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The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recently released 17 new dietary guidelines in partnership with the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN). The objective of these guidelines is to encourage the improvement of eating habits among Indians. According to the report, an estimated 56.4 per cent of total diseases in the country is due to unhealthy diets. One part of the recommendations of ICMR researchers deals with the consumption of water and common beverages. Here’s what you should know about the pros and cons of tea and coffee consumption.
Also Read: 5 Nutritionist-Approved Herbal Teas To Boost Overall Health

Is Drinking Tea And Coffee Bad For You?

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One must moderate consumption of tea and coffee.

ICMR advises practising moderation while consuming tea and coffee. Both beverages contain caffeine, “which stimulates the central nervous system and induces physiological dependence,” the medical body points out. The researchers explain that “A cup (150 ml) of brewed coffee contains 80-120 mg of caffeine, instant coffee contains 50-65 mg and tea contains 30-65 mg of caffeine.”

ICMR also cautions against excessive consumption of coffee because it “is known to increase blood pressure and cause abnormalities in heartbeat.” The researchers also highlighted that coffee consumption has been associated with increased levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol, which affects heart health.

How Much Tea And Coffee Should You Drink Per Day?

ICMR does not provide a recommended amount of tea or coffee in terms of cups or millilitres. Rather, it draws our attention to one’s daily caffeine intake. The medical body says that one’s daily consumption of caffeine should not exceed “the tolerable limits” which is equivalent to 300 mg/day.

Black Tea Versus Milk Tea – Which Is Better?

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Black tea and green tea have several health benefits.

While having tea, skipping the addition of milk may allow you to access certain health benefits. As per ICMR, green tea and black tea contain “theobromine and theophylline, which are known to relax arteries and thereby promote blood circulation. They also contain flavonoids and other antioxidant polyphenols, which may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stomach cancer.” Thus, consuming tea can be good for you. However, it is important to note that “these benefits can be best obtained if milk is not added to tea and if it is taken in moderation,” the medical body states.

Is Tea With Milk Bad For Health?

Although ICMR has mentioned the benefits of black tea in its guidelines, this does not mean that milk tea is bad for health. According to Kiran Bhatt, Nutritionist and Vice President of Junoesque Clinic, “We cannot say that the consumption of milk with tea is harmful to health unless someone is allergic to lactose. Milk has its own benefits such as calcium and Vitamin D.” She points out that, at the same time, adding milk to tea “also increases calorie and fat intake. Some people may experience gastric issues or some kind of discomfort if they are allergic to milk. Hence, moderation is key to balancing the benefits of nutrients in milk with the drawbacks such as calories and digestive issues.”

When Is The Right Time To Drink Tea And Coffee?

Do you have a habit of having tea and coffee immediately before, during or after your meals? If yes, you should consider stopping. ICMR recommends keeping a gap of at least one hour in between meals and consuming tea/ coffee. This is because both drinks contain tannins, which are known to “interfere with iron absorption”.

Also Read: How Long You Must Steep Tea Leaves For That Perfect Cup Of Chai