Helen Mirren shares her two top tips for better health in older age – ‘Makes you feel good


In a candid interview, the performer revealed two key components of living life to the full. “My advice is to work from the inside out,” she said back in October 2021. “First of all, take control of your diet and find one that makes you feel good.

“I’m the first one at the fish and chips, but what you’re putting inside your body does influence how you feel about yourself, so start there.”

Dame Mirren is definitely onto something, as diet can play a crucial role in the prevention or onset of disease.

Dietitian Reema Rabheru, based at the British Heart Foundation (BHF), cautioned that deep-fried fish and chips “can be high in fat and calories”.

Rabheru added: “Even oven chips have usually been fried at some point and can have added salt, too.”

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The NHS says eating too much saturated fats can raise “bad” cholesterol, thereby increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

As for salty foods, these can raise blood pressure, meaning you’re at higher risk of a heart attack.

Foods high in calories could also contribute to weight gain; obesity is associated with numerous health conditions, including:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Stroke.

If you do fancy fish and chips, Rabheru has some suggestions to make it healthier.

“If you’re getting a takeaway, stick to a small portion and ask them to hold the salt,” she recommended.

“Mushy peas on the side will add healthy fibre to your meal and reduce the fat content overall.”

Rabheru added: “Some fish and chip shops will do grilled fish. When not deep-fried, fish can be a healthy choice.

“And we’re all recommended to eat at least two portions a week (one of which should be oily fish like salmon or sardines).”

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Dame Mirren continued in her interview with Vogue: “The next thing is exercise, which doesn’t mean joining expensive gyms.

“I’m a big believer in the Canadian Air Force women’s exercise regime, which is 12 minutes.”

She elaborated: “It is an exercise regime that starts from very low and easy, then if you follow it through, it can become quite difficult.

“I’ve never gotten past the second level, but it’s a nice little exercise programme.”

While the regime is “nothing extreme”, Dame Mirren highlights the need to “do it every day”.

While exercise consistency is paramount to better health, Dame Mirren admitted that she can be “incredibly lazy”.

“If I can avoid doing it, I will, but every now and then I pull myself back and do what I know works,” she added.

Helen Mirren starred in Calendar Girls, which is showcasing on Saturday, March 18 at 11.55am on Channel 5.



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