In the wake of the release of new Bond film Spectre, 007 is currently on everybody’s lips. To celebrate this, we at Lifesum have teamed up with author Matt Sherman – the world’s leading expert on James Bond’s eating habits – to analyse the contents of the most iconic meals throughout the Bond film franchise, showing when he was at his most and least healthy, and which food groups he frequently misses out.
Bond’s diet has evolved over the 53 years of films, but there are certain eating habits that remain constant throughout. As our nutritionist Frida Harju explains: “Bond has always been calorie-conscious. Throughout the entire series of movies, Bond never eats particularly calorie-dense food, or anything to make him less alert – except for the odd piece of cake, and, of course, the booze.” Through an analysis of what Matt Sherman considers to be the most iconic meals from each film (as taken from his book James Bond’s Cuisine: 007’s Every Last Meal) we’ve assessed when Bond was at his least and most healthy, where the spy is nutritionally lacking, and how his palette has changed with time.
All James Bond films ranked from healthiest to least healthy:
Alcohol is the main unhealthy component of Bond’s consumption throughout his career, featuring heavily in every film. While the shaken vodka martini is, of course, the 007 trademark, his taste in alcohol has become unhealthier over time, with choice champagnes having made way at times for spirits and, even a lager.
Taste in alcohol is not the only dietary development in Bond’s career, as we see charting his eating habits through the ages:
Dr. No More For Me, Thanks (early- to mid-Sixties)
Bond’s early years are marked by very sophisticated dining – champagne, exotic platters, and finger-food are all go-to dishes. Dom Pérignon, Tattinger, pâté, and fish are James’ favoured edibles during his early career.
Signature early-career meal: Thunderball (1965)
Beluga caviar sur socle & Dom Pérignon ‘55
19 grams of protein
1.8 grams of fat
2.8 grams of carbohydrates
1.3 grams of sodium
In his early days, Bond eats small, healthy meals with expensive, often exotic contents, and never eats too much. It’s clearly important that he is light on his feet, and ready to fight. Excellent levels of fibre from a wide array of fruit and vegetables will do wonders for Bond’s bowels and digestive system. If anything, Bond could use a bit more protein and carbohydrate, to keep his muscles repairing from his exertions, and to keep his energy up throughout those long car chases.
The Spy Who Loved Meat (late-Sixties to mid-Nineties)
Mid-career Bond lacks the sophisticated tastes of his younger self – he is more gluttonous, less chic and far less picky. While oysters do appear on occasion, Bond is not so much of a fine diner as in earlier years, even being reduced to sandwiches on one occasion (although cucumber, of course, and without crusts).
Signature mid-career meal: Casino Royale (1967)
Goat haggis & Tappit-hens of usquebaugh
60 grams of protein
48 grams of fat
34 grams of carbohydrates
2.2 grams of sodium
Bond seems to be less concerned about his food in the mid-stage of his career. Other than his healthy flirtation with Japanese food in You Only Live Twice, 007 eats far too much sodium and sugar in this period, running the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and strokes. Mr. Bond is not at his most refined here either: he can be seen with a cup of coffee and with less-sophisticated meals like goat haggis, or a slice of white bread and butter.
The Food is Not Enough (late-Nineties to present)
In recent years, 007 has travelled down a slippery slope of poor lifestyle and dietary choices. His alcoholism has risen, he hardly eats (except for a large kebab in Casino Royale), and has even dabbled in narcotics. We are all hoping that someone has had a gentle word before Spectre, and that Bond will be back to his healthy, debonair self.
Signature late-career meal: Skyfall (2012)
Drugs and alcohol
Let’s hope Mr. Bond isn’t suffering from nutrient deficiency – he will be, if his recent diet is anything to go by. Ice cubes from Elektra King will do nothing to help his vitamin count, and again Bond’s best meal during his later years is Asian cuisine, in Die Another Day. A diet of bar snacks (olives and cheese), kebabs, large amounts of alcohol (even beer!), and drugs mean 007 is susceptible to a host of health issues, including several forms of cancer, heart problems, illness, organ failure, and depression. Spectre however shows he is taking things much more seriously; a probiotic smoothie being the optimum snack for a spy on-the-go.
5-a-day and three square meals: the future of Bond’s diet
Clearly, James Bond needs to get back to eating nutritious food. If he skipped on some of the booze, until the late ‘90s Bond would have a pretty healthy diet. He used to eat a wide range of nutritious food, and never too much – in fact, he could probably have used more slow-releasing carbohydrates to fuel all that running around.
“The James Bond of recent years however is a dietary nightmare. Everyone’s favourite secret agent needs to swap the alcohol and ice cubes for brown rice, and the drugs for a piece of fruit – or he may not live to Diet Another Day…”
About the Author Matt Sherman:
Matt Sherman was born in New York City before moving to Florida in the 1980’s. Sherman has collected rare James Bond books and movie props for more than 35 years. More than 120 special guests have appeared at his events, including Bond actors, authors, musicians, production team members as well as real world intelligence officers from the FBI, CIA, NSA and the KGB. A Bond locations maven, Sherman has also led fan tours to hundreds of James Bond hotspots including numerous eateries from the novels and films as they appear in James Bond’s Cuisine. His contributions have appeared in The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Parade Magazine, Time and Time Europe. He has also managed four different restaurants. Matt and Janine Sherman reside in Gainesville, Florida, and have two field agents, Alexandria and Benjamin.
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