Jim Gaffigan reveals his surprisingly healthy diet - Exclusive

It's hard not to think of Jim Gaffigan without also envisioning food, and if you first learned about this Emmy Award-winning comic from his riff on Hot Pockets in his 2006 Beyond The Pale tour, that food is probably junk food. Gaffigan also is the author of the best-selling book, Dad is Fat, after all, and he's described vacations as, "just us eating in a place we've never been" in his comedy bit about Disney. Most recently, he's taking his food obsession on the road in a new stand-up comedy series, Jim Gaffigan: The Pale Tourist, now streaming on Amazon, in which he eats his way through the strangely incongruous countries of Canada and Spain. From feasting on a Spanish delicacy called "tiger nuts" to slamming down a Canadian cocktail made with clam juice, nothing is off the menu.

If you're assuming Jim Gaffigan takes this I'll-eat-anything approach to foods he enjoys at home, you might be surprised to learn how limited his daily diet is. In an exclusive interview with Mashed, Gaffigan shared what he eats in a typical day — and why his avoidance of sugar is no joke.

No more bread, but all the zucchini: the Jim Gaffigan diet

Although he stopped short of calling it keto, Gaffigan said that he avoids simple sugars and carbohydrates when he's not eating in the name of comedic research. "I'm trying to not eat bread or sugar," Gaffigan revealed. "So it's rather depressing, but I would say I cheat, you know what I mean?" An example of cheating is not a Hot Pocket or even a donut, but some bread with his meat in the evenings. "So whether it be bratwurst, or a hamburger, I'll have a bun, you know what I mean?" The father of five has been sharing his dinner routines in his unscripted YouTube videos, "Dinner with the Gaffigans."

Avoiding sugar hasn't been hard for him at all, Gaffigan added, "except for, I'm eating a lot of fruit. A friend of mine made pickles, you know? Pickled things." He happened to have some pickled juice in a mason jar on hand. Further challenging any preconceptions we might have of the comedian as an all-you-can-eat-buffet dweller, Gaffigan shared that he's taken up gardening, holding up an oversized vegetable and pretending to talk into it. "This is my zucchini phone, where I talk to people on the phone. It's a zucchini phone from the '80s!"

Does Jim Gaffigan really adore vegetables? He admitted that part of it is an act for his children's benefit. "I definitely pretend to be more interested in vegetables than I would have otherwise," Gaffigan said.

Jim Gaffigan still loves junk food

Although he's cut it out of his diet, Jim Gaffigan hasn't cut junk food out of his heart. In fact, he keeps empty boxes of the snacks around as props in his home office, where he can gaze at it all day. "So this Twinkies and Ding Dong box is what I'm supporting my computer on, because, to make it eye level, I guess? I don't know," Gaffigan said, holding up an enormous box he'd been using to hold up his laptop. Gaffigan added that he occasionally gets cravings for foods he no longer eats. "I mean, I love chips. I wish I could eat chips. I'm trying to not eat chips. But [it's] a real guilty pleasure."

In case you're wondering whether Gaffigan is more about salty flavors than sweets, the comic admits he has an ice cream obsession. "But I also, I've got kids, so there's candy. I went through my 20s and there was no candy around. And then I had kids, and there's suddenly candy bars," he explained. "So I love a candy bar, and then there's the fake candy bars — there's these KIND bars, which are supposedly healthy, but they're just sugar." Another food Gaffigan dreams of is a relic from his past: "I have a strange attachment to bologna," he shared. "I would say bologna... feels like childhood."

Watch Jim Gaffigan: The Pale Tourist on Amazon Prime, streaming now.