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Not All Green Teas Are Healthy for You

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Have you heard the reports abound about the health benefits of drinking green tea? Well, you may be no better off if you drink coffee over green tea in the morning. Although some experts have touted lower stroke risk, fat-blocking, and antioxidant increase from drinking green tea, a new report published this week shows that not all green tea is the same.

Researchers from ConsumerLab.com tested 26 brands of green tea and found that some ready-to-drink green teas were mostly sugar water. What's even scarier is that some of the bagged teas contained high levels of lead, which is actually common for the tea plant. Green tea plants absorb lead at a higher rate than other plants from the same environment and lead can build up on the surface of the plant's leaves. Other green teas that the researchers tested included "supplements" that promised to speed weight loss or boost cancer fighting abilities but had high levels of caffeine not listed on the labels.

The active ingredient in green tea that makes it so healthy is called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), and is a potent antioxidant. However, the different green tea products that the researchers tested contained widely varying amounts of EGCG. For example, bottle green tea beverages contained less than 4 mg per cup, while containing large amounts of sugar. Just goes to show that just because something is touted as "healthy" doesn't mean that it always is.