The French Paradox, Explained

Food Porn

How can the French eat high fat foods and yet maintain their weight, while avoiding as many heart attacks as Americans, who are all about “low fat?”  That’s easy.  1) Americans are in a hurry. We eat poorly, and on the run. Why? Because we are stressed out.  We can’t relax.  American culture, dictated by television, (which we watch far more than anyone on Earth), is about fast food, fast cars, fast everything.  We race from place to place, always dissatisfied with the present moment, because television tells us that’s who we are, who we must be.  And this stress causes cortisol levels to rise, which in turn incites heart attacks more than high fat food ever can.  (Listen to GENOME by Matt Ridley for proof.)  2) Our junk food is not low fat.  It is high fat.  It is high sugar.  It is also highly processed, unlike French food.  The French do not guzzle soda like we do.  They sip wine.  3) While we purport to admire being trim and svelte, we tolerate being fat.  The French do not.  They ridicule–openly–the obese.  If you are obese in France through overindulgence, they will laugh at you.  Call this snobbery if you like.  Call it discrimination and scream all you want, that is just the way it is.  (Just ask Tony.)  Since the French don’t care as much about money and fame or status–or what other people think–they also don’t mind saying what they think.  (Listen to WHAT FRENCH WOMEN KNOW.)  The French, as mentioned above, eat slower than we do.  But they also eat less.  They savor.  They love.  They talk.  We do not love or talk or savor.  We tailgate, we yell, we gulp, we sue.  To us, sex is a taboo obsession.  We don’t know our neighbors.  We feel lonely even in crowds.  We go home, pull the drapes, and watch celebs on television.  We are weaned on violence, guns, money, gangster rappers, cheap meat, and 64 oz. sodas.  We are super-sized, homogenized, categorized, epitomized, tranquilized.  When we go abroad, we generally make no attempt to fit in.  We expect the French to respect us for who we are, and to speak English.  So naturally, they seem snobbish to us.  Sure, there are things about the French which are not always admirable.  But now that you understand the French paradox, what are you going to do about it?  One simple suggestion: turn off the boob tube, and slow down.

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