Food Showdown: How Sweet is Your Tea?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
As temperatures continue to climb this summer, sitting out on the porch with a tall glass of iced tea might sound like the perfect way to relax and refresh. Iced tea certainly isn't new on the beverage scene, but we have been slowly increasing our consumption of the warm-weather staple; last year, a national consumer survey reported that 10% of U.S. consumers are purchasing more iced tea than they did in 2009. The survey also revealed that 73% of tea drinkers prefer green tea for its antioxidants and health benefits. Drink companies have taken note of America's love of green tea and have produced dozens of flavored varieties over the past few years; however, many of those varieties pack a mean sugar punch that rivals the most sugary soft drinks on the market.

Between two popular flavored green tea varieties, Arizona Georgia Peach Green Tea and Snapple Peach Green Tea, which one should you choose if you're watching your sugar intake?
The Winner: Arizona Georgia Peach Green Tea!
The Snapple Peach Green Tea contains a whopping 41 grams of sugar for just eight ounces. If you drink the entire 16-ounce can, that brings you up to 82 grams of sugar in one sitting! The Arizona Georgia Peach Green Tea contains just 17 grams of sugar for eight ounces. However, 17 grams is equivalent to just over 4 teaspoons of sugar, which is still quite a bit--plus, there are three servings in a 24-ounce can. You'd be better off brewing your own green tea at home and spiking your glass with fresh fruit. Try lemon, peaches, raspberries, and blueberries for refreshing flavor without the sugar rush.  

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I love my green tea. Never add sugar or milk in my tea. Once a while I will add some lemon in my black tea.
Have an ice team maker, make all my tea weak ( usually 1 tea bag per quart) whether with boiling water or as sun tea. Have not sweetened any tea in 36 years. I drink lots of varieties, herb, black. I do not care for green tea, and I have tried many. Like like to add a wedge of squeezed lemon to some, and fresh mint leaves crushed to others. Just found I no longer need the sweetening. Report
I love iced tea. I have a ice tea brewer that gets a lot of use during the hot summer months. 4 decaf large iced tea bags and 3 green tea bags...NO SUGAR!! I don't like my tea sweetened, I could drink it all day long. Report
I too love iced tea but I use splenda or a no calorie sweetener that way I don't have to worry about excessive sugar.I will try the green tea and maybe a little lemonade also,sounds good. Report
I use Lipton Cold Brew for my black ice tea and then brew 2 cups of flavored green tea (peach, mango, and pomegranate are some favorites). I mix them together for lightly flavored tea. (Although I do splurge sometimes on Snapple Diet Peach Ice Tea - it's so good!) Report
I think bottled sweetened teas are most foul! You taste the sweetener not the tea. I love tea, all different types. Sometimes it is just a matter of finding the right tea for your own individual tastes. Besides, I would much rather eat my calories/carbs than drink them. Report
Green tea is good, but I'll stick to making my own because I prefer unsweetened tea. I buy the diet Lipton Green tea with citrus for my son to take to work. If I stop at a fast food restaurant (Chik-fil-A or McD's) I order unsweetened tea. I used to put sugar substitute in it but now prefer unsweetened black tea. If I want peach tea, I'll make Crystal Light. It has a great peach taste without the added sugar. Report
I have never liked sweet tea or coffee. I put five Lipton tea bads in a gallon pitcher, add hottest tap water and place in fridge. Once it's chilled, it's ready to drink. It doesn't get any easier. Report
I can remember being a little girl and sitting outside during the summer watching my mother's pitcher of black tea brew on the patio.

Now living in Northern England, where delicious black tea costs nothing, I have adopted my mothers method. I will add lemons or mint, if I want something different.

On nights when we go out or have people over for a drink, I just add vodka to my homemade iced tea. It tastes amazing and I have NEVER been hungover/dehydrated the next day. Brilliant! Report
I don't waste my money on bottled or powdered instant teas. I buy herbal tea ingredients in bulk, and make my own. Plus I grow several different kinds of mints, and always add some of them to the mix. That way, I can also regulate how much sugar I use in it, too. It is SO refreshing, especially iced in the heat of the summer! Some of my usual inclusions are orange peel, rose hips, hibiscus, lavender, jasmine, green tea, and mint. Report
Four Salada teabags in a 64 ounce container of tap water, let sit in the sun for a bit & then chill - no sugar, no additives & next to zero calories, just cold refreshment. Report
Thanks SP for helping us be armed and ready to make better decisions!
I was quoting teaspoons per can of soda to my children last night.
The Food Showdowns are sinking in. Report
The fad for buying, in a bottle and at much greater co$t in money and ecological resources, what is so easy to make at home has puzzled me. Marketing, marketing. Sad...

I wish these food showdowns dealt with items where the information to make the comparison isn't right on the label. Restaurants, fast-food places--they don't have to post their information (yet) and it's much harder to find. Comparing items from places like that could be much more useful (a bit harder for the compiler, but so?) Report
I don't have a porch and I don't drink sweet tea. Hot tea curled up on the sofa, however... I'm all over that!!! :) Report
Watch on YOUTUBE the documentary "The WEIGHT of the Nation" which has four parts, and the doctors say NEVER drink your calories. Americans drink 20% of their calories and the brain doesn't recognize them as "food" so it is one of the major reasons we have an obesity epidemic. Report
I dont believe sugar is poison..pleaseeeee! I make my own tea and use slpenda.
We make our choices. but we can always make better ones. Report
I have been making my own iced tea for years. I just recently started using green tea. It's really easy just take your favorite variety and put about 8 tea bags in a clear pitcher or container and in about 4 hours you have a very good tea with no sugar added. Report
"The Snapple Peach Green Tea contains a whopping 41 grams of sugar for just eight ounces."

This insanity needs to stop! Sugar is poison and these drink companies are putting out poison, and ignorant Americans are then drinking this crap.

Brew your own tea. That's what I do and everyone should do. It's cheaper and healthier, and you can sweeten it with some stevia if you need sweetness. I use SweetLeaf which has no aftertaste.
I drink water instead of green tea. Report
My current favorite iced tea: 2 tea bags of Tazo Passion tea and 4 tea bags of Celestial Seasonings True Blueberry tea to 1/2 gallon boiling water. Brew for 10 minutes and refrigerate. Serve over ice. Delicious. Report
I do not like anything that I drink to be sweet. It became a habit years ago when I started dating my now husband. He has been a type 1 diabetic for years so I only brew my own tea and it is always unsweetened Report
I drink water. When it gets hot, yeah right I live in Western Washington State - we might get a week or 2 of hot weather and not necessarily in the same stretch. Okay, back on focus. If we get hot weather, I drink water to stay hydrated. Sugar isn't necessary for that. If I want sugar I eat fresh fruit. Report
Arizone Diet Green Tea with Ginseng! All I drink....I buy it by the gallon and drink it all day long! Best tea out there. Report
I avoid bottled teas because of the sugar. If I want tea, I brew my own!!I like chewing calories:-) Report
I would rather just drink water or diet coke. Report
No thanks. I brew my own. Either Luzianne black with sugar, or I'll make hot tea with honey.

AS for why it has to be sweet? Because it's tea! LOL. Sweet tea is a southern thing. Report
My favorite is iced green tea. I use two different types of green tea. One is Stash green tea. The other is from Celestial Seasonings and is their green tea with ginseng and lemon balm.
I steep two of each tea bags, for 3-5 minutes. Dilute with water to taste and serve over ice.
Refreshing, antioxidant, calorie-free and a mid-afternoon "pick me up!" Report
Another useless showdown article. /thumbs down

We can just read labels. As long as it's called tea, it doesn't and shouldn't naturally contain sugar. If anything noticeable amount sugar is shown in label, it's artificially added, not really worth to drink if you're under weight control program. Report
I've never understood why tea needs to be sweet - in fact, I can't stand sweetened tea. When the temp rises, I prefer black sun tea over ice. Nothing added. More refreshing than heavily sweetened beverages. Report
I've started brewing my own tea to not only save money but to also control the sugar. Also add lemon slices. Report
I too love my tea black. If I wanted to taste peach, I would by a peach pop, not tea. Report
Plain black tea is definitely the BEST tea. Many of the these sweet teas are as bad as sugary sodas. Report
I am a purist: I drink tea black, no embellishments, love the actual taste of TEA! It still amazes me that people actually spend money on 200% markup manufactured tea instead of actually dropping a teabag into a container and going on their way!!!
How did we all survive before somebody found a way to "trend"us into BUYING bottled tea, water,etc, instead of us going to all the effort of dropping a bag into water? Right now, I have a jug of jasmine "sun tea" brewing on my kitchen counter,, cold water and no sun.. I use my money to buy things I am unable to make myself,,
I drink Arizona diet Blueberry green tea and freeze light Minute Maid lemonade (only 5 calories a serving) ice cubes to go along with it. A nice treat! Report
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