Text◆Photo by Chen Zhenji◆Huang Zhidong “Ming Pao”
Lemon tea is a favorite drink of many people, especially the frozen lemon tea in Hong Kong-style tea restaurants, or lemon tea in paper bags. Recently, many hand-made lemon tea shops have opened in Hong Kong, which has set off a craze for hand-made lemon tea and has become a new trend in tea drinks.
Hand-made lemon tea is made with perfumed lemons with a hint of lemongrass and ice cubes. It claims to be rich in vitamin C and fiber. It seems healthy and has zero burden, but it turns out to be a high-sugar crisis!
(Hong Kong News) The emerging hand-made lemon tea is different from Hong Kong-style lemon tea. It uses perfumed lemons and is advertised as “purely hand-made”. The clerk sliced the lemon into slices, added a small amount of ice cubes and “beat it” by hand, then added black tea, syrup and ice cubes and shook it up. The taste was sweet and sour, with a hint of lemongrass. Guests can choose from different tea bases, such as black tea, duck shit fragrance, four seasons spring, etc.
Add a lot of sugar to make it easier to drink
Many hand-made lemon tea shops claim to be “healthy and free of additives.” However, since lemons are acidic, a lot of sugar is probably added to make it easy to drink.
Nutritionist Huang Zhaozhang said that syrup is the main source of calories in lemon tea. According to the recommendations of the World Health Organization, each person’s sugar intake should not exceed 10% of the total daily caloric intake. If you want to be healthier, it should be reduced to 5%. Taking a daily caloric intake of 2,000 kcal as an example, the daily sugar intake should be less than 50 grams (about 10 sugar cubes).
Since there is no information on the ingredients of hand-made lemon tea in the market, and the recipes of each store are different, Huang Zhaozhang pointed out that it is difficult to estimate the sugar content, and it cannot be generalized.
“However, referring to some online recipes, generally 30 ml of syrup will be added to 500 ml of lemon tea, and 40 ml of syrup will be added to 700 ml. It also depends on whether other fruits are added.
30 ml of syrup is equivalent to approximately 30 grams of sugar. It is estimated that the sugar content of a 500 ml cup of hand-made lemon tea exceeds half of the daily intake. “
Compared with lemon tea in Hong Kong-style tea restaurants, research by the Center for Food Safety shows that 1 cup of hot lemon tea (240 ml) contains 2 grams of sugar; 1 cup of frozen lemon tea (380 ml) contains 25 grams of sugar, which is equivalent to 5 sugar cubes. Less sweet and also has 18 grams of sugar. If you drink frozen lemon tea with two meals a day, you have basically reached the recommended daily intake.
Paper bag lemon tea has the highest sugar content
As for lemon tea packaged in paper, there are many brands on the market. Li Xingyu, a nutritionist accredited by the Hong Kong Nutritionist Society (HKNS), takes one of the common lemon teas as an example. It contains 13.6 grams of sugar per 100 ml. A box of 250 ml lemon tea is equivalent to 34 grams. Sugar, that is, about 6.8 sugar cubes. Although low-sugar lemon tea is now available, the sugar content has indeed been reduced, but it should not be underestimated. “According to the low-sugar standard, there is no more than 5 grams of sugar per 100 ml, but a box of 250 ml contains 12.5 grams of sugar after drinking. “
Therefore, it can be seen that although the lemon tea packaged in paper has a smaller capacity, it has the highest sugar content; hand-made lemon tea and tea restaurant lemon tea depend on the recipes of each store.
Li Xingyu added that in addition to water, sugar, black tea, and lemon juice, paper bag lemon tea will also add additives, including flavoring agents, acidity regulators, antioxidants, etc., and the ingredients are relatively complex. The tea gall of hand-made lemon tea may also be added with flavoring agents and acidity regulators to balance the taste, which may not necessarily be a very healthy drink.
Vitamin C oxidizes when exposed to air
Speaking of lemon, the protagonist of lemon tea, it is rich in vitamin C. Which lemon tea has more vitamin C?
Huang Zhaozhang pointed out that vitamin C is actually very fragile and can be easily lost.
“Four factors affect vitamin C content, including oxygen,
If you cut the lemon in advance,
Vitamin C is easily oxidized when exposed to oxygen; light,
Such as sunlight or light; and heat and water.”
Therefore among the three,
Lemon tea in tea restaurants should contain at least vitamin C.
1 cup only has 3 to 4 slices.
And lemons are usually pre-cut.
Air and light both cause the loss of vitamin C.
And due to thermal effects,
The vitamin C content of hot lemon tea will be lower. “
As for hand-made lemon tea, each cup contains about half a lemon. If you cut it immediately and drink it as soon as possible, you will absorb more vitamin C. Paper-packaged lemon tea depends on the ingredients. Some manufacturers add additional vitamin C to achieve antioxidant function.
Some people say that the vitamin C content of perfumed lemons is higher than that of ordinary lemons and limes. Li Xingyu clarified that there is currently no relevant research to prove it, and the nutritional claims circulated on the Internet may not be credible. Huang Zhaozhang added that different seasons, soils, and fertilizers will also affect the nutritional content of different batches of lemons.
Speaking of lemons, Li Xingyu pointed out that the nutrients of limes and lemons are basically the same. The main nutrients include vitamin C, which is high in antioxidants and helps protect cells from free radical damage and enhance immunity. There are also Potassium, which helps reduce body salt. “If you eat salty food, add more potassium to help excrete sodium and reduce edema.” If you eat it with the pulp, you can absorb fiber, but if you only drink lemon juice, there will be very little or even no fiber.
She mentioned that lemon fiber contains pectin, which research shows can stabilize blood sugar.
prone to fatty liver diabetes
In addition, high-fructose corn syrup is often added to popular beverages to replace sucrose. Nutritionist Huang Zhaozhang explained that high fructose corn syrup, as the name suggests, is made from corn. It converts the starch in the corn into fructose through enzyme saccharification.
“High fructose corn syrup contains 2 types of sugar,
They are fructose and glucose, with different proportions.
Most of the products on the market use high fructose corn syrup, which is 55% fructose.
This syrup is also very similar in sweetness and composition to sucrose.
(The sucrose ratio is 50% fructose and 50% glucose),
But high-fructose corn syrup is a processed sweetener, different from the fructose found in fruit. “
He said that after glucose enters the body, it quickly enters the blood vessels and is then absorbed by the cells. If it is not used up, it will turn into fat and be stored in the body. As for high-fructose corn syrup, if a large amount of high-fructose corn syrup enters the body in one breath, it will basically only be stored in the liver. Metabolic processing, so it is easy to cause fatty liver, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some insulin resistance problems.
Eat the fruit directly Absorb more vitamin C
Lemon water is often regarded as a healthy drink and is even said to have whitening and slimming effects. However, nutritionist Huang Zhaozhang pointed out that there is no substantial scientific evidence to prove it.
“If you usually drink high-sugar drinks such as soda, pearl milk tea, etc., you can switch to drinking unsweetened lemonade. You will indeed be able to lose weight after a period of time because you consume less calories.” Lemonade has no special effects. In fact, it is just like adding sugar. The advantage of water without fruit is that its taste can attract people to drink water, thereby replacing high-sugar drinks and supplementing daily water intake.
In addition, the so-called whitening and skin-improving effects are mostly based on vitamin C. “Even though lemons themselves are rich in vitamin C, 1 cup of lemon water only contains a few thin slices of lemon. In addition, when brewing, lemons are exposed to high temperatures and The longer the fruit is left in the air, the less the vitamin C content will be. It is better to eat the original fruit directly to absorb more vitamin C.”
Lemons lose vitamin C when exposed to air
Lemon tea and lemonade are both popular drinks in tea restaurants. Which one is healthier? “If no sugar is added, both are low-calorie drinks, and the difference is only 1 to 2,000 calories.”
He pointed out that a 240 ml cup of unsweetened hot lemon tea is 36,000 calories, and hot lemon water is about 33,000 calories. Depending on how much sugar is added, each additional teaspoon of sugar adds about 20,000 calories.
If you have a weak stomach, avoid drinking on an empty stomach.
However, Huang Zhaozhang reminded that lemon water is not suitable for everyone. Tangerine fruits can easily stimulate gastric acid secretion and may aggravate acid reflux, depending on the severity of the condition; some people may have weak stomachs and need to avoid drinking it on an empty stomach. There is also a risk of damaging tooth enamel if you drink large amounts of lemon water over a long period of time.
As for lemon tea, the tea base contains caffeine and tannic acid. For people with poor sleep quality, prone to insomnia, or those with poor tolerance to caffeine, drinking even a little will cause heartbeat and hand shaking, so they should avoid drinking it. Excessive tannic acid will hinder the absorption of calcium and iron. It is not recommended to drink it regularly if you have iron deficiency anemia or osteoporosis.