Is Losing Weight As Easy As Drinking The Right Tea? – Issue # 38/2
There are a bunch of green tea sales pages online that would have you believe that this statement is true. Is it? What does your common sense tell you? A compound in green tea is said to speed up your metabolism, but is it enough for you to keep your same eating habits and still lose weight? Let’s take a closer look at this tea. Green Tea and Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)
Um, epi-what? EGCG is the compound in green tea that is reported to have an effect on the metabolism. This is why drinking the tea is supposed to aid in weight loss. The problem is that the effect is so minute that it would take a LOT of tea to have any visible effect. Should I just drink a lot of green tea then? The problem with too much tea, is that too much of anything isn’t good. Green tea contains caffeine (about 1/3 as much as coffee).
Caffeine can be addicting and too much can cause adverse health effects (heart rate, calcium imbalance, behavioral effects, sleep disorders etc). Not only that but tea also contains fluoride and aluminum, which are toxic. I thought green tea had other health benefits, you’re saying too much is toxic? Repeat: Too much of a good thing is not a good thing! Don’t OD on tea because it has advertised health benefits.
A lot of the studies that are done on green tea, are actually done using isolated compounds from the tea, not the tea itself. That’s not to say that it doesn’t have some beneficial compounds in it. In fact some sources report it has higher levels of flavenoids (anti-oxidants) than some fruits and vegetables. The take home message? Drinking a cup or two a day is not going to hurt you, but it’s probably not going to work miracles on you either. My friend told me about green tea extract, is that better?
GREEN TEA EXTRACT
When you take an extract, you are just taking a concentrated form of whatever the original product was. So you are going to get the good stuff and the bad stuff too. There are reports that the extract can help things like cholesterol and increase the rate of fat burning. I’m not going to recommend against it, but use it responsibly.
Green tea is definitely not bad for you, but it’s the salespeople that have taken it a bit out of proportion; it is not a miracle cure-all. Enjoy a cup at breakfast or mid-day, but don’t drink it before bed or you might be up all night contemplating the meaning of life. If you are serious about losing weight, accept that your dietary habits are going to have to change. It’s going to take a little bit of effort on your part, and that’s OK!
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