Oct.17: HEALTH MATTERS
The truth about green tea for weight loss
One of the popular health and fitness mantras today is: Drink green tea. It is thought to burn fat and prevent several ailments. Green tea contains large amounts of antioxidantsÂ as it is made from unoxidized leaves and is processed less than other teas. But does it really help you lose weight?
According to studies, green tea may promote a small, non-significant weight loss in overweight and obese adults.
- If you drink green tea (without sugar or honey) in place of sugary drinks, it can help cut calories.
- Green tea contains caffeine and antioxidants called catechins, specifically EGCG, which can boost the metabolism. By raising the metabolic rate, it can help people burn about 3-4% more calories each day.
- EGCG is also responsible for increasing the levels of hormones that tell fat cells to break down fat. This releases fat into the bloodstream and makes it available as energy.
- A number of studies show that green tea extract can boost the burning of fat. However, we donâ€™t know whether drinking green tea has this effect.
- Several studies on green tea show that although the weight loss effects are modest, a significant percentage of the fat lost is the harmful visceral fat (belly fat that builds up around the organs).
- There is currently no evidence that green tea makes people consume fewer calories.
- Some studies in animals suggest that it may reduce the absorption of fat from the diet, but this has not been confirmed in humans.
Donâ€™t consume large amounts of green tea. Studies show that drinking three to five cups per day is safe. But, stay away from green tea supplements. A daily dose of supplement (equivalent to 15 cups of green tea) is in the toxic range and can cause serious liver damage.
Finally, donâ€™t expect miracles. But all calories count. A cup of plain green tea has only 2 calories, making it a healthy addition to your weight loss diet.
Sources: www.consumerreports.org, authoritynutrition.com, www.livestrong.com