These days it seems just about every food has been both demonized and praised at some point in the media. Should you be afraid of soy? Is carrageenan safe to eat? The internet has no shortage of nutrition claims or advice on what is the “best” way to eat. Confusion runs rampant when it comes to how food affects our health.
Celebrities, random blogs and anecdotes aren’t the best source of health information. And when it comes to nutrition—and vegan nutrition in particular—not just any health professional is able to provide helpful recommendations based on the latest science.
So where should you go to get vegan nutrition information you can trust?
If you’re living a plant-based lifestyle and need some support on the nutrition front, the best source is a vegan registered dietitian nutritionist!
Registered Dietitians can help you meet your nutrition and wellness goals and create healthy habits. They can also address health conditions, identify nutrient deficiencies and food allergies, help clients struggling with an eating disorder, and more. Here are a few of the most common reasons people consult a dietitian.
Not all dietitians are experts specifically in vegan nutrition, which is why I’ve compiled this list for you! These dietitians (below) are vegan themselves, so you can trust that they have deeply studied and understand plant-based nutrition.
Many people go through life never consulting a dietitian. If you’re feeling healthy and on top of your wellness game, you don’t see anything abnormal in your blood tests, you’re regularly supplementing Vitamin B12, and your doctor gives you a big thumbs up, that’s great!
You can certainly get all the nutrients you need to thrive on a well-balanced plant-based diet. Plus, there are several books and resources out there to help you educate yourself about health and nutrition.
That said, talking with a vegan Registered Dietitian can be a wonderful asset to you and your health. Our health and wellness are so important, but sadly, in today’s busy world many people don’t take action on their health until it’s too late, and then they have to urgently race to the doctor.
Finding a Registered Dietitian you trust who can be your guide into plant-based living can be enormously helpful. And of course, if you feel unhealthy in any way, are worried that you may not be hitting all of your nutrition needs, are struggling with your eating habits, or just have nutrition questions and need answers from an expert, consulting a vegan RDN (or even working with one on an ongoing basis) could be great for you.
Did you know that most doctors have very little required schooling in nutrition? Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) also known as Registered Dietitians (RDs) have the education, training, and credentials to provide nutrition assessments, diagnoses and interventions to help optimize your wellness and even address, treat, and prevent disease.
But watch out—the term “nutritionist” is not regulated and requires no specific education or training. If you want to be sure you’re working with the most qualified experts, look for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs).
Registered dietitians are the best nutrition experts. They hold at least a 4-year degree (most hold advanced degrees), completed supervised practice as a dietetic intern, passed a national registration exam and complete continuing education.
The following registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) offer various services and consulting practices, and each has a different style, area of focus, and approach. Many can see clients virtually. They can assess your current diet, identify any nutrient gaps and help you develop an eating pattern that suits your personal preferences, health conditions, and lifestyle. They’re also great for answering any nutrition-related questions.
Taylor uses a non-diet approach to health and wellness and provides lifestyle coaching to help clients prioritize self-care, ditch dieting and make peace with food and their bodies. She works with vegans and non-vegans, people recovering from disordered eating and those looking to establish lifelong healthy habits that fit their preferences and lifestyles. You can see all her World of Vegan articles here!
Catherine is a vegan registered dietitian and food blogger with the popular Instagram account @PlantBasedRD. She shares tips and delicious plant-based recipes for making a balanced healthy lifestyle as easy as pie. She was also featured on an episode of The Plant-Powered People Podcast where she shared vegan Nutrition 101 basics.
Website | @ThymetogoVeganRD
Stephanie is a vegan registered dietitian and freelance nutrition writer based in Texas. She uses her professional expertise and personal experience as a vegan to help vegans and individuals transitioning to veganism meet their nutrient needs and optimize their long-term health through personalized, sustainable lifestyle changes. She loves cheering on her clients and helping them meet their nutrition and health goals! She is also a nutrition writer covering a wide range of topics, from the most helpful blood tests specifically for vegans, to how to prevent hair loss for vegans.
Amy is a vegan Health at Every Size dietitian who works with people with eating disorders, disordered eating, and compulsive dieting. She uses the Intuitive Eating approach when appropriate and believes that all foods can be part of a healthy, balanced life.
Karla specializes in vegetarian and vegan nutrition, with a specific focus on children. Karla helps parents help their vegan kids thrive on a plant-based diet. She provides one-on-one virtual coaching to those interested in adopting a more plant-based lifestyle to ensure they are meeting their individual nutrient needs. Karla also grew up in a Mexican household and is also fluent in Spanish.
Davis, Northern California
Jack Norris is the founder of VeganHealth.org. Jack does not see private clients but puts great care into maintaining this site. VeganHealth.org provides reviews of the scientific literature related to the health benefits of a vegan diet, discussions about concerns related to vegan nutrition, and recommendations for nutrients that can be low in the diets of some vegans.
Los Angeles, CA
Sharon Palmer is a plant-based and sustainability food and nutrition expert, writer, recipe developer, blogger, and author of The Plant-Powered Diet book series. She focuses on promoting whole, plant-based foods to people—no matter what their diet pattern. Sharon presents internationally on topics of plant-based and sustainable eating and serves as the nutrition ambassador for Meatless Monday.
Los Angeles, CA
MattRuscigno.com | Nutrinic.com
Matt is an ethical vegan of over 22 years with two nutrition degrees, including graduate training at Loma Linda University, one of the only plant-based, accredited nutrition programs in the world. Matt specializes in sports nutrition and in using food to prevent chronic disease. See his video crushing myths about soy here!
Anya Todd has over 15 years of experience providing nutrition therapy and wellness consultations to a variety of clients. She especially enjoys working with vegan moms-to-be and those non-vegan individuals looking to make radical, compassionate changes.
Los Angeles, CA
Julieanna specializes in lifestyle transformations, helping people transition to a well-balanced, sustainable, nutritious whole food, plant-based diet for optimal health.
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Vegan Sports Nutrition
Tara is a vegan sports nutritionist who helps athletes get all the nutrients they need without restrictive dieting. Through her sports nutrition coaching, Tara will help you fuel your performance as a plant-based athlete, get enough protein, and find food freedom. She can help vegetarian, vegan, or veg-curious athletes find more energy, achieve faster recovery, and advance as an athlete without counting calories and macros.
Sheri is a plant-based enthusiast who has practiced nutrition and consulted in the weight loss industry for over 25 years. She advocates for a low-fat plant-based diet which helps lose weight and keep it off while also improving overall health and wellbeing. Sheri lives on a farm where she grows an organic garden and cares for animals. “Food is the medicine. I am the hand holding coach who offers lots of tender loving care. It is a lifestyle not a diet!”
Rachael is a certified eating disorders registered dietitian. Her mission is to help you make peace with food, develop a confident and trusting relationship with food and your body, and never fear food again.
Ann Arbor, MI
Angela offers intuitive eating coaching, plant-based nutrition counseling, and medical nutrition therapy for specific health concerns. She takes an individualized, weight-neutral approach to nutrition that focuses on finding sustainable solutions to reaching your health goals.
Nisha is a vegan Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a master’s degree in nutrition from Columbia University, an ACCET accredited trained Chef from the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City, and a published cookbook author of ‘Practically Vegan.’ She currently lives with her three teenagers in New York City. Nisha uses her professional expertise and personal experience as a vegan to help vegans and nonvegans transition to a plant-based diet and meet their nutrient needs. She enjoys helping her clients with their cooking, nutrition, and health goals.
Desiree is a vegan Registered Dietitian with a focus on plant-based nutrition and digestive health. She is the author of 2 Canadian bestselling plant-based cookbooks, Eat More Plants and Good For Your Gut as well as the host of an evidence-informed wellness podcast, The Allsorts Podcast. She lives in Vancouver, Canada, where she owns a private practice with a non-diet, weight-neutral approach to nutrition and health. Desiree is a mom of two and a sometimes neglectful gardener.
Meet Rhyan, an all-star vegan dietitian, nutrition writer, and two-time author extraordinaire! She’s the VEO (like CEO, but vegan) of Phoenix Vegan Dietitian, where she turns plant-based newbies into vegan virtuosos. With years of experience, a sprinkle of positive vibes, and a passion for creating a better world one delicious bite at a time, Rhyan is your go-to gal for all things vegan nutrition. She’s a media-savvy veggie queen who has been on the pages of Women’s Health, Well+Good, and Shape. Ready to start your vegan adventure? Check out her vegan offerings and follow Rhyan’s tasty journey on Instagram.
Melinda Benz, RDN (she/her/hers) is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist specializing in plant-rich nutrition and vegan lifestyle. Her mission is to simplify plant-based and vegan nutrition by offering practical, evidence-based nutrition education and collaborating on personalized dietary changes, so clients can feel empowered to make eating plant foods more fun and fulfilling!
Miami, FL and Chicago, IL
After her sister struggled with a plant-based pregnancy, Maya started working with vegan moms-to-be, helping them learn how to meet their nutrient needs to support their baby’s development. From preconception to pregnancy and postpartum, she works one-on-one with her clients, giving them the tools and support they need to go from feeling concerned to confident. She is the host of The Vegan Pregnancy Podcast and, since 2020, splits her time with her family between Chicago and Miami.
Deepa’s overarching goal is to help undeserved communities to have access to nutrition-focused care and help achieve health equality. Over the last 18 years, Deepa has helped hundreds of people from various ethnic backgrounds lose weight, reverse and manage their diabetes, and reduce their cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Deepa specializes in providing culturally adopted nutrition-focused practical and tactical strategies to those who have chosen a path to change lifestyle to feel better. In addition, Deepa has special interest in digestive health issues and maternal health issues faced by minority woman. Deepa has been recognized as one of the Top 10 Dietitians in the country by Today’s Dietitian Publication for her innovative approach to health and wellness.
Vegan registered dietitian Catherine Perez (@PlantBasedRD) talk all about the basics of vegan nutrition on Episode 60 of The Plant-Powered People Podcast. Listen to learn about key nutrients like Omega-3s, DHA, Vitamin D, calcium, iron, vitamin B12, protein, and more. She shared how to get it all while eating a plant-based diet!
When it comes time to hire a professional, you’ll start to see lots and lots of acronyms after people’s names identifying their credentials. Unfortunately, for the average person, these have little meaning unless you dig into what they represent. So let’s take a moment now to break down those credentials and what they mean.
Issued by the Commission on Dietetic Registration, this credential means the individual has completed a minimum of a bachelor’s degree at an accredited university, completed at least 1,200 hours of supervised practice (internship) and passed a national examination.
This credential is synonymous with RDN.
This person is licensed to practice nutrition in a specific state.
This person is licensed to practice nutrition in a specific state.
A Master of Dietetics Administration has a professional degree signifying thorough training in management and leadership in food and nutrition program administration.
The label “nutritionist” does not carry any specific meaning. Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist without any specific training or education. Beware of this term and look for the RDN credential.
This is a master’s degree in the field of science, engineering, mathematics, or medicine awarded by a college or university. Each program is different, but most require writing a thesis.
Issued by the National Academy of Sports medicine, this certification means the individual has passed a national examination relating to human body fitness and prescription of exercise.
The Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group is the leading authority on plant-based diets. They provide resources, recipes, and information for all age groups and fitness levels that promote health and well-being based on the latest research.
They have many handy resource sheets on a variety of topics including vegetarian and vegan infants, choline in vegan and vegetarian diets, and sports nutrition for vegetarians and vegans.
This article was written with support from Taylor Wolfram. For more vegan health and wellness wisdom from a vegan dietitian, check out Taylor’s other World of Vegan articles and her website Taylor Wolfram.
Want to learn about ditching dieting for good, honoring your body’s hunger and making peace with food? Grab Taylor’s FREE Beginner’s Guide to Eating Intuitively!
Please note that the information presented here is not to be construed as medical advice or used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any condition or disease.