Eating carbs is the definition of French and Italian food, at least that’s what we think it is on the Western side of the world. The truth is, it is not about the number of carbs these two countries consume on a daily basis, it is the quality of the product and how they enjoy doing it. 

What many people do not realize is the fact that European life is somewhat of a dream. There is no such thing as the Keto diet or counting carbs, no such thing as P90X and a Peloton bike to burn off your meal. In Italy and France, they enjoy the food they eat because it is made of the best quality, and that is what makes it healthy. 

In Italy, many Westerners have adopted what they think Italian cuisine is. Pizza and pasta. The truth is, the Italians have much of the Mediterranean diet in their meals, which consist of fish, chicken, lots of vegetables, olive oil, and fruit. 

A day does not only consist of pizza and pasta. You wake up in Italy and start your day with an espresso (coffee), and maybe something small that is sweet like a biscotti (cookie). Lunch is like your appetizer to dinner. You may have a panino (sandwich), with insalata (salad). But the important part is that every meal is enjoyed. In Italy, a lunch break is about 2 hours long. You get together, talk, drink a glass of vino (wine), eat, talk some more and go for a nice passeggiata (walk) around the town. 

In France, it is almost very similar to the Italian way of eating. Consuming a fresh baguette every day is practically a right of passage. Literally. In France, there is a law that states the baguette needs to be produced in the healthiest way possible so that it can be enjoyed properly. 

A day in France might be thought of as consuming baguettes and croissants, but it’s not. For French, their baguette consists of 4 ingredients, wheat, yeast, water and salt, that’s it, no preservatives and nothing you cannot pronounce. The same goes for their idea of cheese. Many of us believe cheese and dairy are bad for you, but in France, they do not hold back from their whole fats. Cheese and dairy should be consumed as full fat, there are fewer added preservatives and sugars, and of course, they consume them at a low to moderate rate, allowing it to be considered healthy. They too consume wine instead of hard liquor and leisurely eat and enjoy their meals. 

The best part about the way the Italians and French live is the fact that I wouldn’t be able to choose how I would like to consume my carbs every day. But, the fact is, I wish living in these countries was more realistic so that I have the excuse to eat like them. Would you be able to choose who you’d like to eat?