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Almost a step to the Holy Grail

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Bernice Clark ▼ | June 5, 2008
The term French Paradox describes French habit to eat fat, to eat cheese frequently, drink wine and at the same time they don't suffer from heart and blood vessels illnesses.
french cuisine
french cuisineThe term French Paradox describes French habit to eat fat, to eat cheese frequently, drink wine and at the same time they don't suffer from heart and blood vessels illnesses.

French paradox was described for the first time by the British scientists more than 40 years ago. It didn't take long for scientists to discover that positive role in French nutrition is large input of fruits, olive oil and vegetables, or shortly the Mediterranean food. The next and even more important factor was the way that French consume food.

french cuisineWhile Americans eat in a "twitch", Frenchmen eat relaxed and their lunch lasts for almost two hours. The amount of portion is a story by it self. Scientists gave a hard task to themselves discover is there any difference between the amount of portion of similar foods in Paris and Philadelphia. The research showed that the average portion in Paris's restaurant is 25 percent smaller than that in Philadelphia. Chinese restaurants in Philadelphia also served portions 72 percent more massive comparing to portions in Chinese restaurants in Paris.

french cuisineScientists took a step further and visited supermarkets to check what is the situation there. Chocolate in Philadelphia's supermarket was 41 percent bigger than the same one in Paris supermarket. Non-alcohol drink was 52 percent bigger in Philadelphia, favourite American food hot-dog was even 63 percent bigger than the one in Paris. Milk drinks didn't goes well, too. Yoghurt carton packaging in Philadelphia was huge 82 percent bigger. American's chefs follow the trend and recommend bigger portions than France's chefs. Research showed that if the food taste at least average, most of the people will eat all that exists on the plate. In American case, even more that they need.

french cuisineThe reasons for that kind of attitude lies in deep cultural differences between the old and the new world. Should someone serve such small and humble French portion in America no one will eat it because Americans like to get everything "big" for their money. It is interesting that the research about amounts of portions was financed by the American National Center on Addiction.

Following French nutrition habits for ten years the American researchers discovered another interesting fact that leads us almost to discovery of the Holy Grail. Beside practicing Mediterranean cuisine and small portions, Frenchman drink a glass of black wine after lunch.

french cuisineHeart fibrosis very often causes death. That condition is caused by increased pressure: The heart pumps much harder which causes problems. One of a black wine substances is resveratrol. That substance appears in a black wine as a result of defence mechanism against mildew attack. If the year is dry mildew will not appear, if the year is rainy mildew attacks grape vine and make the resveratrol. Wines like pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon contain Resveratrol.

But, to hold the wine as a cure is just one alibi more for practicing one of the oldest pleasures in the world. Wine-growers have a thesis that a wine is healthy and also have their statistic by which exist more old wine-growers than old doctors. If you count in stress and fast eating they can be right very easily.

french cuisineResveratrol showed its good effects on laboratorial mice. Scientists fed mice with high caloric food and gave them highly doses (24mlg/kg) of resveratrol in tablets. One litre of wine contains 1,5 to 3mlg, which in numbers means that human should drink from 1.500 to 3.000 bottles of wine on a daily basis. On the other hand, mice have much faster metabolism and their heart beat 400 times per minute - human's only 70. And if we know that a drug is not applied in a small or huge doses, but in effective and sufficient doses, human kind must wait until research is finished.

french cuisineNutrition is a scientific question but also a huge business and different theories and principles still fight for predominance. A long term study proved that black wine as a part of the Mediterranean nutrition has positive effect. It is on you to cut the portions and to learn how to deal with everyday stress, not to mention that physical activity goes perfectly well with light Mediterranean food.