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The French Paradox

Or why the French live longer!

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The French Paradox refers to the apparent fact that the French, in particular those who live in the South West, seem to be able to consume large quantities of fatty foods while at the same time remaining healthier than many people living in Northern Europe and North America.

In the Dordogne and surrounding areas people have a diet rich in animal fats derived from locally produced foie gras and the use of goose fat generally in the cuisine of the region. It has been observed that in the neighbouring Gers where the diet is much the same, that people live longer on average than in the rest of Europe.

It has been suggested that the explanation for this is that the locals also drink large quantities of red wine, much of which is produced in the areas around Bergerac, Cahors or in the neighbouring Bordeaux region. This more than counters the effects of high fat consumption due its positive effect on the heart.

Whatever the reason, this notion nevertheless provides a great excuse to consume at least some of the local produce whilst in the region and you never know it might just work for you too!


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