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Good Housekeeping
Charlene J. Owen, Contributor
November 20, 2012

Green Tea Plus Bread Equals Lower Blood Sugar Spikes

Taking in unsweetened green tea with bread may help you keep healthy blood glucose levels. By Charlene J. Owen

Pairing bread with green tea in the morning won't only give you the benefit of a filling breakfast--it may also lower your blood glucose levels.

This is according to a study by Pennsylvania State food scientists, who went through laboratory tests to conduct research on the healthy effects of certain antioxidants and starches, reports.  

Assistant professor Joshua Lambert, postdoctoral fellow Sarah C. Forester, and graduate student Yeyi Gu found that epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the antioxidant found in green tea, acts as a powerful blood glucose reducer, especially when paired with starch from bread or bagels. EGCG inhibits alpha-amylase, an enzyme produced by the mouth and the pancreas, from breaking down starch to maltose and glucose, effectively blocking glucose production. Also, EGCG reduces alpha-amylase activity in the pancreas by 34 percent. Starch seems to get evoke a positive response from the EGCG, so you not only get to offset the amount of sugar you ate, but also reap the benefits of less glucose.

Although this seems to be a great way of lowering blood sugar levels, a bit of discipline is also needed. Prof. Lambert explains that adding sugar to your green tea may negate its effects, so it's better start curbing your sweet cravings. Other than relying on the EGCG-starch power combination, it's also important to keep a well-balanced diet, or one that's recommended to you by your nutritionist, especially when your blood sugar levels have been teetering on the borderline. Discipline and awareness are, in the end, the best ways to help you prevent glucose problems in the future.

(Photo by abrinsky via Flickr Creative Commons)

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Charlene J. Owen
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