‘I’d have been dead long ago’ Actor Michael Caine credits diet for health at 88

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The star who made his breakthrough into the industry back in the 1960s has gone on to not only win a BAFTA award, but a Golden Globe and Oscar as well. Off screen, the actor has spoken out publicly about his health, and the fears he has in regards to growing older. But something that the actor credits for his longevity is his family, specifically his wife Shakira, who ensures he keeps to a healthy diet and maintains some form of exercise.

Speaking about his age, how he keeps so young and the specific diet he follows Caine said: “I don’t feel very old, but I never look in a mirror so I always think I’m about 38.

“I lived in California for 10 years, and have been working there for 50, so I am very Californian about diet.

“I don’t eat sugar and salt and stuff like that. I walk about two miles a day and all the bread is gluten-free.”

Following this particular regime and cutting sugar, salt and gluten from his diet Caine was able to lose about two stone in weight, miles away from the lifestyle he was used to at the beginning of his career, which consisted of mainly alcohol and cigarettes.

“I’ve had to cut back on the drinking and I’m always looking up what’s the best thing against cancer, so I’ll eat that or do this or not do that,” Caine explained.

In fact, Caine secretly worries more about his health than he lets on, fearing deadly diseases such as cancer.

“I know my days are numbered and that’s the main worry,” Caine told The Sun on Sunday.

“I’ll probably drop dead talking to you but you know, I’ve lost 30lbs just because I want to see my grandchildren. They’re twins of six and a boy of seven. I’d like to get to 17 for the boy.”

Speaking more about his family and adored wife Shakira, Caine went so far as to say that without her he would have been “dead long ago”.

The acting legend continued to say: “I used to drink a bottle of vodka a day and smoke several packs of cigarettes. Without her I’d have been dead long ago.”

Caine has put these bad lifestyle habits down to stress, with the star often worried about if he was ever going to get another acting job.

Although giving up the booze and cigarettes, Caine still admits that he is often tempted by the sight and smell of a bacon sandwich, explaining that only having them on rare occasions makes him enjoy them all the more.

Now in his older age, Caine has accepted that he cannot physically do as much as he used to be able to. He told The Guardian newspaper that he struggled to run and even walk, putting his future in film into doubt.

The star said: “I can’t walk, let alone run. And I’m more or less done with movies now. I’ve done 150 movies. I think I’ve done enough. My generation is going. All my friends are dying off. Because we all got so old. Roger Moore, Sean Connery – those are two of my closest friends who went.”

Despite his fears, Caine has shown no hints of bad health, and seems to continue to thrive on his Californian diet. In fact, since his comments in The Guardian the star reconsidered, saying that the film industry would have to give up on him before he gave up on it.

The NHS explains that eating a healthy, balanced diet is crucial for maintaining good health and helping you feel at your best.

A balanced diet can be difficult to maintain, but the Eatwell Guide explains that people should try and do the following to make sure their diet is the best it can be:

  • Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day
  • Base meals on higher fibre starchy foods like potatoes, bread, rice or pasta
  • Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks)
  • Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other protein
  • Choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat them in small amounts
  • Drink plenty of fluids (at least six to eight glasses a day).

Like Caine, choosing wholegrain and gluten free produce can also help individuals gain more vitamins and minerals in comparison to the white varieties.

In regards to exercise, there is strong evidence to suggest that adults over the age of 65 who regularly exercise will remain pain-free, have a reduced risk of mental illness and are able to stay independent for longer.

Dr Nick Cavill, a health-promotion consultant said: “As people get older and their bodies decline in function, physical activity helps to slow that decline. It’s important they remain active or even increase their activity as they get older.”

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