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Thread: Wait I still don't understand the french paradox!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Wait I still don't understand the french paradox!

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    Just was doing a lot of research and I still don't think anyone has made a legitimate case about the French Paradox. Yes, they eat a lot more fat, their portions are smaller and they walk a lot, but they EAT CARBS! I lived in paris and milan for a while and everyone was eating toast with jam/small pasteries for breakfast, lunch in france was usually some animal protein with another small piece of bread and wine, and dinner was usually the same thing. Milan was a different story, every day I would go to lunch at their restaurant that served three courses and everyone ate it all! It was salad to start, small portion of pasta and then some animal protein as their main. Again wine was consumed. I guarantee they are healthier and leaner than we are, and are not chugging down protein shakes and cutting out carbs at every meal. They enjoy and pretty much eat what they want!

    I also want to note that I have had a history of digestive issues and when I went to Paris for a week vacation last year my stomach issues disappeared- quality is alot different over there but I was also eating a lot more variety over there whereas in the states I really restrict myself.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    San Diego, CA
    The small portions may have something to do with it. Also the bread and pasta they have over there may not be made with hydrogenated soy or seed oils like it is in North America.
    You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    There's no real paradox. They tend not to snack between meals, move a lot more, eat fattier food which promotes better satiety, have a better relationship with food and don't eat as much highly processed junk and sugary sodas.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    They don't eat the giant portions we do. A french pastry is very small compared to American baked goods. America is fat largely due to portions. Also, french pastry is not as sweet- it is fatty as all get out.... but not sugary sweet.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Toronto, ON
    Hmmm ... Je dois me prendre un peu de cette petite, de la pātisserie gras.

    (Google translate isn't the best, but here's what I plugged in to it: Hmmm...I must get me some of this tiny, fatty pastry.) lol

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Edmonton Canada
    As said above small portions. Those pastries are not low fat high sugar that you see here they are full of yummy fat so a little goes a long long way. Plus as you noted the food is very tasty so enjoy.

    You have started a lot of similar threads, this is not a diet but a lifestyle change. It is not low carb it is about avoiding poisons especially in processed foods. Vegetable oils and wheat can be very problematic for almost everyone. Especially when you look at processed cakes and other "foods" that are full of sugar and low in fat in North America. If you are going to eat dessert make it rich, buttery and full of goodness...not a low fat high sugar tasteless concoction.
    Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
    Don't forget to play!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Houston, TX
    They also don't eat all the processed foods and fast foods we eat. I was amazed, after a trip to Paris, Nice, and Monaco, that it was hard to find a fast food place. There just isn't a cluster of FF places on every corner. Their pastries are freshly made, and yes, the portions are much smaller. And everyone walks everywhere.

    In Italy last summer, we made it a point to eat gelato and pasta every single day, at different places. But because the portions were normal-sized and we walked everywhere, my pants were looser at the end of the trip. They simply don't serve the huge hunking platters. And the food tastes much richer, so you simply are satisfied with less. Tons of real butter, nice fatty meats & fish. Yum. And the little coffee shops are everywhere, but no one sits down. You walk to the espresso bar, order your drink, it comes in a tiny espresso cup, you sip sip sip, then move on. You simply don't plop down with your laptop for 2 hours with your mega frappuccino.
    Truly Paleo since 1/1/2012 (Doing Leptin reset)
    Turned 50 on 3/8/2012 !!!
    5'2" Female
    11/27/2011: 162.8 lbs.
    7/15/12 : 148.6 lbs.
    Clean Paleo diet: Lots of CO, Meat, Seafood, and doing CT 5x/week, 40 mins @ 50-52 degrees F

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Los Angeles
    they eat less and move more, and it's not processed. i know, you're not supposed to say eat less and move more. i said it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    SF, California
    One of the main points of the French Paradox has to do with butter. They eat 3 times more butter than the average person in the US but they have a much lower incidence of heart disease. Americans tend to eat more margine and fake "butter" of which the French would never lay their hands on. Also, they tend to smoke more and drink more (wine) casually/socially than the US. Even if you don't smoke in France you are getting it second hand as you can smoke pretty much everywhere in Europe. One huge factor is that they enjoy their leisure time much more than the average American. On average the French have much shorter work days with a long lunch (some say they do 2 hour lunches) and have much more vacation time a year. So their stress level is much lower. They are not constantly wired up for work like Americans are on the average. So in summary, they eat much more butter and saturated fat, smoke and drink more, but they relax and have much more downtime than the average American. It just shows how much stress plays in your overall health.
    "If man made it, don't eat it" - Jack Lallane

    People say I am on a "crazy" diet. What is so crazy about eating veggies, fruits, seafood and organ meats? Just because I don't eat whole wheat and processed food doesn't make my diet "crazy". Maybe everyone else with a SAD are the "crazy" ones for putting that junk in their system.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Atlanta, GA USA
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    Their meat isn't raised in industrial feedlots. Therefore, it is not corn fed, is not full of antibiotics, growth hormones, and God only knows what other additives. This is to expand on the above comments about the small number of fast food restaurants, which have a symbiotic relationship with the industrial feedlot system.

    Perhaps just as important, they don't drink sugary, carbonated sodas 24/7. The typical American grabs a corn dog and 70 oz coke from his gas station food mart and eats it while he's driving.

    The lesson is that eating "paleo" isn't just about avoiding grains.

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