Chocolate feeding studies: A novel approach for evaluating the plasma lipid effects of stearic acid

P. M. Kris-Etherton, V. A. Mustad

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Milk chocolate does not adversely affect plasma lipids and lipoproteins despite its relatively high content of saturated fatty acids (SFAs). Evidence from well-controlled feeding studies indicates that this unique response is due to the high proportion of stearic acid in milk chocolate. In experimental diets containing very high amounts (eg, 280 g/d, or 10 oz/d) and more typical amounts (46.2 g, or 1.65 oz) of milk chocolate, plasma total- and low- density-lipoprotein-cholesterol concentrations are not elevated. Furthermore, isoenergetic substitution of one milk chocolate bar per day for a high- carbohydrate snack in a National Cholesterol Education Program/American Heart Association Step I Diet does not adversely affect the cholesterol-lowering response. These findings indicate that stearic acid is not hypercholesterolemic as are the other long-chain SFAs. Thus, as illustrated by the different results generated from the predictive equations that group all long-chain SFAs vs those that consider stearic acid separately, grouping stearic acid with other SFAs appears to misrepresent the actual blood cholesterol response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1029S-1036S
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number6 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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