-based diet focused on whole foods, a lot of these foods will be eliminated.
Can A Plant-Based Diet Lower Blood Pressure?
Yes, a plant-based diet can help to lower blood pressure (7). It has been suggested that plant-based diets help to lower blood pressure because they tend to be lower in sodium. This is due to the consumption of less processed foods and animal products (7).
Top 20 Plant Based Diet Books
Read on to discover the best books on plant based diets in 2023.
Eat More Plants – By Desiree Nielsen, RD
This whole food, plant based diet book has over 100 plant-based recipes that are meant to be easy for anyone to incorporate into their eating patterns, whether you are currently plant-based or just trying to include more plants in your diet.
In Praise of Veg – by Alice Zaslavsky
In this vegan diet book, the author focuses on 50 of her favorite vegetables and how to use them. Each vegetable is looked at in detail and includes information about how to buy, store and use them. This book is great for those looking to incorporate more vegetables into their diet but are in need of new, creative ways to use them.
The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Beginners – by Elena Paravantes, RDN
This plant based diet recipe book contains 100 recipes as well as tips for following a Mediterranean diet. It is written by a Registered Dietitian who has first-hand experience with an authentic Mediterranean diet since she was raised eating Greek food. The plant based diet cookbook is designed for beginners, so if you are looking to get started with eating a Mediterranean Diet this book would be great for you!
The Mediterranean DASH Diet Cookbook – by Abbie Gellman, MS, RD, CDN
This is the best book to start a plant based diet as it combines elements from both the Mediterranean and DASH diets, both of which are known for their many health benefits! It includes 100 recipes that are easy for anyone to make, even those new to cooking. It contains animal products such as fish.
Nourish – by Reshma Shah, MD, MPH and Brenda Davis, RD
This plant based nutrition book is written by both a pediatrician and dietitian to help parents learn how to feed their families a plant-based diet. It includes tips and recipes for parents with busy lifestyles who have children of all ages.
Plant-Powered Protein – by Brenda Davis, RD
If you are looking for a book on plant based nutrition, this is it! When people consider plant-based diets one of their main concerns may be incorporating enough protein from plant-based sources. If this is a concern for you, this book can help you discover how to include more plant-based proteins in your diet to meet your nutritional needs.
Becoming Vegetarian – by Vesanto Melina, RD, Brenda Davis, RD and Victoria Harrison, RD
This is one of the best books to start a plant based diet. It is designed for people who are looking to transition into a vegetarian lifestyle. It includes tips, scientific information behind being vegetarian as well as some recipes to help with the transition.
If you have been wanting to adopt a vegetarian diet or are just looking to incorporate more vegetarian meals into your diet, this whole food plant based (wfpb) recipe book would be a great resource to use!
How To Eat More Plants – by Megan Rossi, PhD
This is one of the best plant based diet books for beginners. This plant based diet book focuses on making plant foods the main component of your diet, while still acknowledging that being plant-based does not have to mean completely cutting out animal products.
The book suggests including 30 different plant-based foods per week and outlines how to do this effectively with the inclusion of tips and recipes.
The Complete Plant-Based Cookbook – by America’s Test Kitchen
This is one of the best recipe book for plant based diets because it contains over 500 plant-based recipes – there is sure to be something for everyone!
The recipes are also paired with information about the science behind how the ingredients behave, making it an awesome vegan nutrition book too.
This plant based diet book would be a great reference to have on hand for when you need a plant-based recipe for any occasion.
PlantYou – by Carleigh Bodrug
This wfpb recipe book contains over 140 plant-based recipes. The layout of the book makes the recipes easy to see and follow, as each one contains a photo and infographic to help. The recipes also include customization options to make them easier for anybody to adapt to their own dietary preferences.
Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking – by Dana Shultz
This could also be the best book for plant based diets because it was authored by my favorite blogger!
This vegan diet book is full of easy plant-based recipes that all take less than 30 minutes to prepare. The recipes are all only 10 ingredients or less, making them great for those on a budget or who are looking for simpler recipes to make.
How Not to Die Cookbook – by Michael Greger, MD
This is the cookbook based on the book How Not to Die. The previous book is more of a plant based nutrition book rather than a cookbook. It discussed the benefits of a plant-based diet based on nutrition studies, and its relation to the prevention of different chronic diseases. This is the accompanying plant based diet recipe book, which contains over 100 plant-based recipes.
Love Real Food – by Kathryne Taylor of Cookie and Kate
This book on plant based diets focuses mainly on eating fresh, whole foods. Not all the recipes are plant-based, however they include suggestions for substitutions to make meals more suitable for those who follow a plant-based diet. This plant based diet book is designed for those following a variety of diets and encourages people to incorporate more whole foods in their diet.
Oh She Glows for Dinner – by Angela Liddon
This book on wfpb diets is great for those who struggle to come up with plant-based dinner ideas, as the recipes in this book are all dinner recipes. It also includes tips for meal-prep and is designed for those with busy lifestyles.
Mostly Plant-Based – by Mia Syn, MS, RDN
This one contains “plant forward” recipes, making it the best book to start a plant based diet. It is the best plant based diet book for beginners because all of the recipes have less than 10 ingredients and is great for those who still want to include some meat in their diet since the recipes included are customizable to either include animal products or not.
Plant-Based on a Budget Quick & Easy – by Toni Okamoto
This plant based diet book is great for those who have a busy lifestyle and struggle to find the time to cook healthy, plant-based meals. Also, it is great for those on a budget. This vegan nutrition book includes 100 plant-based recipes that are quick and great for meal prepping!
Vegan Yack Attack On The Go! – by Jackie Sobon
This is another great option for those with busy lifestyles. If you find yourself always on the go and struggle with coming up with ideas of foods to bring with you, this book on plant based diets has some great recipes.
The DASH Diet Mediterranean Solution – by Marla Heller, MS, RD
This book on plant based nutrition looks at the benefits of combining the DASH and Mediterranean diets. It includes meal plans and recipes that are focused on vegetables, fruits and plant-based proteins. This author has written multiple other books about the DASH diet that are also worth checking out!
The 28-Day DASH Diet Weight-Loss Program – by Andy De Santis, RD, MPH and Julie Andrews, MS, RDN, CD
This plant based diet recipe book includes a 28-day plan with recipes (which include plants, and animals) and following the DASH diet. This book is great for those who are looking for a plan that is already laid out and easy for them to follow.
The Brain Health Cookbook – by Julie Andrews, MS, RDN, CDE
This is one of the best books to start a plant based diet, as it includes 75 different recipes as well as some of the science and other habits that fall into the MIND diet. This book is great for those looking to learn more about how plant-based diets can contribute to brain health.
Any of the plant based diet books listed above would be a great resource to check out if you are looking to eat more plant-based diet but are unsure of where to start. There is sure to be a book on this list that will help you!
As we have seen, eating a more plant-based diet can have numerous health benefits, especially for your heart! It helps to eliminate foods that are highly processed, high in sodium and high in saturated fat (like butter), which are known to contribute to chronic disease.
Everyone could benefit from including more whole, plant-based foods in their life, no matter which plant-based diet you choose to follow!
This article was written by Siobhan Tyler, Nutrition Student, and Veronica Rouse, MAN, RD, CDE.