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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Nutrition and Dietetics