The ingredients are simple: wheat flour, water, yeast and salt. No sketchy long list of ingredients like you’ll find on American bread.So even if the French are taking in a few more grams of carbs, they’re certainly not bad for you.Coming from a country where more than two thirds of adults are overweight or obese, I’m pretty aware of health and nutrition trends, and right off the bat, something seemed off in France.How did Parisians down at least a baguette a day, seem to drink wine like water, and eat a variety of rich and fatty foods, all while maintaining the stereotype of being some of the thinnest people in the world?Well, French baguettes, it turns out, are certainly nothing like white bread as we know it.
Rather than throwing a few packets of Splenda and fat-free, flavored creamer into their coffee every morning, the French seem to prefer small indulgences of the real thing.Born in Morocco and raised in Paris since the age of five, Requia Badr publishes her blog Chez Requia from her home in Colombes, France.Clotilde Dusoulier is a software engineer making a transition to a new career around food and writing.S., hard alcohol is not so ingrained in the culture, and really not as common.Sure, you can find your typical rum or vodka just about anywhere, but when the French drink, it’s often a casual glass of wine with a meal, not the crazy night out that you might be imagining.A combination of culture, history, and simple eating habits, I’ve found, are responsible for this huge (or in the French case, not huge at all) difference.I fully intend to take this knowledge and some French eating habits back to the U. with me in an attempt to generally better my eating habits. Here are a few things I’ve noticed: The French baguette: At first, I’m not going to lie, I was very skeptical the sheer amount of carbs that the French consume in the form of baguettes every day. And wasn’t white bread basically your waistline’s nightmare?As Businessweek pointed out, Americans as a whole have an obsession with food and use it as “just another form of therapy.” The obsession with calories, macronutrients and ingredients that is common in the U. does not exist in France: they simply eat fairly healthy, natural foods in general.They consider a meal an experience and serving and eating food to be an important event of the day; the eat slowly and leisurely, unlike Americans, who typically scarf down meals and dash off to the next activity.A little heavy cream or a pack of sugar there certainly won’t hurt you, and leaving out these artificial substitutes that many Americans use daily is a good habit to pick up.Healthy fats in small portions: Sure, a lot of the foods that are typically considered French are higher in fat than many Americans would be comfortable with.