One of the seemingly most popular cultures that American women like to emulate is that of France. And perhaps it's because their lives look très chic from the outside looking in. From fashion and style to pastry shops, markets, and impeccably dressed kids that look straight out of Madeline, it can be an easy life to romanticize. So, how do French women's diets differ from American women's? The so-called "French paradox," that French women (and men) are able to drink wine and eat things like fatty cheeses, foie gras, and buttery pastries and remain slender and stylish (and, most importantly to physicians, fairly low levels of heart disease) without spending hours on a treadmill has captivated American women (and others) since the 1980s.
Wait. So, full-fat cheese, pastries, wine and less time at the gym? Perhaps those calling cards are the reason why so many American women are trying to eat more like French women - and why there is so much information available that will easily chart a course for you, including the very popular French Women Don't Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano.
Americans already eat quite a bit of saturated fat, as the French do, so perhaps instead of comparing the French and American diets food-by-food, it'd be more important to look at how French women eat.
Here, a look into the contrasts.