Red wine: Healthy elixir or a lot of hype?

The French paradox has been used to describe the low rates of heart disease among a population that eats a diet rich in saturated fats.

For decades, red wine was credited with protecting and strengthening French hearts. Recently, however, that theory has come into question.

Chris Kilham, the Medicine Hunter, said he does not believe it is simply red wine that has helped the French over the years.

“It could be that they take more time with their families. We don’t know,” Kilham said. “It could be that they eat more regional fruits and vegetables, and get more vitamins overall…But I don’t think it’s just red wine.”

Kilham said it was also important to credit foods such as onions, garlic, leeks, shallots for enriching the lives of the French population.

“(They) are far more powerful in terms of their cardiovascular health-promoting properties…more responsible than red wine,” Kilham said.

In addition, olive oil, when added into a person’s diet, appeared to have the same positive effect on the body in past studies.