The Truth About Oolong Tea
Type “Oolong” tea into your favourite search engine (such as Google or Bing) and you are going to be inundated with websites that proclaim oolong as a fat-busting, miracle-working, weight loss tea.
I hate to disappoint you folks but please don’t believe the hype.
Have you heard the phrase “if it sounds too good to be true it probably is?” Have you also heard of the phrase “everything in moderation?” When I was growing up, my father or mother would cook several dishes and place them on the table. The dishes were carefully selected in order to achieve a balance of nutrients in our bodies. There would be carbs in the rice, protein in the meat, vitamins in the greens and more often or not a soup which could be warming or cooling depending on the time of year. A cup of Chinese tea would be waiting for us after the meal.
There are no miracle cures that can help to fight the flab. As I frequently state in my tea note speaking gigs, I LOVE my tea, I LOVE my food. If only I could love my exercise a bit more and then I might be Lucy Liu sized but I’m not. With the amount of tea that I drink, if it was an amazing miracle-worker, surely I would be a lot slimmer than I am?!?
Oolong has a reputation for weight loss because it helps to speed up the metabolism. Speeding up the metabolism is said to help with burning fat. In fact, any tea that comes from the camellia sinensis bush (i.e. white, green, oolong, black or pu’erh tea) can also help to speed up the metabolism because all of these teas contain caffeine. Therefore when people ask me which tea is the best for weight loss, I will often respond by saying “open up your cupboard and see what jumps out at you” to illustrate the point that it is not just oolong that helps to speed up the metabolism, it is in fact any tea.
Oolong also has a reputation for inhibiting the absorption of fats. This is because of a component known as polyphenols. Polyphenols are in fact present in all teas. (Note: When I talk about teas, I do in fact mean any beverage that is derived from the Camellia Sinensis bush and beverages such as peppermint, camomile or rooibos ought to be referred to as herbal infusions rather than tea. Herbal infusions are quite a different thing altogether but that’s for another post).
One thing I commonly point out during my Tea Note Speaking gigs is to find a tea you like and keep drinking it. If you’re feeling hungry, reach for a cup of tea rather than the biscuit tin. As long as you’re incorporating tea into your healthy routine, you will certainly feel its benefits. Weight loss does not come in a miracle tea or pill.
Remember: eat well, drink plenty of fluids (tea can help to contribute to the daily recommended amount of fluid intake), exercise and sleep well. A balance of all of these actions can help lead to a healthier body, mind and spirit. It’s just that simple.