[Homestead] Eat less but better and more-delicious food . . .

Gene GeRue genegerue at ruralize.com
Tue Feb 15 08:19:17 EST 2005

. . . which homesteaders do by growing their own, which also adds the 
ingredient of exercise, an essential part of healthful living.

I know it is fashionable to diss the French these days, but they certainly 
seem to have the food thing more right than we.

French diet puts focus on quality, not quantity

Feb. 15, 2005 12:00 AM

QUESTION: I have heard you mention that the French eat less but enjoy food 
more. However, a lot of French food is high in fat. Is it more healthful to 
eat less even if the food is higher in fat?

ANSWER: The French must be doing something right. For years, scientists on 
both sides of the Atlantic have been trying to unravel the "French paradox" 
- the finding that despite a high-fat diet, the French appear to have a 
lower rate of heart attacks than other Western countries, particularly the 
United States.

So far, no one has made an airtight case for an explanation of why the 
French enjoy such good heart health despite their diet. Theories that red 
wine may counteract what otherwise would appear to be a poor diet haven't 
been proved, although we know that components of wine are heart-healthy.

There is a question about the actual incidence of heart attacks in France - 
some may be reported as "sudden deaths" and not counted as heart attacks. 
But there is no argument about the much lower rate of obesity there. To me, 
that is the real French paradox.

French attitudes toward food are different from those in the United States:

• Their portions are smaller.

• They eat only at mealtimes. (Snacking is frowned upon.)

• They eat a wider variety of food.

• They don't skip meals.

And results of a 2003 study from the University of Pennsylvania show that 
overall they eat fewer calories, which helps explain why France has an 
obesity rate among adults of only 7 percent.

The notion that the French are gorging on high-fat foods requires a reality 
check, too. For example, on average, people in Toulouse, at the center of 
the foie gras (goose or duck liver) area of France, eat their local 
delicacy only six times a year.

And, without a doubt, the French do enjoy their food. Although they are 
picking up some of our bad habits, they still take time to enjoy food with 
family and friends. They have no guilt about indulging in really good meals 
and getting full pleasure from them. The French eat much less processed 
food than we do and generally have access to higher-quality ingredients. 
Their food - from fruits and vegetables to cheese and poultry - tastes 
better than ours. By emphasizing better food, they are able to be satisfied 
with less.

Overall, Americans are eating more low-quality foods and getting less 
satisfaction from them. The French do it better.

Andrew Weil, M.D., a world- renowned leader and pioneer in the field of 
integrative medicine, is a professor of medicine and the founder and 
director of the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of 
Arizona in Tucson. Weil is a bestselling author, monthly columnist for 
Prevention magazine, and editor of Self Healing Newsletter. Go to 
www.DrWeil.com for more information.

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