Let's chat about sweeteners and sugar
Guest Blogger, Meg the Nutritionist chats about tea and the ‘sweet’ taste
Iced Tea may have carried a ‘health halo’ in the past but today’s consumers are starting to get savvy at interpreting back of pack. Sadly, Iced Tea today carries a very poor health image, and most consumers stay clear putting in the bucket of soft drinks.
Let’s take a deeper dive into what can make a healthier option in an iced tea when considering the options on-shelf. I am particularly looking at the more contentious area surrounding iced tea: to sweeten or not to sweeten.
I was recently introduced to the refreshing, cold brew nitro teas from East Forged are not only rich in antioxidant properties from the natural tea leaves but are also proudly free from artificial sweeteners AND have no added sugar. The nutrient rich and health promoting ingredient list of East Forged make their teas really stand out from the crowd. I have made comparatives of their drinks against ‘a typical’ iced tea to highlight that there are better options in the market.
- Too much processed sugar is not good for anyone. High sugar intake can lead to increased risk of type 2 diabetes, hormonal imbalance, cardiovascular disease, and obesity (1). Swapping sugar sweetened iced tea to a no added sugar option helps to reduce your sugar intake and improve your health!
A typical commercial iced tea can contain more than 22.5g of sugar. This is equivalent to OVER 5 teaspoons of sugar! Compare this to an East Forged cold brew iced tea that add no extra sugar into their teas, their sugar content comes in at a minuscule 0.3g of sugars per can!
- Often iced teas will use artificial sweetener to reduce the amount of sugar in their products but retain a sweet taste. For example, a typical “sugar-free iced tea” may contain only 0.1g sugar-BUT WAIT, there’s a catch! These sugar free products contain sweeteners like sucralose (955), acesulphame potassium (950) and aspartame (951). Unfortunately, artificial sweeteners have been linked to negative health consequences like gastrointestinal distress (bloating, cramping & diarrhoea), migraines and weight gain. Development of even more serious health complications like bladder and brain cancer have also been shown in animal studies after ingestion of artificial sweeteners (2). So, the bottom line is ditch the artificial sweeteners and opt for an all-natural, pure iced tea like East Forged, free from sweeteners!
- Often iced teas will use artificial and natural flavours to drop in the fruit taste. East Forged use natural fruit juice to flavour their tea. These natural fruit juices, not only infuse delicious flavour but also provide low sugar options & health promoting benefits. Here’s some interesting insights on their juice selection:
- Calamansi juice, a type of citrus fruit native to the Philippines is contained in the Nitro Infused White Tea & Calamansi. Calamansi is not only rich in antioxidants & polyphenols, but has been found to support blood glucose levels (3)!
- While the Nitro Infused Black tea and Yuzu Citrus contains the vitamin C rich fruit, Yuzu. Yuzu is abundant in essential minerals and has been shown to support the immune system as well as alleviate emotional stress during the menstrual cycle (4)!
- Finally, Pitaya which flavours the Post Fermented Green Tea & Pitaya is rich in antioxidants and has shown to reduce oxidative stress and support the cardiovascular system (5)!
It’s exciting to see some great alternatives in the iced tea market emerging. The ingredients in East Forged’s cold brew iced teas offer an excellent tasting & refreshing tea for everyone to enjoy!
If you enjoyed this blog article Meg has also written an article about anxiety in women and the role tea (camellia sinensis) can play. Take a look at this post here.
Guest Blogger: Meg the Nutritionist
Meg is a Clinical Nutritionist specialising in women's health & passionate foodie aiming to help mums make better food choices.
- 1. Rippe JM & Angelopoulous TJ. Relationship between added sugars consumption and chronic disease risk factors: current understanding. Nutrients. 2016 Nov;8(11):697. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5133084/#:~:text=Consumption%20of%20added%20sugars%20has,decline%20and%20even%20some%20cancers.
- Tandel, KR. Sugar Substitutes: Health controversy over perceived benefits. J Pharmacol Pharmacother. 2011 Oct;2(4):236-243. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3198517/
- Siner A, Sevanesan MS, Ambomai T, Wahan ZA & Lasem L. Blood glucose response to calamansi drink in health adults: a non-randomised study. BMC Res Notes. 2020;13:404. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7455999/
- Matsumoto T, Kimura T & Hayashi T. Aromatic effects of Japanese citrus fruit- yuzu (citrus junos Sieb. Ex Tanaka) on psychoemotional states and autonomic nervous system activity during the menstrual cycle: a single-blind randomized controlled crossover study. Biopsychosoc Med. 2016 Apr: 10;11. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4839105/
- Dragon Fruits as a reservoir of natural polyphenolics with chemopreventive properties. Molecules. 2021 Apr;26(8):2158. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8070077/