Joanna Lumley on her diet overhaul – ‘I am not going to do this anymore’

Nearing her eighth decade in life, the actress is still making appearances on TV. Her latest TV stint is on the comedy panel game show, Blankety Blank, which is hosted by Bradley Walsh. Lumley will be joining presenters Jonathan Ross and Alison Hammond, actress Joanna Page, and comedians Alex Horne and Guz Khan.

All the celebrities will take part in filling in the blanks to help contestants win a selection of prizes.

In a throwback interview, on the podcast Table Manners With Jessie and Lennie Ware, Lumley offered a clue into her longevity.

The Indian-born star said, in March 2022, that she has been a vegetarian for nearly 45 years.

Remembering her thought process on changing her carnivore ways to herbivore, Lumley said: “I suddenly thought, ‘I am not going to do this anymore. I am not going to eat meat or fish. No more. Finished. Gone.’

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“But I am not a vegan. That is the next step, but I love cheese.”

There are multiple benefits to eating a vegetarian diet, as a plant-based diet is associated with longer life and reduced risk of several chronic illnesses.

Experts at Harvard Medical School stated that vegetarians, compared to meat eaters, tend to consume less saturated fat, which is harmful to your health.

Saturated fat

“Eating lots of saturated fat can raise your cholesterol and increase your risk of heart disease,” the NHS says.


Saturated fat is found in:

  • Butter, ghee, suet, lard, coconut oil and palm oil
  • Cakes
  • Biscuits
  • Fatty cuts of meat
  • Sausages
  • Bacon
  • Cured meats like salami, chorizo and pancetta
  • Cheese
  • Pastries, such as pies, quiches, sausage rolls and croissants
  • Cream, crème fraîche and sour cream
  • Ice cream
  • Coconut milk and coconut cream
  • Milkshakes
  • Chocolate and chocolate spreads.

In addition to consuming less saturated fat, the Harvard Medical School added that vegetarians are more likely to consume vitamins C and E, and dietary fibre.

“As a result, they’re likely to have lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and lower body mass index (BMI),” the experts noted.

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“All of which are associated with longevity and a reduced risk for many chronic diseases.”

Back in 2021, Lumley also revealed that she has a “tall, thin house” that requires her to “run up and down the stairs a lot”.

Moreover, she stated that she performs house chores with “vigour”.

Registered dietitian, Christine Mikstas, verified that “you can burn calories when you do chores around the house”.

Vacuuming for 30 minutes, for example, can zap up to 166 calories, depending on your weight.

Even stripping the bed could count as exercise, as does walking the dog, if you have one.

Exercise is considered the “miracle” cure people have been looking for, according to the national health body.

This is because exercise is key in reducing the risk of numerous conditions, from high blood pressure to diabetes.

Joanna Lumley stars in Blankety Blank Christmas Special, showcasing on Saturday, December 24 at 8pm on BBC One.

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