English for PTA


For the first time in history, people with “weight problems” outnumber starving people. Ironically, we have, with the help of the media and health and fitness “gurus”, never known so much about our nutrition.

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Most of us know that a balanced diet is good for us and helps to maintain a healthy body weight. The availability of energy-dense and highly processed food is now unprecedented. Be it convenience food for the microwave, fast food from the local outlet, or just a deep frozen pizza, we have never had such variety. If we chose regional instead of global products, and seasonal instead of all-year-round, we would not only be doing ourselves a favour, we would also be helping the planet!

Male customer: Hello, do you speak English?

PTA: Hello, yes I do. How can I be of assistance?
I read an article about healthy eating yesterday that said we don’t get enough roughage in our diet.

Sorry, but I’m not sure about the word roughage.
It is also known as fibre.

Okay! Do you think you’re not getting enough fibre?
Having read the article I believe that I do. A few years ago I tried the 5-a-day thing with fruit and vegetables. It didn’t work!

You were probably being too ambitious!
The article said that it is not only essential to eat lots of fruit and vegetables, but to make sure to get enough fibre in your diet.

For a long time people thought that having fibre in your food was only as a “filler”. Today we know that fibre plays a major role in the digestion of our food.
There was something in the article about different kinds of fibre.

Fibre can be divided into two main groups: water-soluble fibre, to help the intestinal flora, and water-insoluble fibre, which helps to make the stool soft.
Do you have any products that you can recommend?

We have this wheat bran product, which is a great source of insoluble fibre. It not only helps with digestion, it can also help to promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria. You are not gluten intolerant, are you? We have to be careful nowadays as so many customers are either gluten or lactose intolerant!
No, no food allergies, thank goodness! How do I use it?

I use it in smoothies and porridge – also a great source of fibre – and sprinkle it on yoghurt. And it’s great in baked goods and it gives a great flavour and texture to bread and cookies.
It really is a power food, isn’t it?

Studies have shown that fibre can help your general health. The beta-glucan in porridge oats has been proven to reduce the cholesterol in the blood. Fibre belongs in a healthy diet, as it can be taken to guard against a whole variety of illnesses from heart disease to gastrointestinal disorders.
I’ll try it and see how I get on.

Try to be patient with yourself. It is best to start with a little bit in your breakfast. You can slowly increase the amount of fibre in your diet until you find what is best for you. And don’t forget fruit and veggies for your general health!

You can find this article at PTA IN DER APOTHEKE 07/2020 on page 97.

Catherine Croghan, Lecturer in English and native speaker

highly processedstark verarbeitet
unprecedentedohnegleichen, bisher nicht gekannt
roughage, fibreBallaststoff
intestinal floraDarmflora
wheat branWeizenkleie
guard againstvorbeugen
gastrointestinal disordersMagendarmerkrankungen