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  • Writer's pictureDr. Hansra

Try this sweet tea swap to cut down on added sugars and calories

Who doesn't like a cold glass of sweet tea during the summer months? Iced tea was one of my favorite childhood drinks. Sweet iced tea however is loaded with sugar and this can lead to significant weight gain over time. Here, I will show you how to make an iced tea that tastes just like the sweet tea you know with zero calories. It's easy to make with only 3 ingredients.


  1. Swerve granular sugar sweetener or Allulose granular sweetener, 1/3-1/2 cup depending on how sweet you like your tea

  2. Water, 8 cups purified

  3. Black tea, 6 tea bags

  4. Optional: Lemon as garnish

  5. Optional: Mint leaves as garnish


  1. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add 6 tea bags (remove the string and paper tag by snapping off with your hands as there is no need to cook this)

  2. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 5 minutes

  3. Remove the tea bags without squeezing

  4. Add 1/3-1/2 cup of sweetener (Swerve or Allulose, depends on how sweet you like your tea) until completely dissolved

  5. Add 4 more cups of cold water (for a total of 8 cups)

  6. Refrigerate for 6 hours

  7. Optional: add lemon slices and/or mint leaves for garnish

What's the bottom line?

Swapping a regular sweet iced tea for a calorie free version can help you cut down on added sugar and in theory lose weight over time. Let's run through and example:

  • A 16 oz. bottle of sweetened iced has 170 calories per serving (all due to added sugar)

  • Let's say you drink one iced tea per day that's 170 calories x 7 days per week x 52 weeks per year = 61880 calories per year on a one sweet iced tea per day habit!

  • Since 3500 calories = 1 pound you would be carrying around an extra 17.6 pounds per year on a 1 sweet iced tea per day habit!

Tea can benefit your health

Black tea contains a group of beneficial chemical compounds called polyphenols (1). Research shows that regular consumption of black tea can help:

  1. Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (1-3)

  2. Reduce bad cholesterol (1,4)

  3. Reduce the risk of diabetes and improve blood sugar metabolism (1,5-7)

  4. Improve gut health (1,8,9)

  5. Reduce stroke risk (1,10)

Also limited research suggests that black tea consumption might have anti-cancer benefits but more studies in humans are needed (1, 11-14). Research also shows that black tea consumption is safe (1,3). So if you consume sweet tea regularly try Smart & Easy sweet tea to cut down on calories, lose weight, and potentially gain the health benefits of black tea consumption. This will also benefit your wallet as you will save money by making your own tea.

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  1. Rasheed Z. Molecular evidences of health benefits of drinking black tea. Int J Health Sci (Qassim). 2019;13(3):1-3.

  2. Bahorun T, Luximon-Ramma A, Neergheen-Bhujun VS, Gunness TK, Googoolye K, Auger C, et al. The effect of black tea on risk factors of cardiovascular disease in a normal population. Prev Med. 2012;54(Suppl):S98–102.

  3. Gardner EJ, Ruxton CH, Leeds AR. Black tea helpful or harmful?A review of the evidence. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007;61:3–18.

  4. Davies MJ, Judd JT, Baer DJ, Clevidence BA, Paul DR, Edwards AJ, Wiseman SA, Muesing RA, Chen SC. Black tea consumption reduces total and LDL cholesterol in mildly hypercholesterolemic adults. J Nutr. 2003 Oct;133(10):3298S-3302S.

  5. Anderson RA, Polansky MM. Tea enhances insulin activity. J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Nov 20;50(24):7182-6.

  6. Jing Y, Han G, Hu Y, Bi Y, Li L, Zhu D, et al. Tea consumption and risk of Type 2 diabetes: A meta-analysis of cohort studies. J Gen Intern Med. 2009;24:557–62.

  7. Butacnum A, Chongsuwat R, Bumrungpert A. Black tea consumption improves postprandial glycemic control in normal and pre-diabetic subjects: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2017 Jan;26(1):59-64.

  8. Hervert-Hernández D, Goñi I. Dietary polyphenols and human gut microbiota:A review. Food Rev Int. 2011;27:2154–69.

  9. Chan EW, Soh EY, Tie PP, Law YP. Antioxidant and antibacterial properties of green, black, and herbal teas of Camellia sinensis. Pharmacognosy Res. 2011 Oct;3(4):266-72.

  10. Arab L, Liu W, Elashoff D. Green and black tea consumption and risk of stroke: a meta-analysis. Stroke. 2009 May;40(5):1786-92.

  11. Singh BN, Rawat AK, Bhagat RM, Singh BR. Black tea: Phytochemicals, cancer chemoprevention, and clinical studies. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2017 May 3;57(7):1394-1410.

  12. Liang YC, Chen YC, Lin YL, Lin-Shiau SY, Ho CT, Lin JK. Suppression of extracellular signals and cell proliferation by the black tea polyphenol, theaflavin-3,3'-digallate. Carcinogenesis. 1999 Apr;20(4):733-6. doi: 10.1093/carcin/20.4.733. Erratum in: Carcinogenesis 1999 Jul;20(7):1383. PMID: 10223207.

  13. Sun CL, Yuan JM, Koh WP, Yu MC. Green tea, black tea and breast cancer risk: a meta-analysis of epidemiological studies. Carcinogenesis. 2006 Jul;27(7):1310-5. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgi276. Epub 2005 Nov 25. PMID: 16311246.

  14. Blot WJ, McLaughlin JK, Chow WH. Cancer rates among drinkers of black tea. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 1997 Dec;37(8):739-60. doi: 10.1080/10408399709527800. PMID: 9447273.


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