The giveaway! Gower Cottage Brownies – and why they’re healthy

June 23, 2012 by
UPDATED: Read the update >   Life   2 Comments

It doesn’t make you fat, it reduces your blood pressure, and you are a third less likely to have heart disease. If that wasn’t enough good news about chocolate – here’s the best bit: thanks to Kate at Gower Cottage Brownies, one Under the Scope reader will win a box of arguably the  most famous brownies in Britain – certainly the most delicious!

 

Gower Cottage Brownies for <em>Under the Scope</em>

Gower Cottage Brownies

So why should you eat them A University of California, San Diego study in March found that adults who eat chocolate on a regular basis are actually thinner that those who don’t. The research published online in the Archives of Internal Medicine hypothesised that the metabolic benefits of eating modest amounts of chocolate might lead to reduced fat deposition per calorie and approximately offset the added calories (thus rendering frequent, though modest, chocolate consumption neutral with regard to weight). The researchers found that adults who ate chocolate on more days a week were actually thinner — i.e. had a lower body mass index — than those who ate chocolate less often. The size of the effect was modest but the effect was “significant” -larger than could be explained by chance. This was despite the fact that those who ate chocolate more often did not eat fewer calories (they ate more), nor did they exercise more.

Prevous studies have been just as interesting. At the University of Adelaide in Australia, a meta-analysis looked at evidence on the effect of flavanol-rich cocoa products on blood pressure in hypertensive and normotensive individuals. They concluded that dark chocolate is superior to placebo in reducing systolic hypertension or diastolic prehypertension. Flavanol-rich chocolate did not significantly reduce mean blood pressure below 140 mmHg systolic or 80 mmHg diastolic.

Putting the (chocolate) icing ion the cake (or brownie), a University of Cambridge study published online in the British Medical Journal says high levels of chocolate consumption might be associated with a one third reduction in the risk of developing heart disease. The findings presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Paris confirm results of existing studies that generally agree on a potential beneficial link between chocolate consumption and heart health.  The researchers analysed several studies to reach their conclusions – these studies did not differentiate between dark or milk chocolate and included consumption of chocolate bars, drinks, biscuits and desserts. And possibly brownies.

The authors say the findings need to be interpreted with caution, in particular because commercially available chocolate is very calorific (around 500 calories for every 100 grams) and eating too much of it could lead to weight gain, risk of diabetes and heart disease. However, they conclude that given the health benefits of eating chocolate, initiatives to reduce the current fat and sugar content in most chocolate products should be explored.

The Gower Cottage Brownies giveaway!

We have one box to give away. For your chance of winning a a delicious box of 12 Gower Cottage Brownies (worth £15.99), just tweet a link to this page and follow @underthescopeUK.  One follower will be picked at random next Wednesday.

Oh, and let us know your views on chocolate as a health food below!


Congratulations to the winner: @Donna_Marie82


 

About the Author

Victoria Lambert has been a journalist for more than 20 years, and specialises in health and medical matters. She writes for the Telegraph, the Times, the Sunday Times, the Guardian, the Mail and the Mail on Sunday. She contributes to Saga, Geographical and First Eleven magazines – where she is the agony aunt.

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2 Comments on "The giveaway! Gower Cottage Brownies – and why they’re healthy"

  1. katie corr June 26, 2012 at 12:21 pm · Reply

    no problem at all with chocolate as a health food ;)

  2. STEPHEN HOLMAN June 26, 2012 at 3:35 pm · Reply

    chocolate as a health food sounds perfect to me !

    have retweeted and follow on twitter @stevescomp

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