9 Plant Based Experts

Are you just starting out on following a whole food, plant-based diet? If you are, then you need to know these 9 plant-based experts.

They’re my go-to whole food, plant-based people!

When I first started out on my whole food, plant-based journey, experts in the field were few and far between. Even following a vegetarian or vegan diet was seen as being a bit out there and wasn’t advocated by many people in the medical profession.

Following a whole food, plant-based diet to heal, flourish and thrive was alien to the majority of people (and still is to many). There was however a pocket of professionals who understood the potential of following a whole food, plant-based diet; they were researching, writing and publishing peer reviewed scientific papers.

These people are leaders in the field and are my go to people for everything and anything related to following a whole food, plant-based diet. But who are they?

Here’s my list of plant-based experts you need to know about if you’re just starting out on your whole food, plant-based journey.

Professor T. Colin Campbell – nutritionstudies.org

The father of whole–food, plant-based eating who introduced the phrase Whole Food, Plant-Based when he was a member of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) cancer-research grant review panel from 1978 to 1980.

Author of The China Study and WHOLE, as well as hundreds of peer reviewed papers, his website nutritionstudies.org is packed full of in-depth articles and videos.

He is a biochemist who specializes in the effect of nutrition on long-term health. He is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University.

Dr Neal Barnard – pcrm.org

Neal Barnard, is a nutrition researcher, author, and health advocate. As an adjunct associate professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine, Dr. Barnard conducts studies on the role of nutrition in diabetes, obesity, and lipid management, among other health issues.

Dr. Barnard’s scientific approach aims to shed new light on these important issues. He is currently the president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a non-profit of over 10,000 concerned doctors, in Washington, D.C.

John McDougall, M.D.

A physician and nutrition expert who teaches better health through vegetarian cuisine, John A. McDougall, MD has been studying, writing, and speaking out about the effects of nutrition on disease for over 30 years.

The McDougalls founded the nationally renowned McDougall Program in Santa Rosa, CA where medical miracles occur through diet and lifestyle changes.

Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D., The Cleveland Clinic,

Dr. Esselstyn and his wife, Ann Crile Esselstyn, have followed a plant-based diet for more than 26 years. Dr. Esselstyn presently directs the cardiovascular prevention and reversal program at The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute.

His scientific publications number over 150. In 1995 he published his bench mark long-term nutritional research arresting and reversing coronary artery disease in severely ill patients. That same study was updated at 12 years and reviewed beyond twenty years in his book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, making it one of the longest longitudinal studies of its type.

Dean Ornish, M.D.

Dean Ornish is a physician and president and founder of the non-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California, as well as Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

Dr Ornish is known for his lifestyle-driven approach to the control of coronary artery disease (CAD) and other chronic diseases. He promotes lifestyle changes including a whole foods, plant-based diet,[2] smoking cessation, moderate exercise, stress management techniques including yoga and meditation, and psychosocial support.

“Instead Of Trying To Motivate [Patients] With The ‘Fear Of Dying,’ Ornish Reframes The Issue. He Inspires A New Vision Of The ‘Joy Of Living’ — Convincing Them They Can Feel Better, Not Just Live Longer. – Fast Company

Julieanna Hever, M.S., R.D., C.P.T. 

Julieanna Hever, also known as The Plant-Based Dietician, is a passionate advocate of the miracles associated with following a whole food, plant-based diet-the established effects of which provide positive healthful benefits.

Julieanna Hever has written the best-selling book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition, the brand new book, The Vegiterranean Diet, and also writes the nutrition column for VegNews Magazine.

Michael Greger, M.D.

Dr. Greger is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. A founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Dr. Greger is licensed as a general practitioner specializing in clinical nutrition. Currently he serves as the public health director at the Humane Society of the United States. Dr. Greger is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Agriculture and the Tufts University School of Medicine.

He scours the world’s nutrition research to bring you free daily videos and articles at nutritionfacts.org. All proceeds from his books, DVDs, and speaking goes to charity.

Michael Klaper, M.D.

Michael Klaper, is a clinician, internationally recognised teacher, and sought-after speaker on diet and health. He has practiced medicine for more than 40 years, and is a leading educator in applied plant-based nutrition and integrative medicine. You can find out more here.

Dr. Klaper contributed to the making of two PBS television programs Food for Thought and the award-winning Diet for a New Americamovie based on the book of the same name by author and former heir to the Baskin-Robbins fortune, John Robbins. He teaches his students and patients that “health comes from healthy living,” and is dedicated to the healing and flourishing of all living beings and of the planet itself.

Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

Joel Fuhrman, is an author, physician and speaker who specialises in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods. You can find out more here.


..there you have my list of go to people in the whole food, plant-based world. There are also many, many other websites, blogs and books that are great resources. Just be careful when you go to them that they are actually whole food, plant-based. Many say they are but use heavily processed ingredients and oil. Two ingredients that whole food, plant-based people stay away from.

If you’re just starting out on your plant-based journey, I’ve written a couple of blog posts you might find useful. Click here to start.

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