This Is the Low-Sugar Kombucha You've Been Looking For
There's no denying that kombucha has increased in popularity—it's readily available at a variety of different grocery and health-food stores, both mainstream and specialty. But if you still aren't exactly sure what kombucha is or what the hype is all about, we've got answers. Registered dietitian Katey Davidson, MSc, RD, explains that kombucha is actually an antioxidant-rich tea that contains some probiotics, and because probiotics are important in maintaining good gut health, she stands behind the growing nutritionist-community belief that drinking this fermented tea is a good idea.
However, Davidson notes that one major issue with many kombucha brands is their sugar content; some contain upwards of 14 grams per serving. What's more, Davidson cautions that one serving is often more like half a bottle, so you can rack up on lots of calories if you aren't careful.
Several companies are starting to home in on the sugar problem, including Humm, which unveiled two low-sugar kombucha flavors with five grams of sugar per serving (about half a bottle), and while other Humm flavors tend to contain eight grams of sugar per half bottle, the company plans on reducing the fruit in the new beverages in order to reach that new low total. The new flavors, Ginger Juniper and Raspberry Hops, give your average kombucha lover a kick of creative flavor, in addition to a boost of probiotics.
Davidson explains that kombucha does require sugar to ferment, so for those who are trying to be more mindful of their sugar consumption, the lower amount found in this product can be helpful. "However, the difference in sugar [in the new Humm offering] is not very large, so I recommend watching portion sizes over anything," she says.
She also recommends starting slowly. Because kombucha is fermented, it has been known to cause some people gastrointestinal upset, such as bloating. She also adds that you shouldn't rely on it as a steady source of probiotics. "If you enjoy kombucha, then I see nothing wrong with drinking it now and then," Davidson says. "When it comes to probiotics though, try to get them from a variety of foods, such as sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, and kimchi."
These two new flavors are available in select stores in both the Northeast and the Pacific Northwest, with a larger expansion planned over the next year. Check them out in your local grocery store, and give these fun new kombucha flavors a taste!