Do you keep track of how many bubble teas you’ve bought the past week? Are you aware of how much sugar there is in your favourite cup of bubble tea?
hint: it can’t be good for you since a hospital has written an article on it warning users of the high sugar content in Bubble tea!
Nowadays, there have been countless Bubble Tea shops springing up all over the island, with thousands of Singaporeans flocking to try the latest flavour/ taste and to snap an insta-worthy shot. Little do they know, that these Bubble Tea drinks, that are seemingly harmless, do in fact pose a ton of health risks to us.
Mt. Alvernia Hospital released an article on July 5 to highlight the amount of sugar there was in each Bubble Tea drink, along with some statistics to back their claims up. Some seemingly “healthy” drinks are in fact the unhealthiest of them all!
How much sugar?
To start things off, a medium-sized 500ml milk tea with pearls at 100% sugar level has 8 teaspoons of sugar, amounting to 335 calories. The larger 700ml size has 11 teaspoons of sugar and 469 calories. To put things in perspective, Singapore’s Health Promotion Board (HPB) recommended a daily intake of not more than 8-11 teaspoons of sugar for adults. This means exceeding your daily sugar intake in just ONE drink!
To make matters worse, HPB recommends that kids should have a daily intake of not more than 5 teaspoons of sugar a day. With the ever-growing popularity of bubble tea among youths in Singapore, matters only get worse from here on.
It was found that a regular cup of Brown Sugar Milk Tea with pearls was found to have an insane – 18.5 teaspoons of sugar! That’s more than twice the amount in a medium-sized 500ml Milk tea with pearls at 100% sugar!
In case you still aren’t convinced, downing a cup of regular bubble tea results in the same amount of calories taken in as if you ate a slice of cheesecake. This is super important to take note of, especially if you are weight conscious!
What about toppings?
If you love Pearls, then I suggest re-considering, because what you are about to read may shock you.
Pearls are loaded with calories, and they make up a third of the calories found in the bubble tea drinks. A single serving of Gong Cha’s regular black pearls is a whopping 156 calories. That’s more than some drinks on the menu!
And it’s not just the pearls that are loaded with calories! Here is a list of the calorie count of the more popular toppings, compiled by Mt. Alvernia Hospital
Do also take note that jellies and pearls are kept in a sweet syrup before serving to keep them moist, thus adding to the sugar content of your drink.
What to do now?
We understand that it may be hard to suddenly stop your bubble tea craze. Here’s how you can cut down your sugar intake while still enjoying amazing bubble tea!
- Go for a smaller cup size
- Request for your drink to be 30% sugar (or less!) – do so gradually, as your taste buds will need to get used to the lower sugar levels. Over time, you will not crave for sugary drinks as much!
- Request your drink to be made with fresh, low-fat / skimmed milk instead of non-dairy creamer
- Opt for no toppings (or if you really cannot resist, go for lower-calorie toppings like Aloe Vera and White Pearls)
- Choose “plain” Green tea, Oolong tea or Black tea (these contain 0 calories!)
- Limit your bubble tea runs to once/twice a week. Surely you can survive on plain water for the rest of the week!
- Share your bubble tea with a friend instead of getting an entire cup for yourself! Not only do you get to split the calories, but you also get to save money as well!