The French Paradox

By now I’m sure we have all heard about how resveratrol in wine may help keep arteries healthy and reduce the risk of heart disease. This is due to wine flushing fat platelets from artery walls. I decided to look further into the French Paradox theory and see how/why the high-fat diet French had lower heart disease rates than North American’s.

While researching more about the French Paradox, I came across Wikipedia’s definition. One paragraph in particular stood out to me, ” the consumption of red wine increased 44% and some wineries began lobbying for the right to label their products as ‘health food’.”

Whoa now! That gave me a giggle, just because the resveratrol in wine may be the healthy component doesn’t mean this is a “health product” wine still contains alcohol and alcohol is still toxic to the body. Any alcoholic beverage that can get you inTOXICated and impair your abilities, should not be considered a “health product”.

I’m a skeptic of this theory so I decided to investigate further. When researching the fermentation process of wine I read that added yeast combines with the fruits sugar to create ethyl alcohol. Which is toxic to the body and especially damaging to the liver.

Alcohol, sugar, and yeast are three large factors that contribute to a toxic body and weight gain. So why on Earth would someone consider this healthy?

Resveratrol

Resveratrol is supposed to be the component in wine that everyone is raving about. Sure it can help lower the risk of heart disease, but drinking grape juice and eating grapes in natural form gives you more of the health benefits of resveratrol than wine does. One glass of red wine only has one milligram of resveratrol, as opposed to grape juice or grapes in their natural form containing almost 2x that.

Fun fact: Resveratrol is also found in blueberries and cranberries.

What’s the Message here?

Small portion and moderation is key to any nutritional plan, so consider the same with alcohol intake, even with wine.

The message the French Paradox seems to send is that if you consume a high-fat diet, drinking wine may help prevent heart disease.

The message I am sending: First off, don’t consume a high-fat diet to begin with. Second, don’t think that just because you may have a high-fat diet you can just have some wine and everything is going to be okay for your health.

I’m not saying wine is not any good for you at all, in fact I enjoy a glass every now and then, I’m just pointing out all of this so people don’t use the French Paradox as a crutch to why it’s okay to drink so much wine and eat fatty foods. But if I choose between straight alcohol and wine, wine supersedes.

In an article on The French Paradox from Psychology Today they have summed up some very useful tips on mindful eating. Be sure to check it out!

I also wonder if the different hemispheres or climates we live in make a difference. Something about our culture vs the french culture could be a contributing factor. Maybe scientists should check into that. It does seem odd that the French have a higher fat intake, but lower heart disease victims.

To learn more, check out the French Paradox video featured on 60 Minutes.

Watch and listen for a funny line from the reporter, “The proof is in the Rat doo-doo”.

I love that the reporter noted milk is a contributing factor to heart disease and weight gain. I completely agree. I switched to Almond Milk 3 years ago. What are you drinking?

What are you thoughts or concerns with the French Paradox? I would love to hear from you!