Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Could your green tea be causing weight gain?

A lot of women chug down cups of plain, unsweetened green & black teas in the hope that it will

magically boost our metabolism and help in weight reduction. The fact that it looks so innocent, devoid of fattening milk & sugar definitely adds to its allure. It is just flavoured hot water after all. Advertisers have played a huge role in this perception by touting it as the "Zero Calorie" beverage.

If I had a rupee for the number of times I've been asked I drank green tea for my weight loss, I could have easily bought myself a dozen MAC lipsticks. And the answer is no, I didn't!

I've never liked green tea. I don't like the metallic taste it has. I occasionally drink black lemon tea.

Imagine my surprise today when I came across a bunch of articles & scientific studies online that claim that drinking tea (especially green tea) may actually make hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) worse. One of the symptoms of Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is rapid weight gain, and lowered metabolic rate.


How ironic can scientists be! Millions of women are drinking green tea in the hopes of weight loss, when in reality it may actually make them gain weight by slowing down the thyroid.

It seems that tea leaves tend to accumulate Fluoride from soil & water during their growth in high concentrations. Studies have found that as little as 2 mg of fluoride a day is enough to inhibit thyroid function. In fact, up until the 1950s, fluoride was prescribed by doctors to patients with an overactive thyroid, in order to slow it down and prevent the rapid weight loss associated with it. One cup of black tea contains can contain up to 2.25 mg of fluoride. Green tea even more!

For those of you interested in finding out more, a simple google search on "Green Tea Hypothyroidism" will yield a lot of results. I am sure Green tea has had marvellous results for a lot of women, and I think it maybe because they have used this green tea to replace sugary drinks or junk food snacks. Compared to processed snacks, green tea offers a relatively healthier alternative. 

I am not sure if this research linking tea & underactive thyroids should be reason enough to throw your tea leaves out of the window. Information is always useful, health is dependent on multiple factors, and you should use this information to make your own decisions. I think if you already suffer from an underactive thyroid or drink more than 3 cups of tea a day, it might make sense to explore this further and cut down consumption for a while to see if it lessens your symptoms. 

Having said that, in full disclosure I must admit that I'm a coffee junkie! And if I were to google
"Caffeine damage" or some variation, I too would find a ton of articles that rightfully state that coffee is a stressor for the body. However I was always under the assumption that tea is lot healthier than coffee. A lot of pesticides are sprayed on coffee bean plantations. However I still do drink my one cup of cold coffee every morning and am not going to give it up. About maybe twice a week I exceed my single cup, and this does go up to 3 cups at times. However starting this week I am trying to avoid it postnoon as I find that it interferes with my sleep. My dependence on coffee increases during workdays, maybe because of the exhaustion. 

With current methods of cultivation and food processing, it may never be possible for us to eat as clean as our grand-parents did. Our vegetables are grown using artificial growth accelerators, our animal produce tainted with hormones, our air is polluted and our lifestyle is stressful. At the end if we are able to consume homemade, unprocessed food 80% of the time, it is good enough. 

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