French people stay slim although they have some of the tastiest deserts in the world. So, many people are wondering how is that possible? While a shocking 34% of people in America are obese, the French people are 10 percentage points behind 1 2 .
The question is: what, exactly, are people in France putting on their plates? A group of scientists from the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety made a research to find out the reasons 3 . According to their studies published in the British Journal of Nutrition, there are particular eating patterns that will assuredly feel foreign to the average eater from the U.S., and probably many other countries in the world 4 .
The most Western eating types were named by the scientists the “sweet and processed” diet, including 13% of the people (most of them young) and convenience foods like fruit juice, skim milk, quiche, chocolates, and breakfast cereal 5 .
However, the rest of the country seemed to follow some other arrays. The experts analyzed the eating patterns of 2,600 French adult people who for 7 days noted everything they ate. After that, the scientists teased out some distinctly French dietary styles 6 .
Based on some recent researches and proven data, Your Health Tubers give you the answers why French people stay slim and tips to include some of their healthy habits.
- Café Society
Eating is a nice, leisurely experience. American ways are quite different – people in the U.S. often eat fast or eat while sitting or driving at their desks. It may seem that French people stay slim because they have all the time in the world to sit and dine – but that is actually not the case. People in France appreciate the moment of eating a lot – so, no matter how busy their life is, they always find a way to dine and make it a special, relaxing occasion.
In the U.S., low-carb diet has many of us saying no to some white foods like pasta and bread, but in France, people seems to be lugging a fresh baguette in order to bring home. Well, you should not eat a large volume of pasta or bread for the calories to add up – remember, French meals are pretty light and portions are quite small.
Foie gras, duck confit, and numerous other fatty foods are enjoyed just occasionally – perhaps one time in 2 weeks. Wine is consumed regularly but in little portions. The French people like small portions on the real stuff, like butter and sugar – you won’t find any artificial sweeteners on French table.
- Portion Control – Size Matters
If you order a ham sandwich in France, you might be surprised to get a thin slice of ham and mustard with a few tomatoes on a baguette. French not-as-healthy food is nothing like America’s.
…And there is another secret here why French people stay slim: they are masters of portion control!
If you attend some party or another special occasion in France, you will notice that there are mini pastries and every person has only one paper wrapper next to their drinks of coffee cups. In America, and some other countries – we like to have some more of them and that’s one of the problems.
Breakfast in normally coffee with some kind of bread, cereal, or fruit yogurt. (here is a delicious blackberry fruit yogurt homemade recipe: http://yourhealthtube.com/stay-vital-age-blackberries-got-answer/ ) Croissants are mostly a treat and served commonly to visitors. Adults typically stick to 3 meals per day, and snacks are enjoyed mainly by children after school. Dessert is de rigueur, but the servings are small – like the tiny pastries.
- A Trip the Market
Yogurt is a great dietary staple that aids French women to manage their appetite. French women consume 1-2 yogurts a day, usually at breakfast – and mostly after an evening of overeating to help balance out the calories.
- Full-fat Dairy
French people don’t fear full fat! Actually, about 89% of individuals in the research consumed full-fat cheese, while just 8% consumed the low-fat kind 7 . Recently, there was a French study that found that cheese it not harmful for health when kept to 2 daily portions. And this study states that French people have the right idea: persons who eat full-fat dairy have a tendency to less obese than those people who eat low-fat dairy 8 .
- Spare Amounts of Processed and Fried Food
The French people stay slim even though they consume spare amounts of processed and fried foods. Just 29% of the French reported consuming breaded or processed fried foods in those 7 days. In America, about 50 % of the people eat fried foods at least once a week – and up to 9% of the people consume them 4-6 times a week 9 .
- When it Comes to Meat – Fish is The Choice!
People in France eat a lot of fish. Around 70% of the people reported consuming unprocessed fish that week. Approximately 30% of people in the U.S. eat seafood once a week, but almost half eat fish just occasionally or even not at all 10 .
- Mediterranean Diet Plus Pastries and Cakes
In general, people in France eat healthy food. Around 13% of them stuck to a well-balanced, Mediterranean diet, rich in vegetable oils, fish, fruits, vegetables, unprocessed and full-fat dairy foods. Here you can find more about the Mediterranean Diet: LINK
A healthy French diet means a diet filled with soups, fruit, lower-fat foods, tea, multigrain bread, and most surprisingly of all – pastries and cakes (in small portions, of course).
Bottom of Form
Around 18% of people in France had a “traditional” diet, heavy in salt, sugar, and fat—but from salami, wine, bread, cheese, grains, desserts, and red meat. Fast food on this list is remarkably lacking.
- Keep Things Simple
Around 10% of the people followed what the scientists considered a basic diet, consuming mostly simple, unprocessed foods like eggs, butter, cheese, yogurt, animal fat, and potatoes, as well as bread and pasta.
This report made clear that the people in France embrace various foods, but in reasonable amounts. It is clear that there isn’t just one way of eating. However, in most of the dietary patterns, the conviviality, the pleasure, and social dimension of French eating style remain truly strong in France. These tips can be a fantastic way to start a well-balanced diet with the French style of eating. So, to those who wonder how the French people stay slim, the answer can be summed up in just one sentence: eat small servings of high-quality food less often.