Betty White Says This Food Rule Almost Got Her To Her 100th Birthday

Betty White was a national treasure, and her life was the kind of roadmap we should all be so lucky to emulate. As People noted just days before her death on December 31, the actor and comedian was set to celebrate her 100th birthday in January 2022, and up until the end, was still proving she was the master of comedic timing. "Betty pivots like I have never seen, making it look seamless," Sandra Bullock told the magazine. "The rest of us just remain silent and pray we're not cut out of the scene." This legendary star was pretty much unanimously admired by her peers and anyone who has followed White's Hollywood tale.

Per, White started her television career in the late 1930s but really hit pay dirt in the 1970s when she landed the role of Sue Ann Nivens on the sitcom "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." White went on to star in other hit shows, including "The Golden Girls" and "Hot in Cleveland" alongside Valerie Bertinelli. Clearly, she had the kind of chops to be a showbiz success, but what was the secret to White's longevity? Apparently, it came down following a diet based on her specific food preferences.

Just say no to green

When People asked White about what food rules she followed to stay so youthful, White humorously replied, "I try to avoid anything green." Maybe there is something to shunning all things green. President George H.W. Bush, rather famously, wasn't a fan of broccoli, and he enjoyed a long, rich life that spanned 94 years. And a 99-year-old George Burns told a Las Vegas news outlet that he also eschewed veggies, quipping, "... I smoke and I drink martinis, and I don't eat vegetables."

So, what did White like to eat? There were two foods she credited for her long life, and they're so relatable: hot dogs and vodka. According to the Associated Press, the birthday girl enjoyed a hot dog and French fries with her long time agent and friend Jeff Witjas when she blew out the candles on her cake in 2021. "I don't eat anything special. French fries. Hot dogs if I can get 'em. And I'm not a big breakfast eater. I'll have a sandwich at lunch and then come home, and Pontiac (White's dog) and I have a vodka on the rocks and then our dinner. You can't get much better," White wrote in an essay for Harper's Bazaar.

Activity, not diet, was a factor in Betty White's long life

Betty White claimed she didn't like to cook and only ventured into the kitchen to feed her dog. She also said she was averse to diets, especially one that would have required her to eat nothing but grapefruit. When it came to fruit, White said to Bon Appétit in 2014 that she'd rather enjoy a vodka with "lots and lots of lemon." Candy was also a favorite of White's, especially red licorice, of which "Hot in Cleveland" costar Wendie Malick said she ate "ridiculously a lot," and she often washed it all down with a Diet Coke. "If that's a key, maybe she's preserved because of all the preservatives," commented another "Hot in Cleveland" costar, Jane Leeves, during a 2011 interview with Us Weekly

By now, you're probably catching on that it most likely wasn't White's diet that led to her long life; it was staying busy throughout her long career. "There's no spare time, so I'm active all the time. I think that forces you to stay well," White said to People in 2012.

Sandra Bullock also told People she had hoped her friend would enjoy one of her favorite beverages to kick off her 100th birthday, doing so in "the same way she has celebrated every day of her life with humor, kindness and a vodka on ice, toasting to the fact that she's a badass who has left us all in the dust."

Betty White had connections in the culinary world

Despite not being much of a culinary connoisseur, Betty White formed a pretty wholesome friendship with celebrity chef Valerie Bertinelli, one of her costars on "Hot in Cleveland." According to Food Network, Bertinelli once invited White to appear on her own show, "Valerie's Home Cooking," and the chef admitted she was quite nervous about what to serve the star, given her preference for not much else besides hot dogs and vodka. 

Bertinelli ended up making "Betty's favorite Italian Tuna Salad," and, given that the pair remained friends until White's death, it's pretty safe to say she liked the meal. Bertinelli took to Instagram to commemorate her friend's death, posting a pic of the pair with the caption "Rest In Peace, sweet Betty. My God, how bright heaven must be right now."

Betty White may not have been too interested in the finer foods, but she still made an appearance on Martha Stewart's show in 2013 to learn how to make a pie crust, agreeing with Stewart that all people should be able to make one. White joked, "They shouldn't get to my age and not know how." The actor seemed quite pleased with her skills as the pair prepared the pie crust, telling Stewart, "Wait 'til I show my housekeeper what I can do!" (via YouTube). Here's hoping that wherever Betty White is now, there are plenty of hot dogs and red licorice.