Extracted from the cacao bean, cocoa butter is extremely beneficial for a healthy cholesterol profile.

Cocoa butter is not only a cholesterol-neutral saturated fat. Containing plant sterols known as sitosterol and stigmasterol, cocoa butter can actually help to reduce your unhealthy cholesterol. In addition, cocoa butter is largely made up of oleic acid, the heart-health-promoting fat also found in olive oil.

Previously cocoa butter was the main ingredient in white chocolate. Nonetheless, many chocolate producers are switching to less expensive and more unhealthy vegetable oil in the production of their chocolates. So do be aware when shopping for your chocolates!

[1] Collins, Elise Marie. An A-Z Guide to Healing Foods: A Shopper’s Companion. San Francisco, California: Conari Press, 2009. Print.

Cindy L. TJOL is trained in Psychology, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has several years of experience writing on natural health on the internet. Follow her on her blog and read her other articles at Insights On Health.com.

More from Beliefnet and our partners