Can Green Tea Aid in Weight Loss?
Weight management is dependent on your energy balance over a prolonged period of time. When you burn more calories than you consume you are in negative energy balance and can lose weight. The concept itself sounds pretty simple, but today’s less active society paired with convenience foods, results in an increasingly overweight population. This has led people to try a variety of quick fixes in their battle to lose weight fast. One of the many promoted products are herbal nutrients.
One herbal nutrient which has received a lot of attention in recent years is green tea. All types of tea originate from the leaves of the same plant; camellia sinensis. It’s the processing of the leaves that produces the different varieties of tea. The process used to make green tea results in higher levels of organic chemicals called polyphenols. These are claimed to increase the energy expenditure of the body and increase the breakdown of fat.
The beauty of green tea is that it is a relatively inexpensive, which is easy and quick to use, with no known negative side effects. However, if you are thinking of trying it to aid to weight loss the evidence that it works is unconvincing.
The panel for dietetic products, nutrition and allergies, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) provides scientific opinion on food products. If a food manufacturer wants to make a claim about their product they must submit evidence to EFSA to prove that the claim is factually correct. Only one claim to date has been made regarding green tea. The claim that green tea helped with “weight management” was rejected by EFSA, due to insufficient evidence in the studies provided.
There is no conclusive evidence to suggest green tea works as a weight loss aid. However, it can provide the placebo effect, and as part of a healthy lifestyle, there is no harm to your health or to your bank balance in using green tea.