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Becoming Vegan: The Complete Guide to Adopting a Healthy Plant-Based Diet

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  3,109 ratings  ·  149 reviews
The authors of this text explore the benefits of a vegan diet, and eating without eggs or dairy products. In addition they explain why more and more people are being motivated to become vegans and discuss the consequences of their choice.
Paperback, 281 pages
Published January 1st 2000 by Book Publishing Company (TN)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  3,109 ratings  ·  149 reviews

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Jul 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing
not a page turner, but the definitive Bible of veganism. where, why, what, and how to get all those yummy things that your body needs. never who, though. :)
Nov 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: food
Very informative, but about as exciting as reading a textbook. Not a book I would recommend to an omnivore considering a vegan or vegetarian diet (for that I would suggest The China Study). But this is an excellent book for someone who's already made the decision to eat vegan and needs practical advice on how to do so healthfully. It goes into exhaustive detail on every macro and micro nutrient the body needs. I appreciated that the book doesn't sugarcoat everything about vegan nutrition. It poi ...more
Sep 27, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
The process of changing my ideas and habits about what I put into my body for nourishment and recreation began in earnest this year, my 59th. Sometimes facing one's mortality can bring about positive lifestyle changes. Two powerful events this year have determined me to get serious about getting healthy.

I read Andrew Breslin's book "mother's milk" which is an intelligent fiction that points to the real negative effects of dairy on the human body. Recently I heard former President Bill Clinton s
Ray (user2637)
Oct 02, 2007 rated it really liked it
Great information for people transitioning to compassionate eating habits. Will answer all or almost all of your questions.
Kat Williams
Nov 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is essentially the Encyclopedia of Vegan Nutrition. I primarily use this book as a reference tool much like you would a textbook. While you can read this cover to cover it can be very dry and difficult to absorb. I highly suggest to anyone committing to a vegan lifestyle to shore up their knowledge on the actual nutrition behind it. Becoming a vegan isn't a magic fix for your health if you aren't doing it right. This text will guide you in how to meet your caloric and nutrient requirements ...more
Fathom Panthere Iaguar
This book was decent, but never something I'd recommend to someone trying to go vegan. Instead I'd recommend it to their mothers who, still buying in to the massively corrupt nutritional guidelines we have in place in the U.S., would be much reassured by the authors' stalwart support of said guidelines.

I was disturbed by the fact that there is a chapter on 'obesity' (Latin, 'because of eating') right before the section on eating disorders. It seems to me that if you truly want to help people fro
May 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all vegans, vegan skeptics, vegetarians, dietitians, doctors, nurses
Excellent book covering every little nook and cranny of vegan nutrition. The best feature of this book is that the authors are unbiased with the information they share, and they truly have their readers' health as their primary interest. There are chapters for every stage of life - pregnancy, breastfeeding, infancy, childhood, adolescence, old age, even a chapter for athletes.

Despite the title, this really is a book mostly all about nutrition. For other issues surrounding living as a vegan, che
Sep 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: veganism
This is the best material on nutrition that I have ever read. While Davis and Melina's focus is on vegan nutrition, the basic information would be valuable to everyone (even omnis). I feel that more than any other type of person, vegans are constantly being interrogated about their eating choices and their nutritional fortitude; therefore, having a solid understanding of food science is beneficial not only for one's personal well-being, but also to shut people up when they haughtily ask about pr ...more
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-reads
Comprehensive, indeed. I read big sections, skimmed a few sections I didn't need or care about right now. It's really intended as a reference book to be kept on hand and referred to as needed. Which I shall do. ...more
Aug 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, health
This is book is the most precious finding to me in nutrition literature and practical guides for a healthy vegan diet, because it's very scientific and comprehensive, whilst written in a way that is accessible to everyone. The authors write about pretty much everything related to nutrition and vegan diet, from ethics, environmental impact, nutrition for people of all ages, gender, lifestyle, disability, eating disorders, athletes, etc, etc... I read it from beginning to end and found every chapt ...more
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Such a good resource on plant-based eating!
Kasey Jane
Sep 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Like most vegetarians, I have a failed attempt at veganism under my belt. Almost all of these failures stem from a simple lack of planning. Being a vegetarian really isn't that difficult, and I think that makes us overconfident in our ability to transition smoothly to a vegan diet.

I really liked this book's organization. After some introductory materials, the first section details the importance of various macro- and micro-nutrients in a vegan diet. The middle describes how to accommodate the ve
Feb 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
I actually bought this book a long time ago (I've been vegan for almost eight years) and only just now read it cover to cover because I've recently become very interested in the quality of my food and eating healthy. Better late than never! This is a good read for anyone whether they are considering veganism or have been vegan for many years. It is written in a realistic and candid way and just gives you the facts. It never suggests that a vegan diet is the only way to eat but it does offer as m ...more
Jul 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Vegan-Curious Nutrition Freaks
This is an excellent book for anyone wanting to learn more about the nutritional aspects of vegan and/or vegetarian diets! The writing tends to be pretty technical, but doesn't really require a background in science to understand it. It also tends to get a bit repetitive halfway through (the chapters on nutrition for pregnancy, weight loss, etc. pretty much re-state information mentioned in the earlier chapters on carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals), but I suppose that helps rei ...more
Mar 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nutrition
"Becoming Vegan" was written by two of the Registered Dieticians (RD) who coauthored The American Dietetic Association Position Paper On Vegetarianism. It covers the nutritional needs of all phases of life from birth to death as well as special needs. It is complete and easy to read. The same authors have also published The New Becoming Vegetarian ( second edition ) which has even more nutrition information and is essentially a vegan nutrition book aside from the title.

I've heard from one of th
Oct 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
This read like some of my favorite college textbooks in that it held a great deal of valuable information in understandable chunks. This might be a bit dry for some people, but I found it a great resource after reading some other vegan/vegetarian books that seemed big on generalizations and less focused on the numbers of nutrition. There was some amount of focus and tweaking of the food pyramid, so that could be an issue for some people as well.

The brief nod to the history of mainstream plant-b
Jan 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is exactly what I wanted to read. It answered all my health and nutrition questions and (as far as I know) was very thorough. The language in the book wasn't dumbed down but accessible enough for the average reader (or slightly below average reader, like me)

I did skip/skim the chapters about pregnancy, raising kids and athletes because they didn't apply to me, The chapter about weight loss is irritating but could be worse and could easily be skipped if you want to avoid it. The chapter
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, food
Incredibly comprehensive and well written. Took my time reading it and I loved the way it presented the information and nutritional facts and studies. This was exactly the sort of book I was looking for and I annotated my copy like a textbook. The only wish I would have is if it were a bit more current (2000) but alas it is all I could get my hands on. Definitely keeping for reference and love the emphasis on real food ♡
Aug 05, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A thorough, dry, and perfunctory book on the health dynamics of veganism, particularly ensuring a balanced diet and staving off any mineral or vitamin depletion. That said, this is an incredibly boring book. It should be treated like the dictionary -- not ideal for reading cover to cover, but good to pick up as a reference item.
Eric Neuhaus
Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was ok
I got the information out of it that I needed. It's definitely a little preachy about animal killing and what have you in the beginning, but if you are going to adopt a vegan lifestyle then you have to make a drastic life change. I was reading the book to find out different ways I can obtain protein from vegetables. ...more
Nov 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: health
This book is full of information and very thorough. Obviously, a lot of effort went into it. But for me, it was overwhelming, information overload. It's answering questions I didn't even know I had. Therefore, for me it is and will be a great reference book down the road. It's all in there I'm sure and then some. ...more
Rach Wigg
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you’re considering a plant based diet but are hesitating due to fear of the unknown, I highly recommend this book. I read it in 2012, and, even then, some of the science had become a little dated. Still, I think it is comprehensive, user friendly, and worth your time. It will give you the knowledge you need to do any additional Googles you might want to do.
Jul 09, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
Well, I would recommend this if you want the nitty-gritty of it all when it comes to veganism. A parochial reading full of facts and figures for the most discerning of food-techie people is to be found here.
Mar 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, vegan, health
This is such a great resource for people exploring the idea of becoming vegan or already on the path. This book explains how to get all those nutrients you're worried about not getting, like protein, calcium and vitamin B12. It's more of a reference book than a page-turner, so keep that in mind. ...more
Anthony Brian Butler
Many books tout the science on vegan nutrition, but few live up to the expectations-it is the science, after all, that will be the final arbiter in truly convincing the public and the world that going vegan is the answer to so many of our modern ills. Brenda Davis, an established and important nutrition specialist, along with Vesanto Melina, have laid out all the science a beginner-and many veterans-need to know in order to follow a proper vegan diet. Especially helpful were the nutritional sect ...more
Aug 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Good for people who (for whatever reason) do not consume meat or consume very little amounts of it and want to make sure they will not be deficient in anything a few months later. I am tired of media and close-minded people attacking or mocking someone for their food choices, however, I can see where this is coming from. Many people who suddenly decided to become a vegetarian or vegan simply omit those things without knowing what they should eat to compensate for its absence in their diet, but t ...more
Oksana Oriekhova
Nov 07, 2020 rated it liked it
I’ve been on the vegan journey for 1.5 years now. And I keep on learning. I like to go to the bottom of the things and understand how they work.

A few takeaways:

- DHA is not made by fish; it originates from macro algae eaten by smaller fish subsequently eaten by bigger fish.

- B12 doesn’t originate from meats; it is made by bacteria in the soil. Animals eat grass/feed with dirt that has B12 - that’s how meat gets enriched by B12.

- Calcium needs vitamin D to be absorbed by the body. Dairy products
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vegan
I've had this book for several years and recently decided I just needed to tackle it. With the title I thought it would be predominantly a manifesto + dietary recommendations and though it does start out that way this book evolves into a comprehensive bodily systems and nutrition textbook. Becoming Vegan covers where plant-based eating excels, but doesn't sugarcoat the vegan diet. Instead it pragmatically discusses where just a few areas fall short, but how you can tackle them sticking with plan ...more
Lisa Gaunky
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very comprehensive

I love this book. There are detailed, scientific explanations about how foods really nourish us and what supplements might be necessary. They take into account that not everyone will be a vegetarian or vegan in the exact same way. I was impressed with their chapter on eating disorders, as I have gone through that myself in the past. Their chapter on dealing with social situations and family is also valuable. It was important to include those chapters because food is so intrica
Marius Colacioiu
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book, although more of a manual, gave me a lot of knowledge and answers regarding sustainability in the long run for relying on a full plant-based diet. From infants to adults and then to seniors, all questions are asked and answered in this book.

Appreciated last two chapters on the Vegan Athlete and Vegan Diplomacy. Can be a bit hard to digest, with all the tables in mcg and mg of all the vitamins and minerals our body needs, but I would nevertheless recommend this book!
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