Keto in France - yes or no


Do they keep-calm-and-keto-on in France?

I am planning a trip to Bordeaux for 10 days… sorry, I know, life’s rough!

Is it possible to be keto in France or should I just say F it and enjoy the baguettes with cheese and pate and pizza and wine etc… and then go back to keto when I get back?

Any advice for French travel would be appreciated



(Garry (Canada)) #3

Désolée, je ne sais pas.

(Ken) #4

10 days is nothing, as far as an adverse readaptation. A vacation in France is a special thing. Go ahead and enjoy yourself. If you really want to be fanatically nutty, you can skip the bread, potatoes, and sweets.

(Michel Labelle) #5

The French have a VERY easy attitude regarding food. Eat what you like, and leave what you don’t. They don’t believe you have to clean your plate. That is a North American thing mostly. It is actually impolite in some parts of the world to finish your plate, as it signals the host did not give you enough. As an example in Asia, you NEVER finish your plate or you will get another full plate. Let’s just think on that for a moment…

The French also have a VERY healthy attitude towards full fat foods (they are one of the largest consumers of dairy products (butter, cheese etc) in the world). To put that in perspective, it is PERFECTLY OK to add a huge serving of delicious hand turned salted butter to your favourite piece of cheese, even a brie before you bite into it. It is 100%NORMAL to use cheese as your method of eating more butter.

Your problem won’t be WHAT, but HOW MUCH food you eat. This is the real problem! BUT what a problem to have :wink:

And unless you have a medical issue (T1/2D or similar) where you absolutely need to avoid the carbs, you won’t die if you have the occasional bite of a baguette, croissant, pastry, or desert.

Ditto for wine. Wine is cheap, cheaper than almost anything else you can drink including water (and they don’t serve water at the table unless you ask, so don’t be shocked by that either). The idea is you have wine before, during and after a meal. It makes you eat slower, and that is considered healthier. I mean it, this is so true that it is to the point that most people are changing types of wine to match the food being served, freely mixing reds, whites and others throughout the meal. BUT again, NO ONE has any issues if you don’t finish off that bottle or glass. Simply drink what feels right (like eating to satiety) for our fats. Don’t feel obligated to finish a glass/bottle of anything.

My personal recommendation is assess how much walking etc you are getting daily, and enjoy a bite and drink of everything. What you love, finish, otherwise don’t sweat it.

Because when you return home you will… Keep Calm and Keto On right? And remember we only get one life, so there is no rule book for keto, nor for living.

So if you don’t get to go to France regularly, park this WOE for the trip, make smart/reasonable choices while there, eat more fatty foods if only to figure out recipes and ideas you want to bring home with you, and enjoy your time in what is probably one of the most keto friendly countries in the world.

(Vincent Hall) #6

Meat n salad is what I tend to ask for. Sans du pain, extra mayo and olive oil. Cheese is handy, but I find too much cheese without veg or salad affects me if I overdo it. But YMMV.


Thank you all for the wonderful advice!

Butter on cheese - wow, I can’t wait!

(Vincent Hall) #8

I do butter on chedder, it’s special.

(Brian) #9

Michel_Labelle, thank you for your description of France!

I would love to visit someday. I have little interest in the cities but would love to spend some time in the countryside and maybe some smaller towns.

I find the cultural differences (according to the reading I’ve done) quite fascinating, differences between those who came from England and settled in the US vs those who came from France and settled in Canada. I kinda smile a little when I remember that Ben Franklin was known for being quite fond of France… :slight_smile:


Thanks for the suggestion, I just had a piece of sharp cheddar with some salted butter… yum!!

(Doug) #11

(France, 2011) Every morning my wife and I would go to the nearby cheese shop - it became our Temple.

(bulkbiker) #13

Although you should be aware that butter on its own is a rarity in French restaurants so you may well have to ask for it. Bread does not come with butter as a matter of course although bread is always there.
The French are quite vegetable shy but you should be able to get lots of nice meaty bits… confit de canard (duck leg) is great and fatty. I used to live quite close to Bordeaux and would recommend L’Entrecote for steak but their fries (french of course) are to die for so you need to take a carb eater with you. The steak comes in a herby butter sauce and you get a nice plateful. But the fries come round twice! you might have to queue to get in but for a nice steak (usually from Austria or Germany as French steaks don’t come very well aged usually). Are you touring the vineyards?


Yes we would like to. Do you have any recommendations?

(bulkbiker) #15

Unfortunately I haven’t drunk alcohol for the past 11 years (including all the time I was in France). But if you want to do a day trip rent a car and I would go north west of Bordeaux. There is a road the D2 which runs parallel to the Gironde river which will take you past loads of the famous Chateaux. Chateau La Tour, Margaux. both of the Rothschild’s too many to mention. If you want to visit any… its better to call in advance as they are usually working businesses so don’t necessarily take kindly to people just turning up. When are you thinking of going?


the last week of March

(bulkbiker) #17

Ok a lot of the Chateaux might not be open for visits anyway. They tend to do it more in the holiday season June/July/August but if you want to visit somewhere in particular then call in advance and they may well be more amenable. Do you speak French?


My wife does… I speak a little

(bulkbiker) #19

I have sent you a pm

(Ken) #20

If you want a nice, informal introduction on France, I suggest reading “Bon Appetit!” and “A Year in Provence” or any other of Peter Mayle’s nonfiction books. (His fiction one’s are good too)


thanks for the advice!