There is a new kind of beverage that Australians and the rest of the world are going crazy about – milk tea. Many people think that milk tea is a very healthy beverage.
After all, milk is good for the bones while tea is known for its antioxidants. But is putting the two together worth it? Learn about the risks of this drink to your health before you buy your next cup of milk tea.
Milk Can Cancel Out the Heart-Protective Nature of Tea
One of the most renowned health benefits of tea is its ability to protect the heart and prevent cancer. This is due to the presence of catechins which are very powerful antioxidants.
When you drink tea, the blood vessels in the body tend to relax. This leads to a reduction in blood pressure, easing the workload of the heart.
When you add milk to tea, this physiologic effect gets cancelled out. Instead of producing dilatation and relaxation of the blood vessels, there is no change in the blood vessel diameter at all.
If you do not have high blood pressure, then this is not an issue. But if you’re like many people who are suffering from borderline hypertension, then this will be a problem.
Researchers have found out that the casein in milk can interact with the catechins of tea. The net effect is an overall reduction in the concentration of these beneficial antioxidants. As such, instead of protecting the heart, you are exposing it to more problems by increasing its workload.
So, drinking milk tea may be delicious but it may not be good for your heart in the long run.
Reduced Protection against Cancer
While the effects of casein on catechins on heart health are already supported by empirical evidence, science is yet to define its effects on the cancer-preventive properties of tea. Regardless, it would be safe to assume that milk can also reduce the effectiveness of tea in preventing cancer.
The main thing to remember here is that casein can alter the chemical composition of catechins. Given that these flavonoids give tea its antioxidant and anticancer benefits, it makes perfect sense that its ability to prevent cancer can also take a substantial hit.
Increased Risk of Obesity
Tea, in general, helps promote weight loss because of the presence of caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline. These three substances help increase the metabolic rate.
On their own, they will not lead to weight loss. When combined with more sensible weight loss methods like exercise and dieting, tea can be a wonderful slimming aid.
Adding milk to tea negates this health benefit because of lactose. Sure, you will say that this is not sugar, since sugar is sucrose and glucose.
However, the body will still convert lactose into glucose. Drinking too much milk tea can increase the risk of obesity, especially if you’re the type of person who does not exercise.
There is also the issue of additional sweeteners. If you make your own milk tea, then there is no problem as you can skip the addition of sugar or other sweeteners. The problem is when you buy it ready-to-drink. Some have sweeteners that can bump up the carbohydrate content of the drink.
Increased Risk of Diabetes
Because of the lactose content of milk, drinkers are at an increased risk of developing diabetes if they drink too much milk tea. Using skim milk can be a good way to address the fat content in milk but it also promotes sudden spikes in blood sugar levels.
Over time, this can lead to a dysfunction in the metabolism of carbohydrates. If there is too much sugar in the blood, then the individual will already have diabetes.
This opens up a can of worms – other metabolic problems that can affect different organs of the body. In many instances, the kidneys can suffer because of too much glucose in the blood.
People who already have diabetes put themselves at greater risk if they drink milk tea more than necessary. If one cannot avoid drinking this beverage, it is best to monitor the blood sugar levels or ask the shop to use a sugar substitute.
Milk tea can be a very delicious drink. It can be a healthier option than colas, too. Having too much of it, however, can predispose you to certain health problems.