7 Healthy Habits for a Healthy Heart (and Weight Loss) from the French Paradox
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!
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.
Table of Contents
- Red Wine
- Food for a healthy heart
- A diet rich in fruits and vegetables
- Apt portion sizes
- Enjoying and savouring food
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.
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.
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.
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!