In addition to being a pleasure to drink, Oolong tea offers a host of health benefits. Tannins, polyphenols, phytochemicals, caffeine, L-theanine amino acids, and other trace compounds found in Oolong tea can boost overall health in literally dozens of ways. To those that like to keep in shape, or those of us who would just like to shed a pound or ten, one of its most exciting benefits is the positive effect it can have can have on losing weight.
When naturally prepared it is practically free of calories and contains just fractional grams of carbohydrates per serving. In addition, studies suggest that regular consumption of Oolong tea can speed up your metabolism so that you burn approximately 80 plus more calories per day than you would otherwise. Still other cutting edge research suggests that Oolong tea can help you lower your triglyceride levels and even stave off the onset of type II diabetes, a vexing condition that is affecting an increasing number of people in the western world.
These health benefits can all help stimulate the body and prepare your system for a new diet regimen. That being said, it’s important to drink Oolong tea in the context of a well-planned overall weight loss strategy.
Mounting evidence suggests that obesity is caused not by an imbalance of “calories in, calories out,” as is widely assumed, but rather by the dysregulation of fat tissue.
In other words, our fat tissue is not some kind of inert bag that gets filled up when we eat calories and disappears when we eat less and exercise. Fat tissue, in fact, is linked in many complex ways to the body’s hormonal system and metabolism. Indeed, hibernating Siberian rats will hold on to their fat deposits even when starving, and these rats will burn their muscle and heart tissue -- literally to the point of death -- rather than “give up” their fat deposits.
Lots of other evidence suggests that obesity is a physiological, not a psychological, phenomenon. In wide ranging populations -- from the Pima Indians to metropolitan Tokyo -- epidemiologists have observed malnutrition and obesity coexisting. Clearly, these studies and lots of other data provide strong challenges to the conventional notion that obesity can be controlled through diet and exercise alone.
How does this all relate back to the health benefits and weight loss properties of Oolong tea? Simple -- Oolong tea can provide excellent support to a weight loss program, especially those involving cutting out carbohydrates from the diet.
This also means that adding lots of sugar or milk to your tea can actually compromise a good weight loss plan, since doing so boosts the carbohydrate content in your diet and thus leads to spikes in your blood sugar level. This then leads to spikes in your insulin level, which in turn dysregulates your fat cells, causing you to gain weight instead of to lose it. Drinking Oolong tea without adding the unnecessary carbs keeps the healthy benefits flowing unabated.
Drinking Oolong tea in conjunction with a carb controlled diet (not carb eliminating diet) can also provide more long term and lasting positive health benefits on top of the immediate benefits of weight loss. In addition to reducing your fat deposits permanently and giving you more energy, this Oolong-tea-stoked, carb-controlled diet can likely lead to a reduced risk for heart disease, type II diabetes, and other problems deemed diseases of civilization.
Why is sugar free Oolong tea so much healthier than sugar rich drinks like soda or fruit juice? To answer this, you need to understand a little bit about how the body metabolizes sugars.
When you drink a sugary drink you overload the bloodstream with glucose, which then gets broken down in the liver. Metabolism reformulates sugars into molecules known as very low-density lipoproteins (VLDLs). These molecules are perfectly sized to damage the body and to oxidize cells.
While the hypothesized actions of VLDLs in the body are still being studied, evidence suggests that these compounds can do quite a bit of harm. For instance they may not only contribute to arterial sclerosis, which can lead to heart disease and all sorts of secondary problems, but they may also increase risk for stroke and senility.
Oolong tea, on the other hand, provides the body with antioxidants, which can undo and/or prevent the damage done by these noxious VLDL particles. Furthermore, by removing free radicals from your bloodstream Oolong tea can boost your overall skin health, immune system operation, and metabolic rate.
Remember two things about this weight control approach. First, if the theory purported carb control advocates is correct, only a diet low in carbohydrates can help you shed pounds and keep them off. Second, while Oolong tea contains only fractional grams of carbohydrates per serving, you should factor these small amounts into your carb calculations, particularly when you’re going through the fat burning stage of a diet like Atkins or South Beach.
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