Just relax and have a glass of Shiraz…
Have you ever heard of the “French paradox”? This concept originated in the 1980s and refers to the epidemiological observation that French people have a relatively low incidence of cardiovascular diseases despite having a diet rich in saturated fats.
Although it has been argued that the French paradox may be an illusion due to statistical distortions and the way health statistics are collected in France, it did promote a lot of research interest around what could be allowing the French to eat saturated fats and avoid cardiovascular disease.
Soon, many possible explanations for the French paradox started to emerge. But the one that stuck (at least in pop culture) was that the low incidence of cardiovascular diseases in the French population could be due to their high per capita consumption of red wine.
The article is well written – and at least mostly true. Well worth the read.
But, there is one foundational error — the idea that dietary fat = heart disease — that moves the entire article away from the right conclusion.
All along, the real heart disease culprit was inflammation from excessive garbage carbohydrate consumption and insanely high levels of stress that caused the fats to stick to everything. And, yes, the French see much lower levels of such.
Yes, some of the protection was actually all of the fat they do eat that displaced carbs from their diet, but that’s unlikely to be the whole picture…
Perhaps the real reason for the other half of the “French paradox,” is simply that they, as a people know how to stop, sit down with friends, relax and just have a glass of wine.
For all we know, the same may be possible with orange juice too…