With the starting of the New Year, like most of you I'm sure, I am doing my best to keep the resolution of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This includes daily practices of going to the gym, meditation, keeping up with my spirituality, and by far, proving to be the most confusing and tough for me, a healthy balanced diet. I am familiar with the standard, "eat your fruits and vegetables", "avoid too many sweets", "don't eat so many carbs" execution plan, but this year I wanted to challenge myself to really dig into what constitutes a healthy diet and why.
As a precursor, I am not one of those people who goes on crazy crash diets, "cleanses", or is super stringent about my diet as it is. I don't count calories. I have never done the Atkins diet, Weight Watchers, or the Southbeach diet. I am not a vegetarian or vegan. While I don't discourage or renounce any of these programs or diets, as I have never tried them, I am more of a "everything in moderation" type of gal. I do my best to opt for healthy options when they are available but don't deny myself a piece of pizza with my girlfriends every once in awhile either.
As I began to look further into what constitutes a healthy, balanced diet and why, I stumbled upon the common denominator that all of them shared a low intake of daily sugars. I found this to be of interest both as a Biology major in college and, just in general that such a small molecule could have such a large effect on our bodies.
First, and foremost, something I find to be particularly interesting and is important, is distinguishing the difference between naturally occurring sugars and added sugars. Naturally occurring sugars are those that we find in things such as fruits, vegetables, and milk. Added sugars are those that are found in corn syrups, syrups we add to foods or beverages, and table sugars that we add to things. When I began to research what the suggested daily intake of sugar for men and women is I became initially perturbed at how low it seems. For men it is suggested that the daily intake be 37.5 grams (150 calories or 9 teaspoons) and for women it is 25 grams (100 calories or 6 teaspoons). At first I wondered how I am still walking around and haven't had at least 5 heart attacks. What I wasn't realizing is that these figures apply only to the added sugars in your daily diet. The naturally occurring sugars in fruits and vegetables that we love are not factored into these numbers. Only the sugars in things like corn syrup or table sugars (sucrose) count here. Too much of these added sugars are linked not only to weight gain, but obesity, Type II diabetes, and heart disease. For many Americans today, according to the American Heart Association, we are ingesting about double this daily recommendation of added sugars!
Where this is important, the big idea of this blog article, and the phenomenal news is...
all of our teas here at Good Life Tea have NO ADDED SUGARS!
You read that correctly. Every single one of our teas here are not only delicious, but they don't contain these added sugars that you need to limit. Moreover, we have many flavors designed to mimic the sweetness you crave. These include, but are not limited to, our Chocolate Mint, Scottish Caramel Pu-erh, Paris, and of course, our most popular the Hot Cinnamon Spice.
>>>>> Paris Black Tea !! <<<<<
Another option for suppressing your sweet tooth are our amazing tisane teas. These are not something I was familiar with prior to working at Good Life Tea and have since become a passionate patron of. Tisanes, truly, are not really teas at all, but dehydrated fruits and herbs that maintain their flavors for your enjoyment. In relation to this blog, what is of interest is the sugars that they maintain (fructose, etc) are again not added sugars and do not allocate to your daily intake of added sugars. Also, these teas are delectable both hot and cold if you prefer an iced tea!
>>>>> Check out all of our Herbal and Fruit Teas here! <<<<<
As I still consider myself a rookie in the tea world, and I do, indeed, have a fondness for the sweets I can commiserate that it is difficult to cut all ties with the added sugars. What I have found and recommend is instead trying to add something such as natural honey. This can just as easily scratch that itch for the sweets while again not incorporating those pesky added sugars. Another viable option that I have been adopting recently is using the "Raw Amber Crystals" we sell here at Good Life Tea. While they are an added sugar, they are sugar in it's simplest form, making it easier for your body to break down and use in processes such as digestion and respiration. Also known as unrefined sugars, these crystals maintain their natural nutrients of calcium, magnesium, and iron. To read more on unrefined sugars vs. refined sugars, as well as more on the Amber Crystals, check out this blog post written by another one of our team tea!
>>>>> Refined vs. Unrefined Sugar <<<<<
>>>>> Buy some of the Amber Crystals! <<<<<
In keeping with the resolution of maintaining a healthy, balanced diet tea has other implications as well. Tea, both hot and cold, is simply a majority water, which you need to stay hydrated. The tea you drink throughout the day is applicable to the suggested daily intake of 8 glasses of water a day. This will keep all of your vital bodily processes in check, keep you hydrated, and additionally, keep your appetite and cravings down! This can aid in not snacking between meals or indulging in sweets for desserts.
Like I said, I am not much of a dieter and I believe in everything in moderation. That being said, I will tell you that I'm not sure that my recent tea intake fits the term "moderation", yet I have seen nothing but positive results. Due to my decreased intake of added sugars I feel more energetic, my skin has cleared, I sleep better, and wake up feeling more refreshed. If you decide to try adding more of our teas to your diet please let us know how it works for you and any tips you have! I love hearing from you all and getting your feedback! Stay warm!
-- Kay-tea :)
P.S. Here is a picture of my little sister I took when we were in Ireland enjoying our tea!