To demystify the French Paradox, along with the American fascination with the French lifestyle in general, let’s look at the differences between France’s work-life balance and our own. Business Culture clocks the average working hours of the French at about 35 a week, which means most have more leisure time in the day than working time. How this correlates to heart health is straightforward: lower stress levels mean better health (via Mayo Clinic). Perhaps a glass of red wine could help us decompress after a hard day at work, which would be beneficial in a roundabout way.
But even outside of France, it seems that red wine is doing more good than harm for those who regularly consume it. And on that observation, Dr. Tim Naimi tells Inverse that people who regularly drink red wine tend to be of higher socioeconomic status, which determines their work-life balance, their stress levels, and their nutrition outside of wine. So, it may not be the biochemical makeup of the polyphenols in red wine but the lifestyle that pairs well with it.