One of the first things I did when I went vegan was look up a list of famous vegan celebrities and doctors who supported vegetarian and vegan lifestyles.
As it turns out, there are a fair amount of vegan doctors who’ve written books on plant-based living and even have websites loaded with healthy vegan recipes. The lessons I learned from studying these doctors really helped me when I first started my vegan journey.
Considering how helpful it was for me to study these individuals, I figured that I’d help you guys by sharing my list of the 7 best vegan doctors you should follow to learn more about veganism!
Whether you’re just starting or you’re already an experienced vegan who’s just looking for more recipes, I guarantee you’ll benefit from these doctors
You may be surprised to learn, but doctors were some of the first proponents of plant-based diets starting in the 19th Century.
For instance, the famous Dr. William Lamb (who practiced medicine in the early 1800s), was a well-known proponent of eating a vegetarian diet for health purposes.
Usually, when doctors suggest something, it’s a good idea to at least listen to what they have to say. Doctors rarely make public statements about any topic unless they have some scientifically-backed research to support them.
When modern medicine started making advancements, one of the first things that doctors discovered was that diet was one of the leading causes of disease.
Diets that were high in fat and animal-based protein tended to correlate with higher rates of heart disease, stroke, and other illnesses.
Over two hundred years later, with even more studies, research, and medical equipment, even more doctors are convinced that plant-based diets are the key to living longer, healthier lives.
I knew I wanted to stop eating meat for two reasons:
- My overall physical and mental wellbeing.
- What I learned about the evils and cruelty of the meat industry.
However, I also knew that there was a lot of misinformation and “fad sites” out there that were taking advantage of the vegan trend without providing any real knowledge. I wanted to make a positive change in my life, but I wasn’t quite sure where to start.
Instead of reading tabloid vegan news, I instead focused my energy on studying what the doctors had to say. Let’s be honest, when faced with a world of misinformation, doctors’ opinions matter most.
So, if you’re ready to be a better vegan, check out this list of my favorite vegan doctors!
Dr. Colin Campbell was born in 1934 and is one of the most well-known proponents of plant-based diets in modern medicine.
Throughout his long career, Dr. Campbell has reviewed hundreds of peer studies and published numerous reports on the benefits of plant-based living and diets.
His most notable work is his New York Times best-selling book, The China Study. He started his research for the book in the early-1980s, working in correlation with The Chinese Academy of Preventative Medicine.
His motivation for writing the book was to compare traditional Chinese diets to Western diets. At the time, the rate of disease in China was far lower than in Western countries.
His early research revealed that most Chinese citizens lived in the same geographic region for most of their lives and primarily ate diets that were high in fiber and natural plant protein. He found that meat and dairy weren’t consumed often, and sometimes not at all.
This provided a stark contrast to Western European and American diets that have traditionally been centered around the consumption of meat, dairy, and other animal-derived foods.
The strong difference was the perfect opportunity to study how a culture that eats primarily plant-based foods compares to a culture that consumes animal-based foods at an alarming rate.
Dr. Campbell’s findings were nothing short of fascinating. The rates of cancer, diabetes, and overall disease were far lower in Chinese communities that consumed little to no meat.
In his book, he also mentions how lobbyists in the meat industry have become a powerful influence in American politics and have helped suppress this information.
If you want to learn more about the vegan diet, I highly recommend his book, The China Study. His other studies, speeches, and research are also well worth reading as well!
Known For: Creating NutritionFacts.org, his book How Not To Die!
If you clicked the link above to learn more about Dr. Campbell, you may have realized that it took you to a site called NutritionFacts.org. Dr. Michael Greger created this nonprofit site to help provide information on plant-based living and nutrition for the masses.
It’s a great resource that I use all of the time to help write some of my research-heavy articles on Vegan Calm.
Dr. Greger is more than just a webmaster, though. He’s also written two very noteworthy books:
- How Not To Die!
- How Not To Diet
His first book, How Not To Die!, is a best-selling work that provides substantial evidence that plant-based diets can not only prevent heart disease and illness but also reverse it. The book achieved widespread critical acclaim and was even reviewed by the Dalai Lama!
His second book, How Not To Diet, was written as a response to all of the “fad diets” that have been trending.
He examines why most people don’t see long-term success from fad diets, and why plant-based eating is crucial to the long-term success of any weight-loss diet. He provides tons of useful statistics and tips for general weight loss and healthy living as well.
If you’ve ever seen TLC’s reality TV show, Big Medicine, then you’ll no doubt remember Dr. Garth Davis. If you haven’t seen the show, then it’s worth checking out an episode or two.
The show follows the work of several doctors (including Dr. Davis) as they perform bariatric weight reduction surgery on obese patients whose lives are often at risk because of their diets.
In the show, he often mentions how his patients’ fatty, sugary, and high-protein diets lead to life-threatening diseases. Despite his work as a bariatric surgeon, he firmly states that surgery alone will never be able to cure obesity:
One of the things I really respect about Dr. Davis is that he’s not just a surgeon. In the interview above, he explains that he really tries to work with all of his patients to create positive dietary changes after surgery.
He admits that most of his patients don’t go fully plant-based, but that he’s able to convince most of them to start eating far more fruits, veggies, nuts, and a lot less meat.
When I first went vegan, one of the first things I read was his book Proteinholic. In the book, he examines how many cultures have become dependent on animal-based proteins to the point of obsession.
He explains how unhealthy these diets are and provides clear evidence that plant-based living is one of the best ways to combat obesity in the long term.
Known For: His books, The Starch Solution and The Healthiest Diet On The Planet, and his primarily vegan food line, “Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods”
Although Dr. McDougall isn’t strictly vegan, he’s the founder of Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods – a line of health, prepackaged, plant-based foods. The company has one of my favorite go-to cup noodles, vegan pad thai, which makes for an amazing lunch on the go.
In addition to his plant-based food company, though, Dr. McDougall has a really interesting history. He first started practicing medicine in Hawaii, where he noticed how many of the indigenous Polynesian Hawaiians were suffering from high rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
His research led him to believe that the sudden introduction of unhealthy Western foods was to blame. Prior to becoming a U.S. territory, traditional Polynesians didn’t consume meat very often, and when they did it was primarily fish. Other than that, their diets were primarily plant-based.
Dr. McDougall decided to take his hypothesis mainstream and wrote his famous book, The Starch Solution.
Similar to Dr. Colin Campbell’s The China Study, his writing claims that people should get most of their calories from vegetables, fruits, and natural starches, such as potatoes and legumes.
As I mentioned, he’s not completely against meat; he merely believes that it should be consumed in moderation as it’s not very healthy.
Despite the fact that Dr. McDougall isn’t a bonafide vegan, his research is still sound and I learned a lot about diet and the importance of starches in a balanced diet from his work.
Dr. Angie Sadeghi has been particularly influential for me. Her life story is incredibly motivating and is something I look back at whenever I’m tempted by a piece of meat.
Currently, she’s on the American Board of Gastroenterology and is a leading expert in the field. She also operates her own private clinic in California, helping patients with the digestive disease and providing surgery.
Despite her reputation as one of the country’s best gastroenterologists, though, Dr. Sadeghi wasn’t always a vegan.
Her vegan journey started when she began suffering from eczema and a painful nervous system disorder called fibromyalgia.
Her research had shown her that these conditions could be caused by diet, so she decided to try something new and switch to veganism.
Shortly after switching to a plant-based diet, Dr. Sadeghi’s eczema disappeared along with her painful fibromyalgia flare-ups. She also lost 30 pounds of extra weight that she didn’t think was possible to lose!
Today, she’s very active on social media and even has her own YouTube channel, where she provides free information on how plant-based diets can cure a variety of ailments. Here’s a great interview she did on how plant-based diets can cure eczema:
When it comes to doctors with a personality, I really appreciate Dr. Klaper’s clear, friendly, and informative way of breaking down information for everyday vegans like you and me.
He’s been studying, writing about, and speaking on the benefits of plant-based living for over forty years, and is one of the leading experts in the field.
Throughout his career, he’s written numerous books, most notably Pregnancy, Children, & The Vegan Diet. In the book, he writes about how plant-based eating can be incredibly beneficial for pregnant and nursing mothers, adding that plant-based diets are also great for children as well!
I don’t have any kids, but for the mothers and moms-to-be out there, this is a great resource.
Two of his other books, Arthritis? Relief Through Good Food and Cancer, Your Diet & You, are also really informative books. In the books, he describes how plant-based vegan diets can relieve arthritis symptoms and can even help prevent and cure cancer.
Known For: Founder of the Physicians Community for Responsible Medicine, lawsuits against unhealthy dietary guides.
Dr. Neal Barnard is another one of my favorite vegan doctors. One of the most interesting facts about Dr. Barnard is that he worked alongside Dr. John McDougall (who I mentioned above) to sue both the USDA and the DHHS in 2016.
Both of these government organizations had long-standing dietary guidelines that had been around for far too long and were largely inaccurate.
Through scientifically-backed research, studies, and facts, his foundation (the Physicians Community for Responsible Medicine, PCRM) sued these government giants and won, resulting in lasting change.
In addition to his activist work, he’s also been featured in notable documentaries, such as Super Size Me, What The Health, and Eating You Alive.
Another interesting fact about Dr. Barnard is that he grew up on a cattle ranch. His experience growing up in and around the meat industry is part of what led him to become a vegan, in the first place.
After his father suffered from severe Alzheimer’s disease, he performed studies that revealed how animal-derived cholesterol affects the brain just as much as it does the heart.
As I mentioned, studying vegan doctors, watching podcasts, and reading books written by doctors who support plant-based diets was a very important part of my early vegan journey.
Learning from experts really helped me have faith in my own decision to become a vegan and provided me with all of the science I needed to feel confident in my decision.
Here are some of the top reasons why you should follow and research more vegan doctors…
For some of us, going vegan is an easy choice; for others, it can be a bit challenging. Beating your addiction to meat isn’t often as easy as it sounds.
Reading and consuming content written by leading doctors who support plant-based diets is incredibly motivational and will keep your mind focused on the main reasons you became a vegan in the first place.
Another reason I love to follow these doctors is that they often offer tons of free vegan, plant-based recipes and meal plans on their websites.
Being vegan isn’t just about eating fruits and veggies; it’s also about learning to incorporate them in a healthy, balanced diet. Doctor-approved meal plans and recommendations are a great place to start.
Last but not least, studying books written by vegan doctors is a great way to learn the facts.
The next time you’re sitting down at a family dinner and somebody starts questioning your decision to go vegan, you’ll be armed with all of the facts you need to know to prove the benefits of going vegan. Remember – knowledge is power!
Switching from a meat-based diet to a plant-based diet can be challenging. It’s a huge change and one that often requires tons of research and application to perfect.
I’ve found that the best way to get accurate information is to study the professionals who’ve dedicated their lives and careers to studying plant-based diets.
If you enjoyed this article, then you’ll love my article on why vegans should avoid consuming drugs in their diet! It’s a bit of a controversial piece, but I guarantee it’ll make you think before you light up another cigarette.