Science bring good news for all chocolate lover
1 November 2004, Elsevier published a “good news” paper titled “Dark chocolate consumption increases HDL cholesterol concentration and chocolate fatty acids may inhibit lipid peroxidation in healthy humans.” Contrary to popular misconception, scientist proof that eating lots of chocolate does not raise blood cholesterol levels. Chocolate contains stearic acid, which is a neutral fat that does not raise bad cholesterol (LDL: Lower Density Lippo Protein). The cocoa butter in chocolate contains oleic acid, a mono-unsaturated fat. This is the same type of fat found in olive oil that may actually raise good cholesterol (HDL: High Density Lipoprotein).
When science meet industry
Dark chocolate comes only from cocoa beans (cocoa butter and non-fat cocoa solids), this is helps you to lower bad
cholesterol (LDL) and helps you maintain healthy cholesterol (HDL). Money talks, cocoa butter is EXPENSIVE. Industry does not like this, many companies substitute vegetable fat (usually palm kernel oil) for cocoa butter, which raises the melting temperature above body temperature, thus the chocolate does not melt in your mouth creating a way texture and an overly sweet taste. Not only the matter of the expensive cocoa butter, dark chocolate must be tempered, and tempering takes time, cost money, and requires expertise. Making and transporting dark chocolate requires the extra cost that associated with climate controlled distribution. Palm kernel and other vegetable oil raise the melting temperature of chocolate, therefore, the companies can save money by not using climate control trucking.
Different from cocoa butter, vegetable fats have disadvantages that go beyond flavor. They are unhealthy saturated fat that may raise bad cholesterol (LDL), outweighing the natural benefits of the cocoa bean. Replacing the neutral fat cocoa butter with palm kernel oil cancels out the cholesterol-lowering benefist in the non-fat cocoa solids.
Be careful when you choose your dark chocolate, make sure it is not a fake dark chocolate! CHECK THE LABEL! If vegetable fat coatings are used, the ingredients list must state “chocolaty” or “chocolate flavored coating and vegetable oil”. Sometimes the listing will illegally state dark chocolate coating. In this case, you have to check the ingredients, if it is include vegetable fats (palm oil, palm kernel oil, cottonseed oil, etc.) it is not a real-health dark chocolate.
Finally, whatever is it, don’t share your chocolate with your cat! It can be poisoning for them 😦