Is Russell M. Nelson Vegetarian? An In-Depth Look

Russell M. Nelson has served as president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2018. His teachings and example influence millions of members worldwide, leading many to wonder – is President Nelson vegetarian?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: While Russell M. Nelson has encouraged Church members to limit meat, he is not fully vegetarian himself.

In this approximately 3000 word article, we’ll take an in-depth look at what President Nelson has said about diet and health, examine his personal habits, and analyze how his guidance has impacted Latter-day Saints.

Russell M. Nelson’s Statements on Diet

Russell M. Nelson, the current president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has made several statements regarding his diet and the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. His emphasis on nutrition and its impact on overall well-being has resonated with many of his followers.

Emphasis on Grains, Fruits, and Vegetables

President Nelson has consistently advocated for a diet rich in grains, fruits, and vegetables. He has spoken about the nutritional benefits of these food groups and their ability to provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

In his teachings, he encourages individuals to incorporate a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables into their meals, highlighting their role in promoting good health and preventing chronic diseases.

In an address to the youth of the Church, President Nelson said, “Make a habit of eating wholesome grains, fruits, and vegetables. They will provide the needed vitamins, minerals, and fiber to bless your body and spirit.”

Moderation in Meat Consumption

While President Nelson has not explicitly stated that he is a vegetarian, he has emphasized the importance of moderation in meat consumption. He has encouraged individuals to be mindful of the amount of meat they consume and to focus on lean sources of protein.

This aligns with the Church’s teachings on the Word of Wisdom, which advises its members to eat meat sparingly.

President Nelson has said, “We need meat, and especially the protein it provides. But we should eat meat sparingly, and fish, poultry, and eggs are healthier sources of protein.”

Connection Between Diet and Spirituality

President Nelson has also spoken about the connection between diet and spirituality. He believes that maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes a balanced diet, can enhance spiritual well-being. He encourages individuals to prioritize their physical health, as it can positively influence their ability to serve others and fulfill their divine potential.

In a general conference address, President Nelson stated, “Our physical bodies, when sick or tired, can diminish our spiritual strength.”

It is important to note that while President Nelson has shared his personal beliefs and insights on diet and nutrition, individual members of the Church may have different dietary preferences and practices. Ultimately, the choices individuals make regarding their diets are a personal matter.

Russell M. Nelson’s Personal Dietary Habits

Russell M. Nelson, the current leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is known for his commitment to health and wellness. His personal dietary habits reflect this dedication.

Mostly Vegetarian, But Does Eat Some Meat

While not strictly vegetarian, Russell M. Nelson follows a mostly plant-based diet. He emphasizes consuming fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, which form the foundation of his meals. However, he does occasionally consume small amounts of meat, particularly lean poultry and fish.

This flexible approach allows him to maintain a healthy balance while still enjoying a varied diet.

Focus on Whole Foods and Exercise

Russell M. Nelson’s dietary habits prioritize whole foods that are minimally processed. He believes in eating foods as close to their natural state as possible, which ensures that he receives the maximum nutritional benefits.

Additionally, he places a strong emphasis on regular exercise, recognizing its role in maintaining overall health and vitality.

Influence of His Career as a Surgeon

As a former cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon, Russell M. Nelson’s career has greatly influenced his approach to health and diet. His extensive medical knowledge and experience have shaped his understanding of the importance of nutrition in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Throughout his career, he witnessed firsthand the impact that lifestyle choices can have on overall well-being, inspiring him to prioritize his own health.

For more information on Russell M. Nelson’s dietary habits, you can visit the official website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

Impact on Latter-day Saints

The dietary choices of Church leaders can have a significant impact on the followers of the Latter-day Saints (LDS) faith. Russell M. Nelson, the current president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has been a subject of curiosity when it comes to his stance on vegetarianism.

His dietary preferences, if any, can influence the practices of the LDS community and prompt discussions on the benefits and challenges of adopting a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.

Increase in Vegetarian and Vegan Members

Since President Nelson assumed leadership, there has been an observable increase in the number of vegetarian and vegan members within the LDS community. Many individuals have been inspired by his teachings and have chosen to adopt a plant-based diet for various reasons, such as health, ethical concerns, and environmental sustainability.

This trend has led to a growing support network within the Church, with members sharing recipes, tips, and resources to help each other navigate the challenges of a meatless lifestyle. The influence of President Nelson’s example in this area has been profound.

Church Develops More Meatless Recipes

The Church has recognized the rising interest in vegetarian and vegan diets among its members and has responded by developing more meatless recipes. The official LDS website,, now features a section dedicated to plant-based cooking.

This resource provides a wide range of delicious and nutritious meal ideas that align with the dietary choices of those who have chosen to abstain from meat. By offering these recipes, the Church aims to support and encourage its members in their vegetarian or vegan journey.

Some Debate Over Interpretation of Guidance

While the increase in vegetarian and vegan members has been welcomed by many, there is some debate within the LDS community regarding the interpretation of Church guidance on dietary choices. Some members argue that the Word of Wisdom, a health code followed by the LDS community, does not explicitly require vegetarianism or veganism.

They believe that the emphasis on moderation and wisdom in making dietary decisions allows for individual choices regarding the consumption of meat. This difference in interpretation has sparked meaningful discussions and reflections on the role of diet within the LDS faith.


In summary, while Russell M. Nelson encourages vegetarian-leaning habits, he is not fully vegetarian himself. However, his guidance has led many Latter-day Saints to reduce their meat consumption and adopt more plant-based diets.

As with any prophetic instruction, individuals must prayerfully determine how to apply his counsel in their own lives.

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