We don’t think this should be an excuse to start scoffing them! –
Q. Eating dark chocolate is encouraged for its health benefits. I’ve been buying chocolate with 75 percent to 90 percent cocoa content. But the label notes a high amount of saturated fat. Is this as harmful as the saturated fat in meat?
A. The fat in chocolate is not as harmful as the fat in meat, said Alice Lichtenstein, director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at the Jean Mayer U.S.D.A. Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. It comes from cocoa butter and is made of equal parts of oleic acid, a heart healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil, and stearic and palmitic acids. Stearic and palmitic acids are forms of saturated fat, which has been linked to heart disease, but stearic acid does not raise cholesterol, and palmitic fat makes up only a third of the fat in chocolate. (Beef has proportionately more palmitic fat.)