French Paradox Diet Review

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The French Paradox is an idea more than a weight loss plan. People living in France have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease than many other countries. This is interesting because French meals tend to be higher in saturated fats, which are commonly linked to heart disease and cardiovascular problems. Dr. Serge Renaud of Bordeaux University was the first to use the term French Paradox. From that term the French Paradox Diet was created.

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Meal plan centered on French attitudes toward food.

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From the outside looking in, French people eat high fat diets and drink lots of wine. What dieters are wondering is how can a group of people partake in these unhealthy eating practices yet have fewer cases of cardiovascular disease and heart health issues? At the heart of the French Paradox diet is a new idea about food.

The French Paradox Diet is based on the idea that food should be cherished. Small meals, multiple courses, whole fat dairy and low sugar food and drink choices are central to improving heart health for the French. This idea has also been adopted by people who wish to lose weight without feeling as though they are depriving themselves from the foods and drinks they love.

One of the most notable books published around the French Paradox is French Women Don’t Get Fat. The diet is based on smaller portions, three meals a day, no snacks, drinking plenty of fluid and concentrating on each meal as a time to cherish as opposed to multi-tasking with television, cell phone or reading.

Science has stepped into the ring supporting French food choices as part of the French Paradox. The French was about 108 grams of fat per day from animal sources as opposed to 72 grams of fat from the same sources in the American diet. The French also consume more butter and pork than Americans. Total number of cases of coronary heart disease per year per 100,000 is about 115 in the United States and 83 in France.

Some factors that could explain the difference, aside from food intake, include alcohol consumption and Resveratrol. The French are known for drinking red wine which is the source of Resveratrol. Resveratrol is linked to decreased risk of cancer and increased longevity. Alcohol consumption, in moderation, is also associated with decreased risk of heart disease.

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  • Some weight loss may be associated with the French Paradox.


  • The French Paradox is not a diet, but rather a concept.
  • Drinking alcohol, even in moderation, may not appropriate for some dieters.


There is no reason dieters should not try the French Paradox plan as a basis of better health. This does not mean significant weight loss will result, but there are no known health problems associated with eating more animal protein, more animal fat and less processed foods and sugar.

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