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Christmas dinner survival

At this time of year it is all too easy to find yourself sitting down to meals of baked starchy vegetables followed by a gooey sweet dessert. If you that sounds like the culinary obstacle course that you find yourself facing then a new study showing that green tea can reduce blood sugar spikes after eating starchy food might bring you some Christmas cheer.

In the study mice were fed an antioxidant found in green tea called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). When they were fed corn starch there was a significant reduction in blood sugar levels compared to mice who had not been given EGCG. However, mice fed either glucose or maltose did not receive the same benefit.

This is probably because there is an extra step in starch metabolism compared to glucose and maltose. Starch requires the enzyme alpha-amylase to be produced in the mouth to break it down into glucose. EGCG probably intervenes to stop the activity of alpha-amylase and the researchers did find that it cut activity of the enzyme in the pancreas by 34 per cent. You would need to have the green tea at the same time as the starchy food to get the benefit.

If you have been reading this news column over the last couple of weeks then this “Cracked Christmas Carol” will make perfect sense to you. It goes;
“On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
some leaves of luscious green tea.
On the second day of Christmas my true gave to me,
advice two eat mindfully,
And some luscious leaves of green tea.
On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Three compliments on my body,
Advice two eat mindfully,
And some luscious leaves of green tea,…”
And so it goes…you know the rest. Have a magical Christmas.

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

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