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Nutrition Column

Green tea polyphenols remain despite added sugar

In terms of green tea's health benefits - most are derived from the polyphenols found in green tea. Whether or not you add sugar, milk, or whatever else you chose to add to your tea, the polyphenols remain.

While some people remain anti-sugar, more out of belief than fact, sugar (sucrose) does nothing to diminish the presence of the polyphenols or their anti-oxidant properties.

Sugar has often gotten a bad name and taken a bum rap. Particularly in the low-carb craze. Yet in reality, like other nutrients it can be a part of a healthy diet and eaten in moderation by everyone - even diabetics.

While sugar can be calorically dense and nutrient poor it plays a role in nutrition and health. In itself it does not provide a lot of benefit outside energy contribution but for some that can be an important role - e.g. endurance athletes who must take in upward of 4,000 kcal per day or more.

Sugar is truly neither all good or all bad, it truly depends on the amount and the situation. So go ahead and enjoy your tea - with the added sugar. The health benefits will surely remain.

Written by Dr. Sternlicht for on 2.23.06