My French Experiment
Anita Sharpe on Life
Remember the French Paradox?
In trying to explain why the French lived so long with few heart problems -- despite a daily diet rich in butter, cheese and cream sauces -- researchers decided red wine made all the difference. For most of my adult life, about the only alcohol I have imbibed is red wine, so naturally I embraced this theory. And my cholesterol has always been firmly ensconced in the normal range. My HDL, the 'good' cholesterol, was, at 55, in the 'desirable' range (the higher the better.)
More recently, after hearing from several people who returned from France reporting that they had never felt better or been healthier after a consistent diet of butter, cream and cheese, I took this a step further. Five months ago, I switched to my version of a French diet. Every day, I ate about three ounces of soft cheese such as Brie; I largely gave up red meat but cooked my fish and chicken in cream sauces and real butter; I ate tons of vegetables, also cooked in butter. I started drinking breves (espresso with 6 or so ounces of half-and-half.)
Then I had blood work done. Here are the results. My LDL, the 'bad' cholesterol, stayed roughly the same, still in the normal range. My triglycerides dropped from 110 to 71. But most astounding was what happened with my 'good' cholesterol -- it soared to 96. (I also lost two pounds.)
So what if it turns out that the true root of the French Paradox is all that butter, cream and cheese? The sin is actually the salvation. Brace yourselves for the forthcoming books and business opportunities.