Clean Eating Grocery List

These are things I keep on hand so I always have something available for lunch and dinner.

What is the deal with Bottled Tea

In the last few weeks I have had several questions surrounding the bottled teas sold in the supermarkets and mini marts. Are they healthy? Are bottled green teas a healthy drink choice? How do I know if it is a healthy option? My answers are a mixed bag. So I will say yes and no. :)First we need to address the the standard bottled tea/drink we have seen on the shelves for years. These drinks are often filled with as may calories and as much white refined sugar as soda. Sometimes even more sugar. The standard “green” tea drink has very little green tea in it at all. Due to the absence of actual green tea leaves, these drinks are extremely low in antioxidants. One of the main reasons we should be sipping green tea is for the super antioxidant properties. A study of 49 different bottled teas checked for polyphenols (antioxidants) were found to have substantially low counts as compared to home brewed teas. The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University (OSU) states that some bottled tea products they studied “have levels of polyphenols and antioxidant activity 10 to 100 times lower than conventionally brewed tea, regardless of whether they are based on green teas or the white teas that supposedly have more health value.”  So basically if you are drinking these teas because you like the way they taste then carry on. If you are drinking them to better your health then you might want to rethink that the next time you are paying a premium for health when you could save a buck or two by just buying a soda.Now, all bottled teas are not created equal. Some actually have tea in them so that is a start. One brand I have found that actually does a pretty good job at bottling tea is the Honest company. is their website where you can view all their products as well as nutritional information, ingredient list, and company mission and philosophy. One of the things I like about this brand is that they steer clear of white refined sugars and synthetic sugars and replace them with natural fruit sugar or organic cane sugar. These two sugars are recognized by the body so they are used efficiently. Another brand I like was just released on the market in April of last year and that is the Tazo bottled sweetened tea. Tazo starts with real tea in the brewing steps. My only pause is that they advertise a zero calorie sweetened option. The sweetener of choice for them is Stevia. The jury is still out for me on Stevia so I suggest you drink these in moderation until more is discovered about this “natural” sweetener. If sweetened tea is not your thing then most unsweetened versions of bottled teas are a pretty safe bet. You still need to flip that bottle over and read the ingredient list to make an informed decision. Look at where the tea is in the ingredient list. General rule of thumb is that TEA needs to be the first or second ingredient. Also that ingredient list better be really short. Think about it, what do you need for a cup of tea? Water and Tea.

I am sure there are other “healthy” tea options out there so take your time and read the label.
Things you want to look for:

  •  Tea and water as the two first ingredients
  • Sweetened with honey or cane sugar
  • If it is green tea with Mango or Raspberry or another fruit flavoring read that label very closely to determine what is giving it that fruit flavor.
  • Avoid a Zero calorie beverage, if you want it sweetened you need to OWN your sugar choice and drink in moderation.
  • If you are in a mini mart and can’t seem to find a “healthy” tea option just drink water.