Natural Sugar vs Artificial Sweeteners

If you’re trying to cut down on the amount of sugar you eat, A good place to start is by looking for the words “sugar-free” on labels when you do your shopping. But, do you know what those words really mean? And, are you sure that skipping sugar is the right thing for your diet? We suggest you keep reading.

First of all, just because the label reads “sugar-free,” it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the healthiest choice. Most likely, the sugars have been replaced with artificial sweeteners that come along with their own set of concerns. These sweeteners come in all different, funny-sounding names. Perhaps you know that saccharin and sucralose are sweeteners, but did you know acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, and advantame are artificial sugars as well

Products with these sugar-substitutes may be intensely sweet and leave a strong aftertaste. That is because they are many times stronger than natural sweeteners and sugars.

There are a few benefits of artificial sweeteners.

You use less
Since the additives are many times stronger than natural sugar, you don’t need to use as much to get the desired sweetness.

Weight control
Artificial sugars add almost zero calories to your diet. Compare that with table sugar which has 4 calories per teaspoon and you’ll easily see why people opt for the man-made stuff

Diabetes
Table sugar has been known to raise blood pressure. So people who live with diabetes have found artificial sweeteners to be a welcome alternative. Be sure to check with a doctor or dietitian before making any health or dietary substitutions.

Concerns with artificial sweeteners
There is a widespread concern that artificial sugars can cause health problems. That fear most likely comes from a study done in the 1970s that linked saccharin to bladder cancer in lab rats. Since then, there has been no conclusive evidence that saccharin or any other artificial sweetener causes cancer or any other serious medical issues.

The Food and Drug Administration published an accepted daily intake chart for artificial sweeteners. These numbers represent the maximum amount considered to be safe each day over the course of a lifetime. They are about 100 times smaller than the amount that smallest amount that has been shown to cause health concerns.

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How to properly steep tea

These days, there is no wrong time to have tea. With flavors and styles as varied as the people who drink it, there is always the perfect tea for the perfect setting. But, what isn’t always perfect is the preparation of the tea. So, Skinny Bunny Tea is here to help you understand how to steep tea the right way.

Step 1: Understand the type of tea you are drinking.

You have to steep tea according to its type, and the first step is to know what kind of tea you are about to make. The most popular varieties are: green tea, oolong tea, black tea, red teaherbal tea and blooming tea. There is also rooibos tea and mate tea, but those aren’t ACTUALLY teas.

The water temperature, steeping time and amount of tea per serving varies between every one of those styles of tea and proper preparation can be the difference between your tea cup hitting the spot and being unfulfilling.

Step 2: Follow the rules!

These simple tips will help improve the quality of every cup of tea you make.

  • When boiling water, always start with cold water. NEVER re-boil water that has already been prepared.
  • Put the tea in the cup FIRST, and pour the hot water onto the tea leaves or tea bag. Don’t put tea into a cup of hot water.
  • Cover your cup for the whole time you let it steep
  • Remove tea leaves or tea bag when you’re done steeping. That’s why most tea cups are served on top of a saucer!
  • Do not squeeze the tea bag
  • Drink the tea as soon as you’re done steeping. Letting tea cool effects the flavor.

Step 3: Details are key

This next step is for the tea snobs who prepare their water to the perfect temperature.

Type of tea Teaspoons sugar per cup of water Water temperature (°F) Water temperature (°C) Minutes
Green tea 0.5 205 96 3
Oolong tea 1 165 73 3 to 4
White tea 1 175-185 65-80 7 to 9
Red tea
(Pu-erh)
0.5 205 96 3 to 7
Yellow tea 1 195 90 3
Rooibos tea 1 205 96 3 to 5

Now that you know how to steep the perfect cup of tea, impress your friends, stump the barista or treat yourself to the most amazing cup of tea you’ve ever brewed.

Health Benefits of Pu-erh Tea

Pu-erh tea (pronounced poo-air) looks and sounds funny, but the health benefits are no joke! It’s made from the same leaves as green tea, oolong tea and black tea, but it’s fermented and then aged in a high humidity. This process causes many amazing health benefits. It is used to help reduce cholesterol and it helps improve mental alertness and quick thinking. Sound too good to be true? Well, it’s not!

Much like the rest of the teas out there, pu-erh tea contains caffeine, but it has much less than its relatives. It also naturally contains a substance called lovastatin, which is a prescription cholesterol drug. The hypothesis is that the bacteria that contributes to the aging process also makes the lovastatin. That’s a great fringe benefit, huh?

Other studies have shown the potential for pu-erh tea to lower triglycerides, lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol. The majority of these studies were done

One of pu-erh tea’s most popular benefits is the ant carcinogenic property. The tea has the ability to inhibit an enzyme complex called fatty acid synthase. This complex has been linked to obesity as well as cancer. Those are some great benefits from a cup of tea!

Health Benefits of Chocolate

When you think of love, you think of chocolate, don’t you? Chocolate is there for us on our birthdays, on our anniversaries, after a long day at work and especially after a breakup. Come to think of it, why can’t our best friends be this faithful? Well, we are here for you, and that’s why we’re going to tell you how healthy chocolate is for you… especially the dark chocolate benefits!

Healthy heart

The latest studies show proof that that lovely cocoa bean has cardiovascular benefits! Swedish scientists conducted a study of more than 31,000 women and it concluded that eating one or two servings of chocolate each week could reduce the risk of heart failure by about 33 percent!

If once a week isn’t enough for your sweet tooth, listen to what the Germans have to say – and you know Germans know their chocolate. Their studies showed a 39 percent drop in the risk of heart attack and stroke in people who eat a square of chocolate every day!

Don’t let these studies fool you, though. There is lots of sugar packed into each piece of chocolate you eat. Make sure your chocolate consumption is a part of a balanced and healthy lifestyle!

Dark chocolate for weight loss

You read that right! Dark chocolate can help you control your weight! It has shown to be more filling than regular milk chocolate and provides you with a stronger feeling of satiety. In English, that means dark chocolate cuts cravings for junk food, making it easier to stay close to your healthy diet!

Reduce stress

This Swiss study is plain and simple. It showed that people who ate an ounce and a half of dark chocolate every day for two weeks saw a drop in stress hormone levels. Now you have every reason to reach for that candy bar when things are getting tough.

Hopefully this helps the eternal to-eat-or-not-to-eat-chocolate struggle. Make sure you use this knowledge wisely, and remember that you must eat chocolate in moderation. We never said that binging on chocolate is good for you. But, we understand that it feels so freaking good.

Health Benefits of Black Tea

People have their opinions on whether you should be drinking caffeinated products every day, but what is not disputed is the health benefits of black tea. Too much of anything can be a bad thing, but in moderation, regularly drinking black tea has benefits that even medical professionals promote.

While black tea comes from the same leaves as green tea, the rolling, heating and fermenting processes are different. This helps bring out qualities that are unique to black tea.

Dental hygiene
A study by the Tea Trade Health Research Association suggests that drinking black tea can reduce the formation of plaque and restrict the bacteria that lead to cavities and tooth decay. That’s much better for your teeth than coffee!

Heart health
Okay, I know we just told you to not overdo the tea drinking, but this next quote is directly from the National Library of Medicine. “Regardless of their country of origin, individuals consuming 3 or more cups of tea per day had a 21% lower risk of stroke than those consuming less than 1 cup per day.” That says it all!

Antioxidant properties
Black tea is rich with organic chemicals that helps block cells associated with damage from smoking and other toxic chemicals. These antioxidant effects are different from the ones we normally get from fruits and vegetables, so drinking black tea adds more benefits to your healthy lifestyle.

Strong bones
The phytochemicals in black tea have been shown to promote stronger bones and a lessen chance of developing arthritis.

Bigger smile
OKay, maybe this isn’t scientific, but when you know you’re drinking something that is THIS good for you, it tastes good and promotes relaxation, you’re bound to have a huge smile as you close your eyes and soak in the moment… and the antioxidants!

Health Benefits of Oolong Tea

What is Oolong tea, you ask? We’ll you’ve probably had it already and don’t even know it. If you’ve ever had the tea at Chinese restaurants, they most likely served you oolong tea. Don’t worry, not all oolong teas taste like what you had. They serve a mass-produced, watered down versions. When you make the tea yourself, you’ll see that it’s just as delicious as the green tea or white tea that you’re used to, and it’s just as rich with antioxidant properties and health benefits. Are you ready to expand your tea horizons? Glad to hear it!

Oolong tea dates back about 400 years to its widespread use in China and is believed to be one of the most beneficial types of tea. It uses the same leaves as green tea and black tea and it combines both fermentation processes, which packs double the health benefits into one delicious cup of tea!

Natural oolong tea is packed with a laundry list of vitamins and minerals. It has Vitamin A, B, C, E and K along with calcium, manganese, copper, carotin, selenium potassium, folic acid and niacin amide. All of those properties combine to make oolong tea a weight managing, cancer-fighting, diabetes beating, relaxing cup of tea.

Weight management

Oolong tea has natural compounds that help control the metabolism of fat. Because it activates enzymes that enhance fat cell functions, it is commonly believed to reduce the risk for obesity.

Diabetes

People who suffer from type-2 diabetes regularly drink oolong tea because it helps regulate the amount of blood sugar and insulin that is in the blood stream. This is a good way to prevent the violent dips and spikes in blood sugar that plagues diabetic patients. In fact, a 2003 study showed that when combined with normal diabetes medication, oolong tea provided more blood sugar balance and prevented sudden spikes is nearly every single person in the study. Wow!

Cancer-fighting

Lots of people know that drinking tea helps fight cancer, but do you know why? Well, a compound in tea, specifically oolong tea, promotes apoptosis in cells related to cancer. In English, it means tea helps kill cells that can lead to cancer. Because of this, people drink tea as a preventative measure to ward off carcinogenic cells. It’s a simple and delicious way to help maintain a long and healthy life!

With health benefits like this, what is stopping you from having your daily cup of tea? There aren’t many things in life that are good AND good for you. Oolong tea is one of them. Make sure you take advantage of it.