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7 Healthy Habits for a Healthy Heart (and Weight Loss) from the French Paradox

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French Sandwich
French Sandwich
When we say healthy foods or habits for a healthy heart then what does it mean? You would imagine a diet with low cholesterol and saturated fat! 

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However, what if we say that even after consuming high amounts of cholesterol and saturated fat you could have a low risk of obesity and heart disease?

Unheard of isn’t it? The French routinely consume foods laden with high fat and cholesterol. There is a term for this. 

Well, this phenomenon is called the “French Paradox”.

But the same is not true in the West, increased consumption of cholesterol and saturated fat has resulted in many cases of obesity and heart disease. So, what is the top-secret behind this phenomenon?

 We can sure learn a thing or 2 about healthy habits for a healthy heart from the French. Do you know that there is a dedicated exercise to strengthen the heart muscle?

Colloquially it is called ‘cardio’! Here have a look at the 5-minute basic cardio exercises for a healthy heart! 

Now time to analyze the facts behind the French Paradox one by one, shall we!

1. Red wine

One of the first explanations provided for the French paradox was the consumption of red wine. Scientists suggest that red wine contains an antioxidant called resveratrol which promotes heart health and hence it is one of the first healthy food for a healthy heart.

Red wine for heart
Red wine is good for a healthy heart

Furthermore, moderate wine drinkers were found to have the lowest accumulation of belly fat among all drinkers. Few studies point out that a substance called piceatannol in red wine averts the formation of new fat cells in the body.

2. Fresh, wholesome food for a healthy heart

Highly processed foods commonly referred to as junk food are rich sources of salt, sugar, and fat. The French aren’t seen snacking on junk food. As a matter of fact, they prefer fresh produce.

One can find many open-air local markets and even the grocery stores have relatively small sections dedicated to frozen foods.

What’s more, most of the French have home-made meals. Using fresh meals makes for healthy foods that will not just lead to a healthy heart but also eventually in weight loss.

3. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables

The French food pattern comprises plenty of fruits and vegetables. Now fruits and vegetables are rich sources of phytochemicals, antioxidants, and dietary fiber, stuff advised for a healthy heart.

These promote heart health in one way or the other – like neutralizing harmful free radicals and lowering the bad LDL cholesterol. Notice how weight loss diets also have plenty of fruits and vegetables?

4. Apt portion sizes

It is a no-brainer that when served a large portion size, we over-eat than when given a smaller portion size.

French portion sizes are said to be markedly smaller than those of the West, be it in restaurants, supermarkets or recipe books. A page to take if you are also looking for weight loss. 

5. Enjoying and savouring their healthy food

The French belief is in eating slowly and enjoying their food. This ensures that the brain has sufficient time between the bites, to send out signals of satiety.

When you gorge on food rather than graze, you may end up over-eating. Also, the French do not eat while watching television. The television can distract a person while eating, so much so that he doesn’t look at the food on his or savour it while eating.

Moreover, he/she may not realise the quantity of food he/she is eating. A  healthy heart meal is all about savouring the meal.

6. Exercise

Although you don’t witness French people spending time in the gym all day long, you may have noticed that walking is a fundamental aspect of the French lifestyle. You could emulate them and also begin the healthy heart and weight loss journey by doing these 13 awesome walk exercises

7. Beverages

There’s one last trick up the sleeve, and that is the water intake. Apart from wine, when it comes to beverages, the French prefer water instead of carbonated beverages. This helps curb the sugar consumption. Follow this advice for weight loss too. 

The French paradox has a lot to teach when it comes to making healthy dietary choices, doesn’t it? You would be surprised to know that most of this advice is good for weight loss too. So follow these healthy food tips for a healthy heart.

If Any Query, Talk to our Truweight Nutritionist for guidance and support. The first consultation is on us!

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8 Comments
  1. Kristen says

    Well, nice tips I really like it and it is really hard to be healthy while traveling or get stuck in your work. I tried many times to follow a few rules and regulations for strict diet but I failed then I try another idea that works for me and it too. Sometimes I eat healthy food and sometimes junk food. I just put some limits and increase the proportion of healthy food. Having wine while eating is really helpful for our digestive system and it helps our heart too. Well, mostly I have used to travel due to my work so I order my healthy food from here. It keeps me healthy and also comes in my budget. Well, thanks again for sharing this information with us.

    1. somaraghavendra says

      Hi Kristen! We appreciate your feedback on our article “7 healthy habits for healthy heart from the french paradox”. We customise your diet plan according to your lifestyle. Keep following our blog to know more health information.

  2. Tarun Kumar Mitra says

    Well followed and proven facts.

    1. netravati says

      Thank you so much for your feedback. Do keep following our blog for more such articles.

  3. Pearl Moore says

    Eating for a healthy heart is surely a crucial initial step to minimizing your current risk of developing heart problems.

    1. Shobha Shastry says

      We can’t agree with you more Pearl!

  4. Tisha says

    Play intfrmaoive for me, Mr. internet writer.

    1. Shobha Shastry says

      Thank you Tisha