The best books on healthy cooking, eating, and lifestyle

Who am I?

Heart disease ravaged both sides of my family. When I was a teenager, my mother developed heart disease and her two brothers died of heart attacks. In response, at the age of seventeen, I gave up meat. Now, after a career writing comedy for the stage and television, I write books on health, and all my extensive research on nutrition has vindicated my instincts from the age of seventeen but taught me that there is far more to a healthy diet than just avoiding flesh foods. I have authored or co-authored eleven books that, in different ways, make the case for the health benefits of plants. 


I wrote...

Own Your Health: How to Live Long & Avoid Chronic Illness

By Glen Merzer,

Book cover of Own Your Health: How to Live Long & Avoid Chronic Illness

What is my book about?

Own Your Health is a funny and personal study of nutrition and health. By telling the stories of how the author’s parents saved each other’s lives and how his wife overcame lupus, by revealing how the science of nutrition is more settled than you think, and by explaining nutrition as it’s never been explained before, the book gives us an action plan to reverse the epidemics of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, while obliterating demand for the kind of food-raising that risks future pandemics.

“I found myself laughing out loud on nearly every page. This book is for you if you want to be healthy for the rest of your life — and if you don’t mind laughing a lot.” –John Robbins, Author, Diet For A New America

The books I picked & why

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Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure

By Caldwell B. Esselstyn,

Book cover of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure

Why this book?

Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., is a soft-spoken giant of modern medicine who has revolutionized the treatment of heart disease. The studies he has conducted on the role of diet in reversing heart disease, reported on within the book, are the most significant heart studies of our time. Esselstyn writes simply and clearly; when you finish reading his book, you understand everything you need to know in order to nurture and protect, through diet, a healthy heart. 


How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease

By Michael Greger, Gene Stone,

Book cover of How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease

Why this book?

How Not to Die is a veritable encyclopedia of useful information on how to avoid dying of the fifteen leading causes of death in America—including death brought on by medical care! Greger’s expertise on nutritional studies makes for enlightening reading. There’s revelatory information on almost every page, and you will learn how to eat for optimal health.   


Mastering Diabetes: The Revolutionary Method to Reverse Insulin Resistance Permanently in Type 1, Type 1.5, Type 2, Prediabetes, and Gestational Diabetes

By Cyrus Khambatta, Robby Barbaro,

Book cover of Mastering Diabetes: The Revolutionary Method to Reverse Insulin Resistance Permanently in Type 1, Type 1.5, Type 2, Prediabetes, and Gestational Diabetes

Why this book?

Mastering Diabetes explains the nature of the disease, and why the standard treatment of Type 2 Diabetes in particular is counterproductive. The authors draw from their own personal experience and the experiences of those they have counseled, but they provide evidence from a raft of scientific studies. They have had striking success, which they report with energy and enthusiasm. With confidence born of that success, they stand conventional diabetes wisdom on its head.


Diet for a New America: How Your Food Choices Affect Your Health, Happiness and the Future of Life on Earth

By John Robbins,

Book cover of Diet for a New America: How Your Food Choices Affect Your Health, Happiness and the Future of Life on Earth

Why this book?

This is a truly spiritual look at health. It is bolstered by a ton of science, but what stays with you is the instinctive decency of the author, appealing to the instinctive decency of the reader to embrace what it means to be human, and apply that lesson to diet. It’s hard to imagine that anyone could read this book and not be moved and changed by it. This book has undoubtedly improved the lives and health of millions.


The Starch Solution: Eat the Foods You Love, Regain Your Health, and Lose the Weight for Good!

By John McDougall, Mary McDougall,

Book cover of The Starch Solution: Eat the Foods You Love, Regain Your Health, and Lose the Weight for Good!

Why this book?

Let Dr. John McDougall open your eyes about how badly most of us have been misled on the subject of nutrition, and how simple, powerful, and effective the truth can be. You have to love how the book provides plenty of stories of individuals transformed and restored to health on the starch-based diet, and how it provides recipes (by Mary McDougall) and eating plans to get the reader started on a path to optimal health.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in diabetes, animal rights, and Anthrozoology?

5,215 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about diabetes, animal rights, and Anthrozoology.

Diabetes Explore 16 books about diabetes
Animal Rights Explore 12 books about animal rights
Anthrozoology Explore 94 books about Anthrozoology

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like By Any Greens Necessary: A Revolutionary Guide for Black Women Who Want to Eat Great, Get Healthy, Lose Weight, and Look Phat, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and The Dash Diet Mediterranean Solution: The Best Eating Plan to Control Your Weight and Improve Your Health for Life if you like this list.