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French Paradox 2.0

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  • #46
    Oh yeah, that's another thing - the French don't get shitfaced at bars (especially females). I'm from Canada and had a few friends from the UK on my year abroad in France and that was an eye-opening experience to see how much Brits drink. I'm talking Roman orgy-style drinking. You drink, induce vomiting, drink some more. Often before going out to bars we would go out for dinner and these girls would deliberately choose to eat what seemed to be the least unpleasant thing coming back up (so nothing with tomato sauce, apparently). That's how premeditated these things were. I was positively aghast (and mind you, I had grown up with alcohol given my East European upbringing - I was always around it and it was never taboo, so it's not like I'm a prude. But these girls were something else.)
    Last edited by unchatenfrance; 03-16-2013, 05:29 PM.

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    • #47
      The French Paradox is fading into history, it was specifically the association of high saturated fat intake and lower rates of heart disease.
      There was nothing in the French paradox that suggested superior overall health or Longevity, although there are a few areas where their disease rates are slightly better, they are rapidly catching up to the US.

      So citing the French Paradox as support for consuming Gluten is no more ridiculous that saying eat snails once a week alongside your SAD and you will live to 100, it must be right because of the "French Paradox" and they eat snails.
      "There are no short cuts to enlightenment, the journey is the destination, you have to walk this path alone"

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      • #48
        I always figured it was because their "diet" was represented in what you get in restaurants.

        In opposed to the American or English massive plate of crap with a side of crap, drizzled in crap with a nice drink of crap to wash it down, a French restaurant serving of crap is tiny - about palm or fist sized. Rabbit crap in comparison.
        Dark chocolate and coffee, running through my veins...

        Fitocracy Workout Tracker:
        https://www.fitocracy.com/profile/Shadowknight137/?feed
        MFP Food Diary:
        http://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/diary/Shadowknight137
        (Date is New Zealand Time UTC+ 12hours)

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        • #49
          There are many different sorts of "restaurants" in France. Most people hardly ever or never eat in the expensive ones we think of as "French restaurants".

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          • #50
            Yes the french tend either to be highly entertained, or disgusted by the boozy brits, depending on who it is, their student culture was just totally different, it was way harder to keep your place on the courses there. Since I've started this paleo thing I really want to go back there. I lived on a small farm there for three months which was a massive education for me in terms of appreciation of food produce, my hosts took me to all these friends and relatives farms and I saw examples of how everything was produced, I appreciate it more in hindsight than I did at the time.
            Healthy is the new wealthy.

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

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            • #51
              My sister, who lived in france for years, says it's in part le smoking that keeps the french so slim. We snack, they smoke. Not exactly a good trade!

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              • #52
                Does anyone know here how French food animals are raised, specifically beef, lamb, rabbit, and duck? Also if a package of eggs says 'plein air' does that mean pastured outdoor chickens, or feedlot outdoor chickens? What about 'bio' dairy products? If I can't figure this out then close enough will have to be good enough, but I'd really like to know.


                PS: French women do definitely get fat, at least here in Bretagne. Overweight, yes, and mostly middle age and older. Obese, hardly ever. I see so few obese people that I have actually started keeping a running count (7 sightings in 5 months), without, however, trying to remember if I keep seeing the same people again and again.
                Last edited by MudLily; 03-18-2013, 06:44 AM.

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by MudLily View Post

                  PS: French women do definitely get fat, at least here in Bretagne. Overweight, yes, and mostly middle age and older.
                  It's all those butter-based pastries! I was in Nantes for a month and had to resist the urge to stuff my face with kouign amann every single day. Also, as for middle aged women and older getting overweight, I think that's a natural part of ageing and you see it everywhere.

                  I have no idea what the "plein air" and "bio" designations mean but I would love to know as well.

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                  • #54
                    brittany butter is some of the best butter i have ever had... drool.
                    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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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by noodletoy View Post
                      brittany butter is some of the best butter i have ever had... drool.
                      As France has often criticized the US, the French Paradox is fraud. There was a study done by the French govt., because it was interested in the marketing. They found like 75% of French cardiologists/pathologists didn't report if the patient died of a cardiac disease. They were padding the books! Eat what makes you feel good but control your BMI (no I'm not gonna fight with you whinny anti-BMI bitches.) If you control your weight your health will be at its maximum. If you have a genetic predisposition, you're fucked. There's no diet that will help you.

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                      • #56
                        Genes are not destiny. Environmental factors seem to have equal footing.

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                        • #57
                          As a French myself, I see no paradox. I lived in the US several times in the past, and what I saw there was a tendency to eat like there's no tomorrow, at every meal, at any time of the day. An obsession with foods of a different kind that we traditionally see in France: while the French have a strong secular culture of fine cuisine (and I am not naive enough to think that peasants of old were fine cooks ... the cultural inheritance comes from a strong aristocracy) and so-called "terroir" (local / regional specifics), it seemed to me that the US food culture is all about size and calories. Moreover, the French city planning and transport system favors more physical activities than that of the US : you don't walk or bike on highways. I saw places in Texan cities where there was no sidewalks. The city plans are inherited from the middle-ages where one had to walk most of the time to get to relevant places such as food markets, etc. The US is too young a society, so its heavy reliance on motorized transport is huge and shadowing other alternatives that require slower speed and more body movement.

                          All in all, the French eat less and move more. Sounds like conventional wisdom, and in fact, it is

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by FrenchFry View Post

                            All in all, the French eat less and move more. Sounds like conventional wisdom, and in fact, it is
                            Yes. Even for the Dutch this rings true. I'm amazed at the grocery stores when I return to my native Canada. Ready meals, cereals, snack products take up rows & rows in any superstore.
                            There are also more bikes in the Netherlands than people. And they get used.

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                            • #59
                              Eat fat to stay thin.

                              And BMI is still garbage. Here's a quarter....go buy yourself a useful stat!

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Paysan View Post
                                Genes are not destiny. Environmental factors seem to have equal footing.
                                I completely disagree. In fact, the evidence for "environmental factors" is almost nil, short of toxic water and air. Based on reading your many posts, I'm presuming that you are mostly thinking of diet and the like.

                                Even in the absence of any and all environmental negatives - as if we could attain that, but bear with me - our "use by" date is genetically determined. There are people who live generally healthy life styles and never make it to 70. There are people who have lived long lives while eating pretty much SAD and not doing exercise. That would describe most of my deceased relatives. Expiration dates of 90's and 100's. That's over a wide range of geographies, professions, and time frames.

                                What is considered nutritious food keeps changing. And to be able to correlate diet with longer or shorter life is really, really tough. I look on eating what appears to be nutritious foods nothing more than stacking the deck a bit in my favor. But in the end, literally, it won't make a huge difference in how long or how well I live. Operative adjective, huge.

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