THE TYPE OF FAT IS KEY WHEN IT COMES TO CHOCO­LATE

Health & Nutrition - - HEALTHY EATING -

Take a close look at the in­gre­di­ents list the next time you buy a candy bar. As a gen­eral rule, if co­coa but­ter is listed as one of the only fats, the candy is typ­i­cally less likely than oth­ers to con­tain fats that con­trib­ute to high choles­terol. Co­coa but­ter is con­verted into an un­sat­u­rated fat in the liver and has neu­tral ef­fects on choles­terol lev­els. On the other hand, if the in­gre­di­ents list in­cludes milk, es­pe­cially whole milk, or the words ‘hy­dro­genated’ or ‘par­tially hy­dro­genated’, it’s typ­i­cally more likely to con­trib­ute to higher choles­terol. Milk fat con­tains sat­u­rated fat and choles­terol, and hy­dro­gena­tion makes a fat more sat­u­rated. Hy­dro­gena­tion can also change the fat mol­e­cule into its ‘trans’ form. Trans fatty acids can raise to­tal and LDL (‘bad’) choles­terol and lower HDL (‘good’) choles­terol.

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