Once in my classroom, I heard that the French eat 12 times more butter than the average American. After doing a little research (i.e, Wikipedia), I found that the number is more reasonable, 4 times more butter. Obviously I was shocked at this… however, during my stay in France I became consciously aware of what contained butter.
I noticed a lot of foods that were buttered, fried in butter, or just saturated with butter! Granted you don’t have to eat most of the stuff, but it was very hard to avoid butter when it was in just about everything. For example, almost any French sandwich that you buy has buttered bread. If you bought escargots or anything with some sort of sauce… buttered. The chocolate contains butter, ALL the pastries have a grand amount, and even the french cereals I ate contained butter (and the list goes on). At this point, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see butter on top of salads. Now I know that most of the stuff mentioned above contain butter in the United States, yet for example, I probably eat one pastry a year over here. In France, people eat this artery clogging goodness on a daily basis! Funny how this is coming from someone who lives in the notorious “fat country”.
This once again raises the question, how do the French stay thin while indulging on a regular basis? This phenomenon is titled “The French Paradox”, and I’ve already written an extensive article which you can find HERE. More information about Manger Bouger, the French government’s active health program can be found HERE.