Green tea compound may reduce the harms of a Western diet

Posted at 5:31 PM, Aug 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-04 17:31:32-04

If you have a bad diet that’s high in sugar and saturated fats, and low in whole grains, fruits and veggies then you need to listen closely.

A new study found a popular beverage drunk all around the world may help protect you against a high-fat Western diet.

I’m talking about green tea. 

Scientists focused on a molecule found abundantly in green tea called epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG for short. 

In the study, mice were separated into groups. Two groups were fed a high-fat, high-fructose diet.  But one group drank water with EGCG added. 

After 16 weeks, both groups had gained weight, but the mice given EGCG didn’t gain as much. They also responded much faster in memory tests, and showed improved insulin resistance. 

But just because mice had these results doesn’t mean it will work for you. 

Human trials are needed to see if the same results could be repeated. 

Green tea has many touted health benefits ranging from improving blood flow to lowering cholesterol to fighting heart-related issues. So if you’d like to brew yourself a warm cup of green tea, here are my prescriptions:

  1. Add green tea to water temperature that’s between 160-170 degrees. Boiling water is bad for the healthy compounds and can make the tea taste bitter.
  2. If you add dairy to green tea, the antioxidants will be harder to absorb. Instead use lemon as the vitamin C will help the antioxidants absorb easier.
  3. Green tea is safe for most adults when used in moderate amounts. But it does contain caffeine and may cause insomnia, irritability or stomach upset in caffeine sensitive people.
  4. If you’re taking blood thinners, aspirin or other stimulant drugs, please talk with your doctor first to make sure it’s safe to drink green tea.

Before you add green tea to your Western diet in hopes of warding off weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, cancer and cognitive impairment – remember this, no one food is going to protect you from ill health.  

Instead, focus on healthy whole foods, exercise and treat your body with love and respect.