Brown sugar milk tea not as healthy as you think | Inquirer Lifestyle
Bubble drinks
Bubble drinks, also known as bubble tea, are arguably among the most popular beverages in Indonesia. Randy Mulyanto via The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network

Brown sugar milk tea not as healthy as you think

Bubble drinks
Bubble drinks, also known as bubble tea, are arguably among the most popular beverages in Indonesia. Randy Mulyanto via The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network

JAKARTA — Many believe that brown sugar is better than white sugar. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for brown sugar milk tea with pearls (chewy tapioca balls).

According to an article published by Mount Alvernia Hospital, a private hospital in Singapore, a medium-sized, 500-milliliter cup of brown sugar milk tea with pearls has 18.5 teaspoons of sugar. Meanwhile, a similar-sized cup of regular milk tea with pearls only contains eight teaspoons of sugar.

The hospital stated that new varieties of these Taiwanese tea-based drinks, such as honey pearls and brown sugar syrup, actually exceed the recommended daily sugar intake for adults, which is eight to 11 teaspoons a day.

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Mount Alvernia Hospital 发布于 2019年7月12日周五

The hospital also shared on its Facebook’s page an infographic illustrating the sugar and calorie contents of milk teas.

Compared to other variants, brown sugar milk tea with pearls is said to have the highest sugar content, followed by winter melon tea with 16 teaspoons of sugar.

As for calories in bubble tea toppings, the infographic shows that milk foam contains 203 calories while cheese foam contains 180 calories.

However, this does not mean that bubble tea lovers should stop consuming the drink. For a healthier option, the hospital recommended to opt for lower-calorie toppings or go topping-free, order a plain tea, such as green tea or oolong tea, and lastly, ask for less sugar.