Is there truth to the French Paradox that drinking red wine can protect you from the dreadful heart disease? A 2002 study reveals that the average French adult consumes 108 g of saturated fat per day from animal sources, while the americans consumed 72 g per day. The French eats 4 times as much butter,60% more cheeses and almost 3 times as much pork. Overall fat consumed by the French is 171 g ,compared to 157 g/day of the American’s. The fat consumed by the americans has a high % of vegetable oil, mostly from soybean oil, a polyunsaturated fat. In 1999 The British Heart Foundation published an article stating that coronary heart disease from males age 35-74 years were 115 per 100,00 people in the US, but only 83 in France.
While there is some truth to the” French Paradox “it is not just the red wine alone but other factors that contribute to make the French Paradox to happen. Lifestyle, environment, foods we eat,handling of stress, heridity, etc. affects ones health.
The French rarely use processed oils and dairies in eating and cooking. If they do, they use grape seed oil which have a high heating point, and olive oil for saute and salads. They do not use margarine an alternate for butter in the United states. Margarine whether soft tub or in blocks undergoes hydrogenation during processing, a risk for developing heart disease because of the formation of trans fat. To make things worse, cancer risk is added during processing by exposing the soon to be margarine to hexane, an agent use to clean the machine, known to cause cancer.
Drinking red wine in France has been going on for many generations and is built into there lifestyle. Red wine contains a substance called resveratol. According to studies, resveratol has anti cancer,anti inflammatory and cardiovascular benefits. It has potential for energy enhancement, as an anti diabetic , and protection against alzheimers. Red wine is a vasodilator. It increases blood flow to the brain suggesting considerable benefit to a healthy brain function. It is a powerful anti oxidant that regenerates the body at the cellular level. It increases the lifespan of yeast,neutralizes free radicals produced by the body during everyday daily function, such as when eating, working and exercising, that would otherwise cause life threatening damage to the body that will result in illness and disease.
Resveratol is found in red grapes,cocoa,dark berries, such as black berries,lingon berries, blueberries,mulberries and bilberries. It is a polyphonic bioflavanoid antioxidant that is produced by these plants as a response to stress, injury and fungal infection.
In addition to the red wine, other factors contribute to the so called “French Paradox”. Having spent some time in France, I notice that French lifestyle differs invariably to the Americans. They seem to never be in a rush. They enjoys company when dining. Dining to them is time for socialization. Dinners usually last for 2 hours accompanied by laughter and conversation. The restaurants food portions are smaller but richer. Frozen dinners, and other processed foods are not a routine part of there daily meals. Instead of soda, I see the grocery carts with wine bottles. Could you believe that a 40z red wine can suffice the length of the dinner?Last of all, they take a 2 hour break from work to rest. Offices,department stores and banks are closed for seista. So there it is-Its not just the wine ,it is also the lifestyle that goes along with the “French Paradox”.
The French people do not get excited with new foods. They are pretty set in there cuisine. The vietnamese and other political subjects that has populated France did not influence there cuisine. They continue to enjoy there own cuisine, ocassionally trying other foods .
If you decide to drink wine,please do so in moderation. Check with your doctor if it is safe for your health and does not have unfavorable reaction with the medication you are taking. If you do not drink wine try the berries. Black berries and blueberries are available year round. I have a mulberry tree which full of fruit at this time of the year and I am enjoying it very much. The other berries maybe available in supermarket sometimes fresh but mostly in cans.