The news about sweet drinks is not so sweet. Excessive liquid calories lead to unwanted weight gain. Rates of obesity in the U.S. are rising and this current generation is the first not expected to outlive their parents. And this month, the New York City Health Department became the first in the nation to ban the sale of sugared beverages larger than 16 ounces at restaurants, mobile food carts, sports arenas and movie theaters.
Whether you agree with the ban or not, liquid calories are contributing to the obesity epidemic in the U.S. And, obesity is linked with increased risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and high triglycerides, among other health problems.
One of my favorite healthy beverages is fruit flavored tea. I was so thrilled last weekend when I was served one of my favorite teas – in a bottle. I didn’t even realize it came bottled. It’s the Republic of Tea’s pomegranate green tea. The bottle was lovely and the tea calorie free. I brew that variety often at home and so to be able to get it out was a real treat. Cold tea is a great thirst quencher and hot tea is great way to warm up on a cool day.
And a recent study published this month in the journal, Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, reported that green tea is good for memory and spatial learning. Sounds good to me!
Other benefits of tea include:
• Tea naturally contains no calories.
• Tea contains about half of the amount of caffeine as coffee. One cup contains about 50 milligrams of caffeine.
• Green and black teas are from the same plant and contain similar amounts of beneficial antioxidants and caffeine.
• Studies have shown correlations between green tea consumption and decreased risk for certain cancers and heart disease.
• Drinking green tea has also been shown to help with weight loss.
While more studies are needed to confirm the links between green tea and weight loss and decreased risk for heart disease and cancer, it makes sense to drink green and black teas. Look for unsweetened varieties, such as Republic of Tea’s pomegranate green tea. What are your favorite teas?