What Protects the French From Heart Disease?

Science marches onward and takes another crack at the “French Paradox” – a term that doctors, nutritionists, and their like refer to the French diet paradox. The French eat fatty food, smoke, and drink more than other western country, yet they have lower risks of heart disease. Is it the wine? Not really, but it is cultural…

So, I looked around the world at eating habits, and ended up focussing on France. If one thing above all stands out about French culture, in relation to British culture, it is their attitude to food and eating. The average Brit treats meals as a refuelling exercise, the French, most clearly, do not. They spend hours eating meals, relaxing, enjoying the food. It is a social occasion.

Anyway, to return to the question posed in the title of this article. What protects the French? I think it is clear that they are protected not by what they eat, but by how they eat. By eating in a relaxed fashion they do not pit the system of anabolism and catabolism against each other, they do not trigger insulin resistance, and hyperglycaemic spikes, and therefore they do not damage the endothelium in the prandial/post-prandial state. Vive la France!

Vive la France indeed!

About Chris Barrus

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