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French Paradox 2.0

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Lawyerchick12 View Post
    I also personally find traditional french foods to be "plain" with regards to their sauces (ingredients are fewer) and meal compositions (less sh*t added) in general. I have travelled quite a bit for business and pleasure and granted I only was in cliche paris and did not visit anywhere else in France, but I remember being unimpressed with their food in terms of taste! Of course it is all relative and I have not found any european country (apart from italy) where I really liked the traditional cuisine (again I mostly stayed in the cities, so maybe the smaller towns/provinces have vastly different cuisines). However, in places like Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, even Hawaii etc, I definitely gets down with the taste of their food! I am sure it is all personal preferences as I come from an African background and my taste buds to spices etc are different but I find french food in general to be overhyped and plain.

    I lost weight when I was also in Paris as well because I really never CRAVED anything. I just ate to stay satiated but i did not have the same excitement to eat as I normally have anywhere else and my portions where much smaller as well ( I really did not walk that much, so um, I doubt exercise played any role)

    Anyway the point I am making is, yes, the french might occasionally eat pastries, bread etc, but a) I doubt they are eating it every day and if they are I am sure in small quantities and b) they do not have the same hang ups with foods that most of us have because their traditional diets seems to be geared towards providing nutrients and satiety as opposed to "tantalizing" the taste buds. #just my opinion
    When I read this the first thing I thought of was MSG. It is generally not used in French cooking, but is in Asian food.

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    • #32
      French food is AWESOME, and the breads and pastries can be avoided without missing out on it.
      All that duck and goose fat, delicious game (French rabbit dishes - oh my GOD!), pates, eggy desserts.
      I have a food-erection just thinking about it (my tongue is jutting out at 45 degrees, throbbing.)
      Last edited by The Tall Tree; 08-19-2012, 03:12 PM. Reason: I spelled AWESOME AWEWSOME.

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      • #33
        French 5 Flour is the bomb of processed flours. Seriously, it's gorgeous to work with.

        But, as said above, they actually don't eat a lot of it, and when they do, it's mostly a vehicle for butter/fat, and often managed in much the same way that WAPF dieters use it anyway.

        Also, obesity is on the rise in france because fewer people are living a 'traditional' french lifestyle anymore.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by zoebird View Post
          French 5 Flour is the bomb of processed flours. Seriously, it's gorgeous to work with.

          But, as said above, they actually don't eat a lot of it, and when they do, it's mostly a vehicle for butter/fat, and often managed in much the same way that WAPF dieters use it anyway.

          Also, obesity is on the rise in france because fewer people are living a 'traditional' french lifestyle anymore.
          Royale with Cheese to blame?

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          • #35
            When I stayed in France in the hate 80s with a traditnal family a typical dinner looked like

            Watercress soup (no dairy), basically green vegetables in a thin stock

            Then a serving of vegetables in fat. Typically globe artichoke or cabbage. That's it. A plate of cabbage.
            Then you got your meat. They bred their own rabbits to eat so that is what they had most days.
            You would use bread to wipe up the sauce from your plate. We probably had 2 slices.
            All drunk with a couple of glasses red wine.
            I don't remember having puddings afterwards but it was a long time ago. I think maybe they did for us children but not the adults.

            All home cooked.

            However we did eat bowls of hot chocolate with brioche (cake like bread) and butt and jam in the morning.

            I out on weight when I was there, but Then my french girl put on weight when she stayed with us!
            My photo diary of my primal diet on wordpress

            My primal journal on MDA.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by The Tall Tree View Post
              Royale with Cheese to blame?
              it is part of the problem. more families are eating fast and convenience foods, and getting less movement, and there you go.

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              • #37
                Half a baguette is eaten (without any butter) early morning on the way home from a bakery. The rest is eaten later.
                Both French and Northern Italian food can be divine.

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                • #38
                  although i realize there is crap/bad food available everywhere, i have never had bad food in italy,spain or france. ymmv. the entire cooking ethos is based on what is freshest that day, and letting it shine. it doesn't need a million spices or herbs or heavy sauce.

                  on a tasting menu once in alsace, i had this poached egg dish that i still dream about because the egg was so ethereal.

                  whenever i come back, i have trouble recalibrating my palate because everything here is "just too much." we ordered in thai food one night after a long trip back from spain and i couldn't get past a bite of it.
                  As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

                  Ernest Hemingway

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                  • #39
                    Though I've never been to France, I found it interesting when I was in Japan and dropped 6 pounds in my 3-week stay, yet I was eating a truck-load of noodles (ramen, udon, soba... oh my!), rice, soy, ice cream, and liquor (my god, the businessmen love to drink over there!). The city I was in had a ton of French bakeries, actually, so on occasion I would have baguettes or pastries for dessert or breakfast (maybe 3 or 4 times in the 3 weeks I was there). Sure, this was before I cut out all of that junk from my life, but I was definitely surprised when I saw that I wasn't bloated like a beach ball!

                    I think it has to do with the quality of food outside of North America. I saw orange egg yolks for the first time when in Japan. I thought there was something wrong with them, but now I know differently! I also drank raw milk for the first time and drank tons of herbal tea that I'd never heard of. There were fresh herbs in everything, tons of spices that were amazing and I'm sure aided in digestion despite all of the junk I still consumed. The meat and seafood at I ate every day were raised locally, killed that day, and cooked before serving (or was eaten raw). The veggies were local, too, of course. I also ate lots of fermented stuff: cabbage, pickles, radish, ginger...

                    It's just a different caliber of food over there, even the bad stuff!
                    >> Current Stats: 90% Primal / 143 lbs / ~25% BF
                    >> Goal (by 1 Jan 2014): 90% Primal / 135-ish pounds / 20-22% BF

                    >> Upcoming Fitness Feats: Tough Mudder, June 2013
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                    Weight does NOT equal health -- ditch the scale, don't be a slave to it!

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Silky View Post
                      ...
                      I don't remember having puddings afterwards but it was a long time ago. I think maybe they did for us children but not the adults.
                      ...
                      A French friend of mine told me that one of the things that was different about desserts here in the US, aside from being much sweeter, is that we have them following the evening meal. He said that sweets were more generally eaten mid afternoon with a coffee where he lived.

                      He gained a bit of weight working here in the US and he attributed it to snacking and too many sweets. Snacking is also another thing that he said was not common there. Maybe it is now. We do seem to be exporting our bad habits. Snacking is actually a fairly modern phenomenon here in the US, too. When I was a kid, it was considered a very bad habit. "You'll spoil your dinner! Now go outside and play."

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by DaisyEater View Post
                        Snacking is actually a fairly modern phenomenon here in the US, too. When I was a kid, it was considered a very bad habit. "You'll spoil your dinner! Now go outside and play."

                        Longer work hours, shorter lunches, vending machines and an industry that needs to pack as many empty calories in you as possible. As I sit at my desk, two co-workers are ruffling into bags of something-or-rather.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by activia View Post
                          Because Gluten isn't the biggest reason why we are all diseased, its just that it makes us more vulnerable, and when combined with our lifestyle it has disastrous results... By eliminating gluten it will make us be able to handle more of some of the other things we can't control. the french are also not perfect, they would probably benefit greatly by getting rid of gluten.

                          These are the reasons for all the recent increases in many diseases, there is no one thing its a combination:

                          Processed Foods - which are loaded with poor ingredients and engineered to make us want to eat more of them
                          Vegetable Oils - our Omega 6 is way out of whack
                          Low Activity - french typically walk everywhere
                          High Stress - Go Go Go
                          Micro-nutrient deficiencies (especially Iodine & Magnesium)
                          Increased contact to toxins
                          Increased Pharmaceutical Use- the drugs we take are causing our bodies to go out of balance in one way or another which causes a host of other problems..
                          Low Fat/Low Cholesterol - poor for brain health..which causes..well a host of problems
                          Increased Anti-biotic use - no more good gut-flora..
                          Feed lot animals - poor nutritional profile.. they have a lot more grass fed in other countries..
                          Poor farming practices - pesticide use/as well as using soil depleted of nutrients and then injecting with synthetic fertilizers
                          Lack of connecting to nature
                          Lack of emphasis on family life - we need to find meaning with the world around us.. the french have longer vacations, and take 2 hours to eat lunch together
                          Good list. I'd just modify one point and add one:
                          - High Stress - Go Go Go and constant INSECURITY
                          - lack of universal access to health care

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by maxshralp View Post
                            What about all of their gluten consumption? If gluten=death then how come they are still relatively disease free in comparison to us?
                            Eat lots of fat, especially saturated fat, it's good for the heart and the waistline. Same as all the societies Weston Price studied. There's no paradox, it is consistent.

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                            • #44
                              As a Francophile who has spent a substantial amount of time in France (hence my username), I have to say that I think it's about time we stop idolizing the French way of life, because it is becoming extinct. It's been a few years now since I've started regularly spotting obese French people. As PPs have said, they are rapidly Americanizing. I was on a student exchange in university there in 2005-2006 and while you could get an individual-sized cheese platter and a glass of wine in the school cafeteria for lunch, most students preferred to get French fry sandwiches for their lunches. That's right. French fries. Inside a panini bun. The French are not immune to the same "scientific addiction" that multinational food companies use to hook consumers. They LOOOOOOVE McDonalds, as much as they like to pretend not to.

                              But certainly, in earlier generations, moderate amounts of wheat, lots of animal fat, lots of walking, smaller portions, the general food culture (and quality of it) and shorter work hours definitely worked in their favour. But much of this hasn't been the reality since les trente glorieuses ended.
                              Last edited by unchatenfrance; 03-16-2013, 03:57 PM.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by unchatenfrance View Post
                                It's been a few years now since I've started regularly spotting obese French people. As PPs have said, they are rapidly Americanizing.
                                True story - McDonalds is more popular in France than in the UK now apparently. I lived there for two years in the late 90's and you'd rarely see overweight people, they really had a handle on their quality food consumption and ate a lot of satiating food. I only ever saw bread eaten in small quantities - it sounds funny but the shape of the baguette really helps - its cut up into small round slices so you end up eating two or three small pieces and its way less than a whole bun or the amount that goes into making the average sandwich. Also french people focus more on lunch as the main meal of the day and take sometimes two hours out of their working day for lunch and then work later, so they end up eating quality food and not mindlessly shoveling crap into their mouths at a desk like we do in the UK.

                                I have a friend from France who was horrified when she came to the UK and saw children eating chips and sweets on the bus, and the funny thing was, I realized at that moment that I never saw this in France because they just wouldn't do this. Mind you I was 20 at the time I was there and noticed that the french students didn't get drunk all the time in bars either ha ha, it was just the foreigners doing that as well, they even had a healthy and moderate approach to alcohol consumption, wish I could have said the same for myself at the time :-)
                                Healthy is the new wealthy.

                                http://www.facebook.com/groups/ances...handnutrition/

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