7 'Healthy' Iced Tea Brands With More Sugar Than a Can of Coke
Drinking tea is one of the best things you can do for your health. Green tea has been known to boost metabolism and slow aging, black tea may be able to reduce the risk of chronic disease, and certain herbal teas may be able to help reduce your risk of cancer. But even though tea is an extremely healthy beverage, it can quickly turn unhealthy if too much sugar is added to it—a common occurrence with store-bought bottled iced teas.
There are plenty of iced tea brands that market their products as being healthy, often advertising the antioxidants and vitamins you can get from drinking their teas, but many of these are often loaded with far too much added sugar. In fact, some varieties of iced tea are made with so much sugar that they contain more than a standard can of Coke, which has 39 grams of sugar per 12-ounce can.
The following list of store-bought iced teas have more sugar per can or bottle than the 39 grams found in a standard Coke. These are often fine in moderation, but if you're wanting to drink tea on a consistent basis, you may want to avoid these and go for varieties with less or zero added sugar. Read on to discovery the sugary culprits, and for more, don't miss the 6 Best Teas To Boost Metabolism and Lose Weight.
Snapple Peach Tea
Sugar per 16-ounce bottle: 40 grams
Arguably one of the most popular bottled iced tea brands, "Snapple offers a range of flavored iced teas that are often perceived as a healthier alternative to soda," says Mary Sabat MS, RDN, LD. "However, some of their varieties, such as the Peach Tea and Lemon Tea flavors, have been found to contain more sugar than a can of Coke."
In fact, in just one 16-ounce bottle, which is very easy to drink up in just one sitting, you're getting about 40 grams of sugar, all of which are added—meaning none of it is coming from natural sugar sources.
Snapple Honey Sweet Tea
Sugar per 16-ounce bottle: 40 grams
Another example of a Snapple iced tea that may sound healthy at first, but ends up having way too much sugar, is the Snapple Honey Sweet Tea. Honey is a natural form of sugar that is full of antioxidants, can help with blood sugar management, and has even been proven to help with heart health.
However, in this bottled tea, honey is the third ingredient behind water and sugar, meaning that it isn't the main sweetener source here. And with 40 grams of added sugar per bottle, the small amount of honey still doesn't make this a "healthy" choice.
AriZona RX Energy Herbal Tonic
Sugar per 16.9-ounce bottle: 45 grams
You've most likely heard of AriZona iced tea, which is known for their bottled green teas, sweet teas, and Arnold Palmers. Unfortunately, many of their products are marketed as "healthy," when in fact they're simply loaded with added sugar and very little else.
"Their RX Energy Herbal Tonic, for example, claims to have a lot of healthy vitamins and herbs, but in reality it packs in more sugar than a can of Coke," says Sabat.
AriZona Blueberry White Tea
Sugar per 20-ounce bottle: 45 grams
AriZona markets their Blueberry White Tea as combining "the antioxidant goodness of blueberries, pears and a dash of honey," but with the second ingredient listed being high-fructose corn syrup, and both the blueberry and pear flavors coming from concentrate, you can quickly see that this is just another extra sugary beverage.
"AriZona's Blueberry White Tea also claims to be full of healthy vitamins and antioxidants, but this one also has more sugar than a can of Coke," says Sabat.
AriZona Red Apple Green Tea
Sugar per 23-ounce can: 50 grams
With the ability to aid in better cognitive function and regulation of blood sugar, as well as its dense antioxidant profile, green tea is known as being one of the healthiest drinks you can have. But, don't let AriZona's marketing fool you when it comes to their can of Red Apple Green Tea.
Sure, the first ingredient listed is green tea, but the very next one is high-fructose corn syrup, which can certainly explain the whopping 50 grams of sugar found in one can. And yes, this 23-ounce can technically contains two servings, but think of how easy it is to down the whole thing if you're drinking it on your own.
Gold Peak California Raspberry Tea
Sugar per 18.5-ounce bottle: 48 grams
Gold Peak advertises their bottles as containing "real brewed tea." But what they fail to mention is that along with tea, you'll be getting close to 50 grams of added sugar—much more than you'd get with a can of Coke.
This is why Meaghan Greenwood, RD, health coach at Hourglass Waist, suggests skipping Gold Leaf. "They offer a range of iced teas, including sweetened and unsweetened options, but their sweetened varieties can have an extremely high sugar content, making it essential to read the labels and choose wisely."
Pure Leaf Raspberry Sweet Tea
Sugar per 18.5-ounce bottle: 46 grams
For her final choice of iced teas with too much added sugar, Sabat says that Pure Leaf Raspberry Sweet Tea is one you'll want to watch out for.
"Pure Leaf is another popular brand of bottled iced tea that offers a wide range of flavors, and while they have unsweetened and lightly sweetened options, their sweetened varieties, such as the Raspberry Sweet Tea, pack in a higher sugar dose than a Coke."
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