Bubble tea was the darling drink of internet foodies just a few years ago.
The Taiwanese-inspired beverage was touted as a guilt-free snack, just as good as a cup of coffee or nutritious smoothie.
How can something with the word ‘tea’ be bad for you anyway?
It turns out, it is. Though bubble tea’s ingredients on its own may not be so bad, they’re typically loaded with sweeteners and artificial flavours, dropping any nutritional value fast.
The signature ‘bubbles’, which are round tapioca pieces, are actually loaded with carbs – and not the nutritious, fiber-rich kinds found in whole grains.
Cooking these ‘tapioca pearls’ only makes things worse. When used in bubble tea, they’re fried in hot water along with more added sugar for up to three hours. By that point, the balls could contain nearly 160 calories per ¼ cup serving.
The extra syrups, as you can probably guess, don’t help either. With all the processed ingredients, the average bubble tea can easily broach 400 calories.
If you can believe it, it actually gets worse: bubble tea may even shorten your life. In 2012, a group of German researchers from the University Hospital Aachen found aspolychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, in tapioca ball samples. These are cancer-inducing chemicals that have negative effects on the body’s immune, reproductive, nervous, and endocrine systems.
So, maybe opt for a safe and nutritious green tea as your tea of choice instead.
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