Cheese, wine and olive oil are three constants in the Mediterranean diet. The synergy of these may account for the low incidence of coronary heart disease in France. The high concentration of amino acids in cheese aid in digestion, and French cheese is virtually lactose free. The resveratrol in wine is heart healthy and cancer preventing, while the polyphenols present can protect against diabetes, arteriosclerosis and cancer. The higher concentration of mono-unsaturated fats in olive oil is linked to a risk reduction for coronary heart disease, and extra virgin olive oil is rich in polyphenol antioxidents. Olive oil tends to displace the "bad" Omega-6 fatty acids, thus promoting a better balance of the "good" Omega-3's obtained from other sources.
Whole grains, fruits, nuts and yogurt are another daily part of the French diet, and fish is included three times a week on average. Eating slowly, using less sugar, and the avoidance of processed foods, snacks and snack foods keep the French more fit than their American counterparts. Living in the Mediterranean climate also promotes a more active lifestyle.
Those wishing to share the benefits of this healthy diet, would also enjoy the organoleptic rewards of the savory possibilities of the constituents.