1 & 2). Find out if there are any health benefits from eating chocolate

Report
Chocolate eaters
You are totally addicted to chocolate and can’t
through the day without munching a bar. Although
know that eating lots of chocolate is unhealthy
are happy to ignore the risks. Your mission is to
and find reasons to continue eating chocolate!
get
you
you
try
To accomplish your mission you will be required to;
1. Find out if there are any health benefits from eating chocolate
2. Find out if eating different types of chocolate would offer some benefits
3. Find out what chocolate contains including the difference between white, milk and
dark chocolate (involves some maths)
Then you need to do this:
 Use your evidence to put together a convincing argument to persuade people to
continue eating chocolate
Where can you find information?:
Your group has access to this information pack and a computer so that you can do
extended research
Chocolate eaters – KS3
Page 1
1 & 2). Find out if there are any health benefits from eating chocolate AND
if eating different types of chocolate would offer some benefits
Evidence is growing that chocolate is good for you
Chocolate may be better for your health than tea because it contains more of a chemical that could
prevent cancer and heart disease, researchers have said. The findings follow earlier research revealing
that chocolate consumption offers health benefits. The new research measures the amount of
catechins - the chemical thought to be behind the benefits - in different types of chocolate. The
substance is also found in tea - leading the researchers to recommend a cup of tea with a chocolate
biscuit as one way to help maintain good health.
Chemical diet
The researchers, from Holland's National Institute of Public Health and Environment, published their
findings in The Lancet medical journal. Dr Ilja Arts and colleagues examined the chemical compounds in
a range of foods and discovered that catechins are found in chocolate. Up until now tea was thought to
contain the largest amount but the new research indicates that dark chocolate has four times as many.
Catechins are believed to protect against heart disease and cancer and so eating products that contain
them could have health benefits. In the UK, where more than £3.5bn is spent on chocolate each year the research is likely to be welcomed by those with a sweet tooth.
Tea and biscuits
Dark chocolate had 53.5mg of catechins per 100g, milk chocolate contained 15.9mg per 100g, and the
black tea infusion contained only 13.9mg per 100ml. In a later survey, the researchers found that in a
sample of 6250 men and women, tea was the most important source of catechins, accounting for 55% of
total intake. Chocolate contributed to 20% of the total intake of catechins. The researchers said:
"Drinking a cup of tea and eating a chocolate cookie might be not only enjoyable but healthy as well."
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Chocolate eaters – KS3
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1 & 2). Find out if there are any health benefits from eating chocolate AND
if eating different types of chocolate would offer some benefits
(continued)
Recent research shows that chocolate can provide natural health-promoting substances called
flavonoids. Since flavonoids seem to help prevent heart disease and cancer, the idea of eating
chocolate sounds like a tempting and delicious way to better your health. The complete message is,
however, that although chocolate might be preferable to other treats, it is no substitute for
vegetables and fruits, which also contain flavonoids.
The flavonoids in chocolate that laboratory studies demonstrate to have powerful antioxidant
effects are called flavanols and procyanidins. These two compounds come from the flavonoid “family”
that includes resveratrol, found in grape juice, and EGCG, found in green tea. When people consume
these substances in chocolate and cocoa, the antioxidant status of their blood increases. This rise in
antioxidant levels helps protect us from damage to the heart and blood vessels, while it also guards
our DNA from damage that can lead to cancer. In addition, the flavanols and procyanidins in
chocolate improve the function and flow of blood vessels and help control inflammation. The
antioxidants in chocolate have generated a lot of interest because studies show that these
compounds are more powerful antioxidants than EGCG in tea, which is a strong antioxidant. One
study that compared the total antioxidant activity in single servings of cocoa, green tea, black tea
and red wine scored cocoa markedly higher than the rest. Yet the flavonoid content of cocoa and
chocolate is highly variable. The more cocoa in a chocolate product, the higher the antioxidant
flavonoid content is. Because dark chocolate is more concentrated in cocoa content, it is higher in
flavonoids than milk chocolate. For this reason, dark chocolate is used in research studies. White
chocolate has no cocoa content. Surprisingly, the fat content of chocolate is not a reason to avoid it.
Technically, chocolate contains saturated fat, but the particular type of saturated fat – stearic acid
– is unique because it does not raise blood cholesterol. Studies show that neither dark or milk
chocolate is a cholesterol concern in moderate amounts. But keep in mind that other ingredients
added to some chocolate candies can change their nutrition impact.
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Chocolate eaters – KS3
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1 & 2). Find out if there are any health benefits from eating chocolate AND
if eating different types of chocolate would offer some benefits
(continued)
Chocolate is no longer a guilty pleasure, in fact it is good for you - apparently
lowering blood pressure and cutting the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
An extensive study by German nutritionists has produced results many chocoholics have been dreaming
of for years. They monitored more than 19,000 people and their chocolate consumption over a decade,
finding those who ate the most got the greatest benefit. The experts found eating 7.5 grams of dark
chocolate could reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke by 39% and could also lead to lower blood
pressure. The nutritionists found dark chocolate produced the best results when it contains at least
70% cocoa. Dark chocolate has had a lot of publicity about it being beneficial and that's due to the
flavonols that are actually in the cocoa. There's some suggestion that chemical has heart-protecting
effects.
June Davidson, from the British Heart Foundation
"This was a really interesting study and it found that a very small amount of chocolate actually reduced
your blood pressure and your risk of heart disease.”
"The more natural it is, the better it is for you. So the darker the chocolate, the better it is for you."
Ms Davidson added: "Dark chocolate has had a lot of publicity in the past about it being beneficial and
that's due to the flavonols that are actually in the cocoa.
" Some boutique chocolates even contain real fruit, so does that mean they count towards your five a
day? Doubt it.
The problem now is likely to be whether chocolate will taste as good, now that it is so good for you.
(information continued on next page)
Chocolate eaters – KS3
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1 & 2). Find out if there are any health benefits from eating chocolate AND
if eating different types of chocolate would offer some benefits
(continued)
There are real health benefits of chocolate recognized in the medical world. Chocolate has always
been considered bad for your health, but that is not the case. Dark chocolate is a healthy chocolate.
These are some chocolate health benefits:
Blood pressure: Dark chocolate has been proven in studies to lower blood pressure and is considered
healthy chocolate.
Heart disease and flavanol Dark chocolate is also a potent antioxidant because it contains flavonoids
(phenolic compounds); the same as red wine. It is believed that flavonoids protect against or slow down
heart disease. Even though chocolate contains a saturated fat called stearic acid, it does not appear to
be a factor in raising cholesterol. Flavanol in dark chocolate makes a difference in heart health and is a
real chocolate health benefit: a healthy chocolate. In fact, dark chocolate has been shown to actually
increase cardiovascular health. The flavanoids in dark chocolate have been shown to inhibit platelet
activation and coagulation, boost plasma’s antioxidant ability, and induce relaxation of the vascular
system. The purest, most natural dark chocolate is best, as processing can destroy some of healthy
chocolate’s flavanoid content.
High cocoa antioxidant content, surprisingly most people do not know that cocoa contains a large
amount of antioxidants. Antioxidants balance and neutralize free radicals in the body. Free radicals
affect cells in the body and are at the source of the visible signs of aging. For this reason dark
chocolate is considered very good for health as the content of cocoa is rich in antiaging antioxidants as
well as some of the best antioxidants to fight free radicals.
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Chocolate eaters – KS3
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1 & 2). Find out if there are any health benefits from eating chocolate AND
if eating different types of chocolate would offer some benefits
(continued)
Smokers A small study conducted in Sweden and published in the journal Heart found that if smokers
eat a small amount of dark chocolate, their artery function improves within hours. If they eat a few
squares of dark chocolate a day they may reduce their risk of developing hardening of the arteries.
Chronic fatigue syndrome Many people experience chronic fatigue. Some chronic fatigue is caused by
stress, long working hours, or personal problems. Chronic fatigue syndrome is an illness with primary
symptoms that include sleep problems, muscle and joint pain, inability to think straight, fatigue, and
headaches. Depression is also seen in many patients. While symptom management is achieved with
medications, alternative therapies are being considered, including chocolate health benefits. Some of
the natural nutrients in dark chocolate are being used in an effort to relieve chronic fatigue syndrome.
Since dark chocolate is healthy chocolate, it is being studied as a remedy. The feeling of well being that
is produced when eating chocolate may help people with this illness.
Cancer: If the flavanoids, flavanol, and antioxidants in healthy chocolate can prevent cancer, it is well
worth trying it. No studies have yet proved that it can prevent cancer, but that doesn’t mean future
studies won’t find that true.
Dark chocolate health benefits are really just beginning to be understood and studied medically. With
the natural nutrients in dark chocolate, there are many diseases and ailments that can be helped by the
natural ingredients in dark chocolate. We just have to wait for the studies to prove it.
(information continued on next page)
Chocolate eaters – KS3
Page 6
1 & 2). Find out if there are any health benefits from eating chocolate AND
if eating different types of chocolate would offer some benefits
(continued)
Positive side of eating chocolate:
It’s the classic soul food. Chocolate contains tryptophan which is a chemical that is used by the brain to
produce serotonin. Serotonin, in boosted levels, creates the feeling of elation.
It has anti-oxidants (the same ones that can be found in green tea, orange juice, onions, bananas,
apples, corn, spinach, and red wine). This means it’s healthful because antioxidants help reduce the risk
of cancer and heart disease. They also protect cells from damage caused by toxins. It’s a source of
good cholesterol.
Does chocolate cause acne?
Not according to studies performed by the Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the U.S. Naval
Academy. Eating or not eating chocolate made no difference in the skin condition of the study
participants. In fact, most doctors believe that acne is not linked primarily to diet.
Will the caffeine in chocolate make me jittery?
Probably not. Cacao does contain a number of stimulants, such as caffeine and theobromine, but in small
amounts that are diluted even further when processed into chocolate. In fact, one ounce of milk
chocolate contains about the same amount of caffeine as one cup of decaffeinated coffee.
Interestingly, one study has shown that the smell of chocolate may actually relax you by increasing
theta waves in the brain.
Suggested tasks:
1. Make a list of the benefits you have found
2. Find the meanings of any words in the research material that you
are unsure of
3. See if you can display any data in graphs or charts
Chocolate eaters – KS3
Page 7
3. Find out what chocolate contains including the difference between
white, milk and dark chocolate
Nutritional content of dark, milk and white chocolate (100g bar)
DARK
Chocolate
MILK
Chocolate
WHITE
Chocolate
3.2g
7.6g
7.5g
Lipids (fats)
33.5g
32.3g
37g
Carbohydrates
60.3g
57g
52g
Other
3.0g
3.1g
3.5g
Energy (kJ)
2080
2160
2260
Component
Protein
Suggested task:
1. Display this information in a bar chart or in a pie chart
Chocolate eaters – KS3
Page 8

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