The Green Tea Diet
You see it everywhere, websites and advertisements promising great results from a green tea diet.
There are countless options and varieties available.
But does it work? And how can you know what you’re really getting?
The Truth About Green Tea
The truth is that green tea is awesome.
It’s all natural, calorie free, and good for you.
Heck, it’s pretty much a superfood (as, I would argue, is all real tea).
Because green tea is so widely consumed, there has been a great deal of research into its health benefits.
This research has concluded that green tea is beneficial in a number of ways. It may have potential for fighting cancer and heart disease, lowering cholesterol, supporting immune function, and promoting cognitive health.
The component of green that is considered to be responsible for its weight loss potential is epigallocatechin gallate, commonly known as EGCG.
EGCG is a naturally occurring antioxidant that is most abundant in green tea.
There is some evidence that EGCG can support health, and may have some influence on weight loss, but only at a concentration that far exceeds what you get from drinking tea. In most tests, the EGCG was injected rather than consumed because it may not be absorbable through the digestive tract. The other problem is that no standardized dosage is known, because the research has varied so greatly.
This means that all of the green tea extract supplements available completely vary in dosage, and may not actually be effective.
Oolong Tea For Weight Loss
As opposed to green tea, oolong tea makes up only about 2% of tea consumed in the world. Because of this, there has been less research on oolong, but results have been even more promising.
As with green tea, oolong tea also offers a host of health benefits. It can support healthy teeth and bones, improve cardiovascular health, help to regulate blood sugar levels, and also may be beneficial for cancer prevention.
Similar to the green tea diet, the weight loss effects of oolong tea are because of its high concentration of polymerized polyphenols. Oolong tea has the highest concentration of these particular antioxidants.
This means that oolong tea is actually more beneficial for weight loss than green tea.
A 2001 study published in the Journal of Nutrition concluded that drinking regular amounts of oolong tea not only increases metabolic rate, but also increased fat oxidation in its subjects.This study showed a 12% increase in fat oxidation over a 24-hour period after drinking the tea, and an overall significant increase in energy expenditure (EE). This is higher than green tea which only showed a 4% increase.
Another study published in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine in 2009 reflected these results. When inducing a diet of oolong tea on overweight and obese subjects, researchers found that Oolong tea could decrease body fat content and reduce body weight through improving metabolism and that it might help to prevent obesity. In fact, they found that a total of 70% of the severely obese subjects showed a decrease of more than 1 kg in body weight, including 22% who lost more than 3 kg.
While more research is needed into the benefits of tea for weight loss, the most promising results are for oolong tea rather than green tea as a diet aid.
Regardless, there are many health benefits of tea, and it can be a great addition to any healthy diet plan.