France is synonymous with red wine and the French paradox is an often-argued one. According to this paradox, despite increased consumption of saturated fat, French people die less of coronary heart disease due to the consumption of red wine. This fantasy has been spoken about time and again that, many individuals even today believe that drinking red wine can ward off cardiovascular disease.
People in the US, UK and France consume foods high in saturated fat, but the mortality rates due to coronary heart disease was more in US and UK compared to France, according to studies. The only difference is that French people consume more of red wine and it automatically boils down to the fact that red wine is a heart savior. We know that red wine contains a certain quantity of protective polyphenols (resveratrol, for instance that is present in red grapes) that can explain this paradox. The beauty here is that, mortality rates differed between cities within France itself regardless of cheese consumption (in fact, the city with decreased CHD mortality rate displayed highest cheese consumption).
Propagating the Story to Boost Business
Every time there is decline in wine consumption, the French paradox story is revived to promote red wine sales. These propagandas were so effective that even teetotalers started drinking wine fearing that they might die from heart attack if they don’t drink.
While polyphenols are advantageous, the quantity of wine needed to cause this heart-saving effect is negligible compared to the ill-effects of alcohol consumption. Moderate consumption of alcohol can:
The Paradox Remains a Paradox
In the city that had the minimum CHD death rate despite increased cheese consumption, a noteworthy point is that the residents ate bountiful veggies, fruits, bread and vegetable fat with decreased consumption of butter. In short, they consumed more of dietary fiber and less saturated fat.
Saturated fats are one of the many dietary factors that affect cardiovascular risk and increasing/decreasing saturated fat intake is not going to drastically alter the risk. It is also utterly absurd to comment that drinking a few glasses of red wine can make you healthier. To conclude, we can say that what we need is a balanced diet for a healthy body. Plenty of fruits and veggies with a bit of cheese and butter here and there is good for you. If you are apprehensive of following a balanced diet on your own, it is better to get in touch with a registered dietitian nutritionist at www.firsteatright.com who can plan a well-balanced healthy meal plan suiting your requirement. Enjoy a toast with a good glass of French wine occasionally to stay happy and celebrate your special occasion.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.