The Diet That Has Kept Clint Eastwood In Shape During His Long Life

Clint Eastwood, like anyone who manages to stay in the entertainment business for as long as he has, is a great many things. You may know him best as the constantly smoking Man With No Name from Sergio Leone's Spaghetti Westerns, or the .44 Magnum-wielding Dirty Harry Callahan, or perhaps one of the many curmudgeonly working-class dudes with a heart of gold from his later career as a critically acclaimed actor-director. When you realize that Eastwood was born in 1930, and has never not seemed fit as a fiddle, you might as well add "absurdly healthy eater" to that litany of accomplishments.  

Macho as his image may be, Eastwood has always been a hidden talents kind of guy. Apart from his obvious accolades as an actor and a director, Den of Geek points out that he's also an accomplished musician who released his debut album way back in 1959, and has contributed to many of his movies' scores. Knowing this, it's easy to believe that the man's dietary habits are also rather more complex than one would expect. In fact, there's a decent chance that Eastwood can thank his very particular and rigorous diet for his long life. Let's find out what the man has been eating all these years!

Clint Eastwood eats very, very healthy food

In a 1991 article by Muscle & Fitness (via Physical Culture Study), Eastwood opened up on his habit of eating almost absurdly healthy food. Apart from maintaining a rigorous workout schedule for the vast majority of his life, the lean superstar eats extremely well, and his body fat skews low. "I've never carried much body fat, but I've always been pretty good about watching my diet," Eastwood noted. His doctor very much agreed. "He never eats fat, he takes his antioxidants faithfully, works out like a demon, and gets plenty of sleep, which is an area that is often neglected in a fitness program," Dr. Harry Demopoulos said. 

Eastwood's diet tends to rely on fish, fruits and veggies, pasta, and various supplements. On the other hand, he steers clear of red meat and dairy. He has kept this up into advanced age, and in 2015, Health Fitness Revolution reported on his dietary views and some simple advice he had to share. "Stay away from carbohydrates, especially rich desserts," Eastwood said. "Keep a scale in your bathroom. Get proper rest. Try to be optimistic. Eat fruits and raw vegetables. Take vitamins. Skip beverages loaded with sugars. Avoid alcohol in excess." Seems tough, but then again, can't really argue with the results. 

Clint Eastwood's father died early of cardiovascular disease

So, now that you know how Clint Eastwood eats, only one question remains: Why? What could motivate him to keep up such a healthy, but difficult dietary lifestyle for decades on end? Per Muscle & Fitness (via Physical Culture Study), Eastwood was reportedly interested in fitness and health from a fairly young age, so a lot of it is clearly just an honest interest in healthy living on his part. Of course, it must also be noted that his father, whose interest in healthy eating wasn't quite as great, died comparatively early. 

Richard Schickel's Clint Eastwood: The Biography notes that while Eastwood's grandfather lived a long life, his father had a fatal heart attack in 1970, at 63 years of age. Eastwood himself was, of course, a grown man by then, and well into his own fitness regime. While he has denied that his father's untimely passing affected his personal fitness habits, he has noted that the event "hit me like a ton of bricks," and that he disliked the way Clint Sr. had led an unhealthy lifestyle. Seeing as Eastwood has been known to watch his cholesterol levels, one might be forgiven for thinking that he's been rather determined to avoid his father's fate – in which case, mission very much accomplished. 

The 'Eastwood Code' extends to his children, too

If you think that a lifestyle as intense as Clint Eastwood's can't help but extend to the rest of his family, you'd be absolutely right. In a 2017 interview with Men's HealthEastwood's youngest son, Scott – and an actor himself – discussed the "Eastwood Code" of living a strenuous and healthy life. "My dad never gave me a cent. He made me work for everything," he revealed. "My dad is a machine about food and exercise. He showed me how to lift when I was 14 or 15 — the bench press and other basics. He made it clear it was more important to do the moves correctly than to put on more plates." 

Perhaps as a result of his father's lessons, Scott Eastwood himself has developed an affinity for training and yoga – and in another Men's Health story, it became apparent that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree when it comes to dietary preferences, either, seeing as he said working out only makes up 10 percent of a healthy lifestyle. The rest, it appears, is eating well. "Ninety percent good, 10 percent cheat," he said. "Healthy, good proteins like salmon, chicken, followed by lots of veggies, broccoli, asparagus, lots of greens." It's hard to imagine Clint Eastwood not giving a small, stern nod of approval upon hearing such words.