Chocolate May Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke

December 12, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
1. trim down (v.) [trim] [doun] – cut down on or reduce in something
     Example: I have to trim down my rice intake to lose weight.

2. cardiovascular (adj.) [kahr-dee-oh-vas-kyuh-ler] – relating to both the heart and the blood vessels
     Example: Smoking can cause cardiovascular illnesses.

3. binge eating (n.) [binj] [ee-ting] –  eating large amount of foods in a short period of time
     Example: The doctor advised my aunt to stop binge eating because of her weight problems.

4. excessive (adj.) [ik-ses-iv] – beyond normal amount
     Example: Excessive workload causes stress.

5. dietician (n.) [dahy-i-tish-uhn] – a person specializing in nutrition
     Example: The old man hired a dietician to supervise the preparation of his food.

Read the text below.

Eating high amounts of chocolate may be good for the heart and brain if its sugar and fat content are trimmed down.

By comparing two groups of people with opposite levels of chocolate intake, scientist from the University of Cambridge found that high intake of dark chocolate, or chocolate with only little milk and sugar added, reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease by 37% and stroke by 29%.

Co-researcher Dr. Oscar Franco pointed out that chocolate is known to decrease blood pressure, but the findings, though promising, need to be tested to confirm the results. This finding, he clarified, should not encourage people who do not eat chocolate to start eating it. He added that those who are already eating chocolate should only take small amounts of it on a regular basis and avoid binge eating.

Excessive consumption of chocolate can lead to weight gain and Type 2 diabetes. Senior heart health dietician at the British Heart Foundation Victoria Taylor said that though some evidence supports the benefits of chocolate, heart researchers still do not know exactly what it is in chocolate that really helps.

According to Taylor, there are still much better ways to reduce the risk of heart disease than eating chocolate.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
Discussion A

·         Do you personally believe that eating chocolate has benefits? Why or why not?
·         Do you think the kind of chocolate (e.g., dark, white, milk) that people eat matters?

Discussion B

·         What do you think are the reasons why people eat excessively?
·         How can a person control his or her excessive eating?

December 12, 2011