The French Paradox – Is It a Good Example?


The French Paradox, an expression used by Anglo-Saxons and nutritionists, is widespread in Europe.

The French do not gain excess weight and maintain good health even with a caloric diet based on a lot of butter and animal fats.

And, a gastronomic example to be followed!

The study, Monitoring Trends, and Determinants In Cardiovascular Disease analyzed more than 13 million people in 21 countries on the incidence and the severity of the disease studied in different populations for five years from 1985 to 1990, brought up, as a result, one paradoxical finding:

The habits of the French at the time of the study included risk factors for the coronary arteries. In their daily diet, they consumed cheese, milk, butter, saturated fats, and carbohydrates, in addition to widespread smoking.

However, the rates of death caused by myocardial infarction were much lower when compared to the other populations as the English – speaking world, primarily the United States and England, where despite diet and habits, were less susceptible to risk.

But, how to explain this scientific finding, the French Paradox?

French Paradox: The Hypotheses

The first possible hypothesis is the high consumption of vegetables, which are protective agents against various health problems caused by excessive fat intake.

The French have started the saturated fat in food is much later than other countries like the United States that already had this habit feed a long time.

Another hypothesis is linked to the present climate, and weather conditions influence human health.

According to studies, individuals in temperate continental regions, such as France, whose feature hot and rainy and winters summers tend to be taller and have bone and muscle mass more arduous this climatic condition.

Why do they go an owner’s metabolism better absorption of high-fat foods?

However, the most likely and most studied is the population’s high and frequent consumption of wine, combined with the Mediterranean diet based on fresh vegetables, olive and olive oil, cheese, and fish.

This is because wine is rich in anthocyanidins. These secondary metabolites act as antioxidants to protect the gastrointestinal and other functions of the human body by counteracting the harmful effects of a high-fat diet.

The French Paradox began to draw attention to the possible beneficial effects of wine consumption on health, especially the medical profession, from the beginning of the 1990s.

However, the link between consumption moderate wine, curing diseases, and healthy living is a belief whose cradle the Greek physician Hippocrates (460 to 377 to C), the father of medicine.

“The wine is suitable for mankind, both for the body healthy and for the sick body.” – Hippocrates.

One of the most illustrative examples of this hypothetical relationship between wine and health comes from Strasbourg Civil Hospital that even today keeps the cellar of the Sanatorium, which is at the bottom of the hospital building.

Where kept the prescriptions records since 1395, about 600 years.


The Prescriptions of the Civil Hospital of Strasbourg

  • Swelling – A bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape ;
  • High Cholesterol – A bottle of Côtes de Provence ;
  • The obesity – Two glasses of Bergerac ;
  • Herpes – B lamb immersion Muscat Frontignan ;
  • Male libido problems – Six glasses of Saint-Amour ;
  • “Feminine Problems” – Two carafes of the same wine prescribed for the treatment of male libido problems.

There are countless quotes and historical reports of philosophers, theologians, doctors, and scientists famous or anonymous, highlighting the benefits of daily wine intake for healthy physical and spiritual well-being and socialization.

Therefore, the correlation between wine and health has been going on over the centuries, either by studying concrete cases or through attempts to gather available historical data.

The Proof

Many studies carried out in the last 20 years confirm the research data that indicate the French Paradox and explain the protection mechanisms of the brain, the cardiocirculatory system, the human organism as a whole, and the consequent increase in longevity due to the moderate consumption of wine.

A milestone was the study published in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet and m 1992 by Professor Serge Renaud, the cardiologist Michel Lorgeril and by two French researchers from INSERM, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, a French public organization entirely dedicated to biological, medical and public health research.

This study, which comparators or the average consumption of wine with mortality rates due to heart disease, a set of 21 countries, obtained as a result that the countries that consume more wine have a lower mortality rate from heart disease.

Despite other variables such as climate, the existence, and non-existence of healthy lifestyle habits, the presence or not of the Mediterranean diet, which can also affect the mortality rate, the study concludes that ingestion within reason, without overeating, actually reduces the risk of heart disease.

To help increase HDL, good cholesterol dilates the blood vessels and increases the elasticity of the vessel walls.

Already, the inhabitants of the countries studied that fit within these variables had fewer deaths from heart disease where the per capita consumption of wine was higher.

The authors of this study concluded that these factors as a whole explained the correlation, and not just the consumption of wine. A contradiction which they called the French Paradox.

A true for Doxo by, despite a high-fat diet, in France, the incidence of cardiovascular disease is remarkably low compared with other Western countries.

The fact that scientific studies attribute to the consumption of wine, especially the red one, because it contains higher levels of phenolic compounds.

Including the large subgroup of flavonoids possessed of high antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, of vascular protection that even contribute to the non – development of several cancers, is compared s the white wine and other alcoholic beverages.

However, unfortunately indicating a simplistic connection between wine and health may be the way towards goals contrary to those intended: The high consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Hence, do not expect that the authorities promote campaigns distribution of wisdom and scientific knowledge of the French Paradox uniformly to all peoples of the planet.

French Paradox a gastronomic example to be followed?

Why the French Paradox is a gastronomic example to be followed?

Indeed, an example to be followed by the inhabitants of all countries.

The French, the fusion of an active lifestyle with a balanced diet by eating quality ingredients and a glass of good wine in moderation, are proving to eat everything and keep healthy.

It is common knowledge that the sophisticated French cuisine, reference worldwide, is a cuisine rich in saturated fats and even then presents indices of cardiovascular problems well below those shown in other countries.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the incidence of people obes the s in France is 15.3% of the population, while the European Union is 15.9% and 18.9% in Brazil.

A growing percentage According to the Ministry of Health (VIGITEL – System Risk Factors Surveillance for chronic diseases, 2017), although Brazilians are acquiring healthier eating habits to include more fiber, fruits, and vegetables in their diet.

This massive difference between obesity in France and Brazil, and consider that the population of France is 67 million inhabitants when Brazil is 211 million, according to the expert is in the minds of difference to the way of eating for historical reasons, social, economic and cultural.

While in Brazil, we place too much value on abundance, serving ourselves large portions because of the culture that eating well is eating a lot. So much for the search for a feeling of comfort. A form of compensation is called “emotional hunger.”

On the other hand, the French value and take their food entirely. They are eating moderately and without haste, always accompanied by a good glass of wine.

Just the opposite of what Brazilians do, who throw themselves into “miraculous” diets to control obesity instead of maintaining healthy eating habits.

Therefore, to avoid obesity and severe complications, the French Paradox is a gastronomic example to be followed.

Scale down the portions, eat a bit of everything, and do daily physical activities. The ideal formula for losing weight is healthy and staying away from the risk of acquiring cardiovascular diseases, and increasing its longevity.

And be sure to include wine in your diet daily to be getting the same benefits realized by the French Paradox, regularly consuming, every day, a good glass of wine during meals.

Yet lounge is open, and the flavors, aromas, and sensations and all the benefits to your health resulting from its prudent use, without excesses.

To finish a super tip

The better the quality of the wine, the greater the benefits to your health!

So, before starting to drink, get to know the variety of French wines. That’s, of course, if you’re not a professional or amateur sommelier.

What do you think?

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