You may have thought that it’s just the sugar in bubble tea that we need to be wary about, but it looks like your favourite pearls are highly unhealthy too. Mastari Mohamad, Nutritionist and Manager of the Dietetics & Food Services at the National Heart Institute (IJN) has said that there are no nutrients in pearls.
According to Astro Awani, she said that these pearls provide no nutrients to the body, and only contain carbohydrates and calories. She added that if someone consumes these pearls, commonly known as boba, excessively, it can disrupt the body’s digestive system.
Mastari said, “These pearls are made from tapioca flour and if it reacts to other food, the pearls can be hard to digest. If someone does not have a balanced and healthy diet such as not drinking enough water or eating enough vegetables then they will have indigestion, causing the pearls to be difficult to digest.”
She also explained that the amount of sugar that we’re supposed to consume in a day is a maximum of five to 10 teaspoons per day, according to the World Health Organisation but having just one cup of your favourite bubble tea can put you way over the limit. There are more than 50 brands of bubble tea already available in Malaysia, and we have been told time and again that it isn’t exactly the healthiest drink.
She told the daily that the amount of sugar in a glass of bubble tea is worrying. She said that there are about eight to 20 teaspoons of sugar in one glass and one should not exceed their sugar intake by more than 10% of their calorie consumption.
She explained, “For example, an average-sized Asian man needs about 2,000 calories a day. Hence, his sugar intake should only be about 200 calories (10%) which is about 10 teaspoons.” Taking too much sugar can lead to all sorts of dangerous health issues such as obesity, diabetes and heart problems.
However, Mastari added that there are ways to make bubble tea healthier. “Just reduce the amount of sugar and use low fat milk or add some fruits for fibre. Replace the pearls with basil seeds or chia seeds so that you have the much-needed texture in the drink. This gives antioxidants and Omega 3 which are beneficial to health,” she explained.
She advised bubble tea brands to display the nutritional information of each drink to keep customers informed as well because some consumers might not be aware of this. With the information available, they can make informed decisions about their health.
Stay healthy and maintain a balanced diet for a strong body!
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