We’ve shared lemonade recipes in the past to stay cool without spiking your blood sugar. But while we’ve talked about the benefits of tea, we’ve never spoken about why iced tea is excellent.
First, we have to say, traditional sweet tea is a terrible idea for people with blood sugar. Sweet tea with 25 grams of sugar per 16-ounce serving isn’t healthy. Sorry! This southern treat is out when it comes to blood sugar maintenance in the summer. But, unsweetened tea, tea sweetened with your favorite noncaloric sweetener or tea flavored with a squirt of lemon can be just the ticket.
If you view sweet tea as your indulgence, cutting it out of your diet could significantly affect your sugar intake. Vanderbilt Univ. Medical Center registered dietitian Madeleine Hallum suggested a way to train yourself to drink unsweetened tea. Mix it with sweet tea to keep the same flavor profile while making it less sweet over time so you can adjust at your own pace.
“Gradually reduce your sugar intake until you can 100 percent commit to unsweet tea,” she said.
It has a touch of caffeine, so it can give you a boost of energy in the afternoon. “But not so much of a boost that you won’t be able to sleep that night,” said Annelies Zijderveld, author of “Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea.”
Tea comes from the camellia sinensis plant. Herbal teas technically aren’t teas, just because they aren’t made from the plant. They are also caffeine-free. So, if caffeine affects you, choose a herbal option.
To make tea for icing, brewing it twice as strong as you usually would ensures it won’t become weak when added to ice. You can pour it over ice while hot or dilute it a bit before adding it to ice. You can also cut it with milk if you drink milk in your tea.
Some people like to make tea infusions, like cold brew coffee, where tea leaves are added to cold water and left too steep for long periods. These infusions are “a lot less tannic with very smooth tea flavor,” according to Ms. Zijderveld.
You can leave tea leaves or bags in water in a sealed jar for six hours or overnight. While some people prefer the faster “sun tea” method and make it by leaving it in a sunny spot on the counter, that can encourage bacterial growth and be unsafe.
Tea boosts your immune system, lowers inflammation and may prevent cancer and heart disease. Different varieties of teas have an incredible host of health benefits. Hot or cold, you can reap those benefits! So reach for iced tea and stay cool and hydrated this summer!