To safeguard one’s heath at the cost of too strict a diet is a tiresome illness indeed.
— Francois Duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680) French writer and moralist.
The French have long known that eating well is a integral part of the whole of French culture. This is reflected in their custom of a set of what is called “global” secrets from an engaging book entitled 30 Secrets of the World’s Healthiest Cuisines by Steven Jonas, M.D. and Sandra Gordon. In addition, the French attachment to the finer foods in life has resulted in them being some of the healthiest, leanest, and perhaps most guilt-free people in the world.
France At A Glance:
- Moderate drinking – of course moderation is the key. Everyone knows the hazards of excess drinking. The French drink only with food – no happy hours!!!
- Lots of fruits and vegetables
- No snacking or dieting – this is important since the typical American eater often binges on snacks when on a very restrictive diet. Chronic dieting has been shown to increase weight gain in some people.
- They eat large lunches and often extend and enjoy the lunch hour – no grabbing a carton of yogurt at your desk or going through the drive-thru or visiting the vending machine like the typical American eater.
- They resize the supersize. “There is no such thing as a doggie bag in France, since restaurants never give you enough to put anything in it,” one says.
- They don’t feel guilty about food. One of their reminders about food – “If you eat too much, the next day you eat less,” they say. They weigh themselves about once a month – if that. However, scale weight can be used as a red flag when weight begins to creep upward.
- Take the time to cook properly and use fresh, quality ingredients. You don’t need to be Julia Child, but butter and cream are revered (in moderation, of course). Microwave ovens and can openers are not staple kitchen items.