When Bill Clinton announced last year that he was dropping meat and dairy in favor of a plant-based diet, it immediately threw the spotlight on veganism and its associated health benefits. 

"I'm trying to be one of those experimenters," said Clinton. "Since 1986, several hundred people who have tried essentially a plant-based diet, not ingesting any cholesterol from any source, has seen their bodies start to heal themselves — break up the arterial blockage, break up the calcium deposits around the heart. 82 percent of the people who have done this have had this result, so I want to see if I can be one of them."

Despite being very close, Clinton was careful (and in my opinion respectful) to not say that he was embracing a vegan diet. When it comes to food, vegans do not eat anything associated with animals, while Clinton admitted that he did occasionally indulge in a bit of fish. 

His efforts nonetheless earned him a "Person of the Year" award from PETA who praised the former president for using "his platform to articulate the reasons why a plant-based diet is the most healthy diet."

Now, almost a year later, Clinton is apparently still on track with his "experiment," telling CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta that his health scores are solid across the board and he's enjoying a life filled with more energy. "I like the vegetables, the fruits, the beans, the stuff I eat now," he said, adding that he no longer consumes meat, dairy, eggs, and almost no oil.

I imagine that oil likely comes from fish — and Clinton did admit that he had a "bite of turkey" during Thanksgiving last year. But you have to give the guy credit for making what appears to be a life-long commitment to a plant-based diet after decades of burgers, fries and other health-eroding grub.

Look for Clinton's full interview with Gupta to air on CNN on Sunday. Check out a clip below. 

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Bill Clinton one step closer to vegan diet
Former president gives an update on his plant-based diet — and how making the shift has given him a second shot at a healthy life.