Are Brownies Healthy or Unhealthy?

Are Brownies Healthy or Unhealthy?

Posted on: Pastries

By Dr. Jorge, Ph.D.

Wildgrain is the first bake-from-frozen subscription box for sourdough breads, fresh pastas, and artisanal pastries. 

Warm, fudgy, gooey brownies that are fresh out of the oven – is there a more satisfying treat? Let’s all be honest, the only thing stopping us from eating sweets all day is the little voice in our heads telling us how unhealthy it is. While that *can* be true, some sweet treats such as brownies may actually provide some health benefits. Keep reading to learn more about brownies and how they stack up against other sweets.

Is a brownie healthy? Is a brownie unhealthy?

Traditional chocolate brownies are not able to be classified as simply healthy or unhealthy. Since brownies are not nutritionally dense, they are not usually regarded as a healthy food. However, brownies do have some health benefits that might be surprising due to their chocolate content. Chocolate is a source of antioxidants and has been found to help lower blood pressure and increase good cholesterol levels.  

How often should you eat brownies?

The frequency with which you should eat brownies depends on your overall diet and your individual health goals. The American Heart Association suggests limiting added sugars to about 30 grams per day. This suggestion could guide how often you should be eating brownies based on how much sugar you consume in other foods throughout the day. For reference, an average brownie contains approximately 15 grams of sugar or half of the recommended daily sugar intake.

Brownie nutrition: Are brownies high in fat? How many carbs are in a brownie? 

Let’s dive into some of the key macronutrients that are found in a traditional average-sized brownie. The majority of a brownie’s calories come from its fat and carbohydrate content. However, a single brownie is not very high in either, with one brownie containing about 7 grams of fat and 12 grams of carbohydrates.

Can you eat brownies while on a diet? Will one brownie ruin my diet? Can I lose weight and still eat brownies?

You absolutely can eat brownies while on a diet. Nutritionists actually advise indulging in sweets while on a diet – in moderation, of course. It is much easier to maintain a diet where you continue to enjoy your favorite treats, instead of restricting or eliminating them entirely. That being said, one brownie will not ruin your diet and you can still lose weight while eating brownies. The key to losing weight is burning more calories than you consume. To remain in a calorie deficit, it is suggested to allocate 100 to 150 calories each day for dessert. This might mean consuming a smaller brownie or cutting an average brownie in half. This way you can still enjoy brownies while on a diet and achieving your weight loss goals.

Are brownies healthier than cookies? Is a cookie or brownie better for you?

With the many varieties of cookies available, the answer as to whether brownies are healthier than cookies is not so cut-and-dry. For the sake of this discussion, we’ll compare brownies with a classic cookie variety – chocolate chip cookies. One medium-sized chocolate chip cookie contains about 80 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 9 grams of carbohydrates, and 11 grams of sugar. This makes brownies and chocolate chip cookies very similar in fat, carbohydrate, and sugar content although chocolate chip cookies contain less of each nutrient. One chocolate chip cookie also has considerably fewer calories than a brownie, with the average brownie containing about 130 calories. Considering that brownies and chocolate chip cookies have comparable nutritional profiles, neither is better for you than the other.

Are brownies healthier than cake? Is cake or a brownie better for you?

It is difficult to compare brownies to cake but to make it simpler, we’ll take a look at the nutritional profile of chocolate cake. One piece of chocolate cake with frosting contains about 250 calories, 13 grams of fat, 25 grams of sugar, and 34 grams of carbohydrates. This makes chocolate cake higher in calories, fat, sugar, and carbohydrates. Therefore, brownies are better for you than chocolate cake. Of course, these numbers will vary based on the ingredients used to make both brownies and cake so be sure to check the nutrition label whenever deciding between two dessert options.   

Is it bad to eat brownies every day? Is it OK to eat a brownie for breakfast?

It isn’t bad to eat brownies every day so long as you are mindful of the portion size and how brownies fit into your overall diet. If you’d like to indulge in the chocolatey goodness of a brownie daily, be sure to monitor your daily sugar and calorie intake to maintain a balanced and healthy diet. This means that if a brownie is calling your name first thing in the morning, you can certainly have it, but you should be sure to eat other more nutritious foods with your breakfast as well to keep your body fueled all day long.

Where can I buy the best bake-at-home brownies online?

At Wildgrain, we specialize in making high-quality, fresh baked goods that are delivered directly to your door. Wildgrain is the first bake-from-frozen delivery subscription service for breads, rolls, pastries, and fresh pastas. Some of our popular pastries include fudge brownies, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, chocolate croissants and traditional croissants. Learn more about Wildgrain and our artisanal baking and cooking methods. 


About the Author

Dr. Jorge has been a public health researcher for many years, holding both a Bachelor's degree and a Ph.D. in Chemistry. They presently work as a medical writer and love being able to assist others in understanding various health and scientific topics.


This content is for informational use only and does not replace professional nutrition and/or medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is not a substitute for and should not be relied upon for specific nutrition and/or medical recommendations. Please talk with your doctor about any questions or concerns.