04/16/2014

#119 Is herbal tea an acceptable drink?

Full question: Is herbal tea an acceptable drink? My 7 year old loves to drink hot tea & his favorites are the Fruit Teas by Celestial Seasonings. They have no calories, carbs or caffeine but I was not sure if there is a reason to avoid it?

Reply: The label shows zero grams of carbohydrate becuase there is less than 1 gram per tea bag. The only way to really know if there is significant carbohydrate is to weigh a tea bag, make the tea, then allow the bag to dry and weigh it again. You'll need a gram scale that reads to the 0.1 gm to do this. I tried this with my herbal tea and there was a 0.5gm difference which equates to 500mg of carbohydrate. This of course is if you drink the tea to completion and any granules remaining in the bottom of the cup. If he drank 4 cups of herbal tea each day this would amount to 2gm of carbohydrate which is significant. To minimize the carbohydrate from tea use a more dilulte tea i.e. dunk the bag several times versus allowing it to steep for 2 minutes.