You Are What You Drink

Hello

So the temperature is rising and you won't consider drinking hot tea at this time of year despite the evidence indicating that drinking some hot brews can help you keep your cool? That's fine, drink your favorite tea over ice and eliminate the extra calorie intake of many popular, but not so healthy, beverage choices.

June is National Iced Tea Month and a terrific time for trying new blends and brews, hot or cold. With the latest information published in the March issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reinforcing the positive aspects and benefits of tea, now is the time to embrace, not abandon, this healthy choice.

For the first time a panel of experts released guidelines on what and how much consumers should drink as part of a healthy diet. The panel consisted of experts in the fields of nutrition, epidemiology, obesity, hydration and phytochemicals from several leading institutions including Harvard School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins, University of North Carolina, Louisiana State University, University of Connecticut, and Oregon State University. The panel proposed Healthy Beverage Guidelines created to help consumers make smart beverage choices. In short the guidelines suggest, women drink 9 eight ounce servings and men drink 13 eight ounces servings of beverages daily.

It's estimated that consumers gulp over 20 percent of their total calorie intake, or over 400 calories per day, from liquids. The majority of these represent high calorie, low nutrient choices. Additionally some research suggests that the calories consumed in beverages don't satisfy or fill you up the same way solid food calories do, further contributing to increased calorie intake and eventual weight gain.

The panel ranked beverages according to the nutrients per calorie (nutrition density) and whether they had helpful or harmful effects on overall health, such as the potential for reducing the risk of certain diseases or conversely, contributing to obesity.

The rankings, listed here, are in order of healthiest to least healthy. Consumption recommendations are based on a daily intake of 2,200 calories.

BeverageRecommended Consumption
Water20 - 50 Ounces
Unsweetened tea or coffee0 - 40 Ounces
Nonfat or low fat milk and fortified soy beverages0 - 16 Ounces
Calorie-free sweetened beverages0 - 32 Ounces
100% fruit and vegetable juices, whole milk, sports drinks0 - 8 Ounces
Calorically sweetened beverages with virtually no nutrients (such as soda and fruit punch)0 - 8 Ounces

According to the panel, tea (black, green and oolong) is a rich source of flavonoid, antioxidants and other micronutrients. These properties are linked to potential health benefits such as increased bone density, reduced tooth decay and cavities and reduced risk of kidney stones, even more reason to brew and drink fresh tea year round.

Remember that what you drink impacts the balance of your daily nutrient and calorie consumption effecting your overall health and well being.

Make the most of your daily beverage allotment by choosing from more than a single beverage category, we suggest selecting water, freshly brewed loose leaf teas, nonfat or lowfat milk and fortified soy beverages, most often.

Remember too only 10 - 15 % of your calorie intake should be from beverages, so if you consume 2,000 calories per day at most only 200-300 of those should be from drinks. If you consume non calorie beverages like water and unsweetned tea you can replace those calories with a small sweet treat!


Healthy Beverage Guidelines Chart
Click to enlarge
Watch that you don't exceed the recommendation for daily caffeine consumption of 400 milligrams. With caffeine levels in loose tea, lower than tea bags, starting at around 10 milligrams per 8 ounce cup - depending on what type of tea you are drinking (Caffeine Content of Tea) and how you are brewing it (Our Suggested Brewing Instructions) - you can consume plenty of thirst quenching tea and not exceed caffeine guidelines! Contrary to popular belief, studies prove that caffeine consumption in moderation, 400 milligrams a day or less, is NOT dehydrating.

For those of you who followed the blog while I was in China, I am back. Now that I have gathered all the photos and my schedule is slowing down I will include two of my favorite adventures and some of my best tea stories, my trips to Wuyishan and Yixing.

Keep an eye out for many new and exciting teas that we have selected, some never sold outside the Chinese Domestic Market as well as spring teas from other areas such as the Ceylon Silver Needle, just out of the garden 2 weeks ago, due to arrive early next week! If you want to be notified when new teas arrive let us know by sending an email to newteas@teasetc.com.

Let me take this opportunity to thank the Tea Association of the USA, Inc. for their continued efforts and support. Whenever called upon they have been there to help us clarify and spread the real message of tea and health in an accurate and extremely tasteful way, Thanks!

In closing, everyone at Teas Etc wishes you a safe, fun filled, tasty beginning of summer.

© 2007-2014 Teas Etc., Inc

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Beth Johnston, a tea importer and noted tea expert, publishes an informative monthly newsletter on tea, tea history, health and lifestyle enhancements. To learn more about the world of tea, join her free newsletter at http://www.TeasEtc.com/Newsletter.asp or visit http://www.TeasEtc.com.

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