Christmas desserts from The Great British Bake-Off are much healthier than expected, according to a new study.
If you are looking for a guilt-free Christmas then desserts from the hit baking show could be a solution, as a new study shows they use ingredients that reduce the risk of death or disease.
The researchers set out to determine the health benefits and harms of various ingredients in festive desserts from The Great British Bake Off, which they believe is “the greatest television baking competition of all time.”
To do so the team, from Emory University in the United States, studied the associations between ingredients in 48 Christmas dessert recipes on The Great British Bake Off website and the risks of dying or developing various diseases.
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They found that of the 149 significant associations between ingredients and risk of death or disease 110 estimated that the ingredients reduced this risk.
The most common ingredient groups associated with a reduced risk of death or disease were fruit, coffee, and nuts.
By far the most dangerous ingredient involved was alcohol which is associated with an increased risk of developing colon cancer, gastric cancer, gout, and irregular heart rate.
In second place was sugar which also increased the risk of death or disease.
Therefore, Prue’s chocolate yule log may not be the ideal Christmas dessert because it is described as being “subtly laced with Irish cream to add to the festive spirit.”
Paul Hollywood’s Stollen on the other hand could be a good option as it includes ingredients such as almonds, milk and dried fruits.
Assistant professor Joshua Wallach said: “Overall, without the eggs, butter and sugar, this dessert is essentially a fruit salad with nuts.”
However, there are some limitations to this study, published in The BMJ, such as the fact that the amount of each ingredient was not accounted for.
Professor Wallach added: “Any recipe with fruit, even if it was only one berry, was weighted equally in terms of its protective effect in relation to the harmful effect of butter.
“A weighted analysis would have been informative, but less fun.
“This Christmas, if concerns about the limitations of observational nutrition research can be set aside, we are pleased to report that everyone can have their cake and eat it too.”
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