- Arnold Schwarzenegger said he’s been mostly vegan for the past five years.
- The bodybuilding champ said he eats about 80% plant-based food, and it keeps his cholesterol low.
- He also enjoys an occasional treat like a steak, which experts say can keep a sustainable diet.
Bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegger said he’s been eating a mostly plant-based diet for the past five years, and it significantly lowered his cholesterol.
Schwarzenegger said in a recent edition of his email newsletter that about 80% of what he eats is vegan. He said he makes an occasional exception for steak or Austrian wiener schnitzel — leaving room for treats in your diet can help avoid restriction and can help you stick to a diet long term, experts previously told Insider.
The former seven-time Mr. Olympia has been outspoken about the benefits of a
for health, inspiring a generation of vegan bodybuilders to build muscle on plant-based diets.
He said it’s helped him feel “healthier and younger overall,” and helped reduce his levels of LDL cholesterol, a type of cholesterol sometimes called “bad” cholesterol because its linked to higher risk of heart disease.
“My bad cholesterol number is so low that my doctor thought I might be a different person,” Schwarzenegger said in the newsletter.
Certain animal-based foods like fatty cuts of meat, processed meats like bacon and hot dogs, and dairy products like cheese are linked to higher cholesterol levels, evidence suggests.
In contrast, veggies, especially leafy greens, and foods like whole grains, berries, and walnuts may help lower cholesterol without medication.
Consistent exercise can also help keep cholesterol levels low. Schwarzenegger, at age 74, continues to train regularly, previously sharing in his newsletter that his split is six days a week, focusing on a different body part each day.