THE TYPE OF FAT IS KEY WHEN IT COMES TO CHOCOLATE
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.