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Health, Beauty & Fashion

Eat heartily, but in moderation

To eat or not to eat, that is the question.
The Straits Times - October 11, 2012
By: Lee Hui Chieh
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Eat heartily, but in moderation

To eat or not to eat, that is the question.

The results of studies on the impact of different kinds of food on one's health can be confusing.

One day, a study may report that eating a certain type of food can reduce the risk of a specific sickness. The next day, another study may disprove it.

For instance, studies have found that consuming chocolate regularly could reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke; possibly because chocolate contains antioxidants that lower levels of inflammation, which is linked to both conditions.

A review of seven studies involving 100,000 people, published in the British Medical Journal last year, found that those who ate the most chocolate had 37 per cent less risk of heart disease and 29 per cent less risk of stroke than those who ate the least.

But chocolate is usually made with sugar and cream that is high in fat. So eating too much of it could result in obesity.

Carrying too much fat increases the chance of chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and fatty liver disease, which can cause fatal complications.

An obese person is 4.6 times more likely to have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, in which fat accumulates abnormally in the liver. It can lead to liver cirrhosis (hardening) and liver cancer.

Diabetes can result in kidney failure, blindness, limb loss and heart disease. Compared to a healthy woman, an obese woman is 28 times more likely to develop diabetes, and a diabetic woman is eight times more likely to have heart disease.

The one thing that is obvious: Obesity is not optimal for health.

So eat, just not excessively.

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