4364204653_9b1bbb1fd4_zMost of us have heard about the potential for green tea to act as a weight loss tool.  I’ve never really given it much credence. However, an article on Huffington Post, a well respected source, provides some clear evidence that supports this claim. I had heard the weight loss was related to the caffeine in the tea which gave the consumer the advantage.  It appears to be a bit more than just that however. 

According to the report, it’s the double-whammy of the green tea polyphenols and the caffeine which seems to be the magic sauce.

“Taking green tea extract and caffeine compared to taking caffeine only was associated with losing about three extra pounds over three months. Polyphenols in green tea have been shown to cause people to burn 65 to 200 extra calories a day, particularly from fat.”

One must of course caution drinkers that additives, such as sugar or milk, can easily eliminate any potential benefits from tea.  It’s surprising to note that even if one used artificial sweetener, the calorie burn was lost.  The article actually talks about the interesting effect of artificial sweeteners on the BMI (Body mass index).  The data concludes that artificial sweeteners increase the BMI.  So do as most tea aficionados do, drink your green tea straight up and neat.

If we can retrain our taste buds to enjoy subtler flavors and delight in the sweet taste of properly brewed green tea, it will have a tremendous impact on your eating and drinking experience across the board.  We have become so used to over-sweetened beverages and foods that we’ve all but lost our ability to enjoy natural flavors that provide a unique sweetness of their own, green tea being such an excellent example.  If you must add something while you’re retraining your pallet, try a squeeze of citrus fruit.  Lemon is a familiar addition to tea, or perhaps try some blood orange.  Slowly reduce the amount of fruit in your tea over time and voila, you’ll be a tea expert before you know it.  Your mouth and your waistline will thank you.

For those of you with children, this is critical as you slowly introduce this subtle and sweet beverage to your kids.  They will become lifelong tea drinkers and hopefully avoid the pitfalls of high sugar beverages which lead to horrifying increases in childhood obesity and Type II Diabetes.  This is the first generation of children born in the U.S. over the last decade who are not expected to live longer than their parents.