A 43-year-old doctor has revealed how he transformed his health and physique on a plant-based diet.
Dr. Ankush K. Bansal, MD, now shares what he has learned about whole food plant-based eating with patients and colleagues.
Dr. Bansal told Plant Based News that he was overweight from the age of five, but it wasn't until he was 26 - and at medical school - that he took action.
He was suffering from depression and decided to work on his physical health, adopting a vegan diet and exercising up to two times a day.
But it wasn't a permanent change. He said: "In nine months, I lost over 100lbs. I stayed vegan thereafter for eight or nine years but then fell back into my omnivore ways."
Dr. Bansal added: "That continued for four-plus years, until five years ago, when I self-diagnosed (and confirmed) that I had diabetes.
"I was 294lbs, had a 48-inch waist, 18-inch neck, high blood sugar level, with A1c of 12.9 percent*, high blood pressure of 140s/90s, and high cholesterol at 170s mg/dL."
He was started on medications for diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol medications, but felt very unwell, with daily headaches, tingling in his hands, worsening vision, and frequent back pain.
Time to change
This prompted him to switch to a largely raw vegan diet and a daily exercise regime. He says that within three months, his blood pressure was normal, A1c 4.7 percent, cholesterol 100 with LDL 60s.
In addition, he lost 120 lbs in a year, and maintained the loss for three years. But once again, he gained weight. Though he remained vegan, he started consuming large amounts of soy, oil, and nuts, gaining 40 lbs back.
"Since January this year, I have been on a raw vegan exclusively with no oil, flour, nuts," he said. "In just two months, I've lost around 40 lbs with less than 30 left to goal.
"I've also put on muscle. My weight now is 187lb with a goal of 158. My waist is now 33-inches with a goal of 31-32 inches. My neck is 14-1/2 inches.
"My A1c has remained [within the normal range] at 4.3-4.7 percent for the last five years. My blood pressure is 100s/60s. My cholesterol is 100 with LDL 50s-60s. All of this from a whole-foods, plant-based, vegan diet with some exercise for weight reduction and muscle development."
Science and personal benefits
Having benefited so comprehensively from experimenting with whole foods, and ditching animal foods, Dr. Bansal often shares his knowledge.
"Since I started this 18 years ago, I have been teaching patients and colleagues about the science and personal benefits of a WFPB vegan diet," he said.
*Normal ranges for hemoglobin A1c in people without diabetes is about four percent to 5.9 percent, according to medicinenet.com.