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Thread: French Paradox 2.0 page 3

  1. #21
    VeggieLover's Avatar
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    This has been my constant question as well. When I go to Paris I eat way more than I do here (i let myself enjoy the white bread and french fries once a day) and I LOSE weight. I can guarantee I am not walking as much/exercising as much as I do in the states and I always come back 5 pounds less. It is easy.

    I honestly noticed lack of vegetable consumption. When you order a steak you get simply just a steak. A side of potatoes but never any vegetables. I was the only one eating salads for lunch and having to order vegetarian platters for dinner with my chicken because there were simply no vegetables. Is that a reason for this?

    When you think about Japanese, it is similar. White rice, lots of fish and meat and a few veggies here and there (mostly pickled) but we are talking about white flour carbs (which is bad to us) and a lot of protein, not a lot of fat whereas the french eat more fat.

    It confuses me on a daily basis because I feel healthier when I eat that way.

  2. #22
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    I'm now in northern Italy for the summer, which I think has a similar thing going on in terms of a food-weight paradox. I think it's a combination of things, already mentioned, which are:

    Quality of most food is much better (example: HFCS is unheard of here, sodas and candies are all made with actual sugar, cheeses, breads, meats are often made by artisans using quality ingredients.)

    Food culture is so different. For example, take-out doesn't really exist here. If you don't want to cook, your only option is to eat at a restaurant, or take a pizza to go. You can't get food to go from restaurants, you can't get coffees to go - you sit at the cafe and drink it there.

    Plus, here, coffee is coffee, it's not some super sugary fatty creamy liquid desert containing 30 tablespoons of sugar with whipped cream and syrup in a gigantic cup. Also, snacking is not really done - it's common knowledge here that the quickest way to gain weight is to snack a lot.

  3. #23
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    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

  4. #24
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    There's no French paradox.
    We have less chemical-based food than in America, but here most people are skinnyfat or even just fat.
    There's no french paradox, really.

    "eat pastries, bread etc, but a) I doubt they are eating it every day and if they are I am sure in small quantities"
    That is a false assumption.
    We are one of the countries where the consumption of bread during meals is the most important. It's cultural.
    Young self-caring Paleo-eater from France.
    (So please forgive the strange way I tend to express myself in your beautiful language )

  5. #25
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    Quote 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!
    Funny, that's exactly how I feel about Italian food (and I am not talking about American-Italian, that I don't find edible most of the time, sorry). French, on the other had takes first place for European food for me (not upscale Parisian restaurants though).
    Last edited by KathyH; 08-19-2012 at 10:13 AM.

  6. #26
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    I had been wondering about these "paradoxes" as well. I find Dr. Lustig very convincing on this point. His view is that its the sugar. We put sugar and HFCS in everything! The sugar damages our metabolism and interferes with our satiety signals and basically ruins our ability to eat normally. In places where most people's metabolisms are not broken, they can eat far more wheat and other starches then most of us damaged people can tolerate.

    I assume that most people here have already seen them, but if not, search out his video's on Youtube, especially "sugar the bitter truth." They are eye opening.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traderjodie View Post
    I had been wondering about these "paradoxes" as well. I find Dr. Lustig very convincing on this point. His view is that its the sugar. We put sugar and HFCS in everything! The sugar damages our metabolism and interferes with our satiety signals and basically ruins our ability to eat normally. In places where most people's metabolisms are not broken, they can eat far more wheat and other starches then most of us damaged people can tolerate.

    I assume that most people here have already seen them, but if not, search out his video's on Youtube, especially "sugar the bitter truth." They are eye opening.
    When I moved to the US I almost cried because everything tasted horrible. All the sweets were over-sweetened, sandwiches had triple the amount of cold-cuts I was used to and they would mix different varieties and I couldn't tell what I was eating, bakeries were baking terrible spongy things they called "bread". It was just awful. Now I make all my own and all it's better but it's still hard because finding the normal ingredients is hard.
    Last edited by KathyH; 08-19-2012 at 10:42 AM.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by paleo-bunny View Post
    Yes - traditional French bread has exceeded its best by date around 8 hours after it is bought.
    This is not a problem.

    If French bread lasts more than 8 minutes around me, you'll know something's up.
    Meat is Prized, Wheat is Despised.

    Real Food - The REAL staff of life

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daydreamer View Post
    There's no French paradox.
    We have less chemical-based food than in America, but here most people are skinnyfat or even just fat.
    There's no french paradox, really.

    "eat pastries, bread etc, but a) I doubt they are eating it every day and if they are I am sure in small quantities"
    That is a false assumption.
    We are one of the countries where the consumption of bread during meals is the most important. It's cultural.
    How much bread is consumed though? Are we talking half a baguette or a thin slice of same slathered in butter? I am genuinely curious? I still maintain that the french do not consume pastries everyday as a diet staple but I stand corrected with the bread. If bread is consumed everyday I am assuming they are consuming a little slice with their meals? Please clarify for me as I am obviously not from france and will like to know the general quantifiable amount of bread that is typically consumed in one meal.

  10. #30
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    Let them eat bread

    an average french person eats about 5 oz. bread per day. this is over the course of 3 meals, while an average american sandwich from a place like au bon pain contains that much bread. a french baguette is made of flour, yeast, water and salt.

    this is a list of the ingredients in pepperidge farm whole grain bread:

    Whole Wheat Flour, Water, Modified Wheat Starch, Soy Fiber, Inulin, Sugar, Yeast, Contains 2 Percent or Less of: Wheat Gluten, Soybean Oil, Unsulphured Molasses, Salt, Wheat Bran, Enzymes, Calcium Propionate (to Retard Spoilage), Monoglycerides, Datem (Dough Conditioner), Soy Lecithin and Nonfat Milk (Adds a Trivial Amount of Cholesterol).

    Smaller Portions in Restaurants and Markets May Explain the 'French Paradox' of Rich Foods and a Svelte Population | Penn News

    from this^^:
    Extending their approach to single-serve foods sold in supermarkets, Rozin and colleagues found 14 of 17 items studied were larger in American stores. For example, a candy bar sold in Philadelphia was 41 percent larger than the same product in Paris, a soft drink was 52 percent larger, a hot dog was 63 percent larger and a carton of yogurt was 82 percent larger.
    american portions, and their concept/expectation of what a portion size is/should be is absolutely ridiculous.

    they don't snack or "graze" like americans. they don't drink soda. they eat real food, in reasonable quantities. how is this a paradox?

    Last edited by noodletoy; 08-19-2012 at 01:25 PM.
    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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