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Unlocking the Heart Health Benefits of Unsweetened Tea


Consumption of unsweetened green and black tea can help support a healthy heart.

Cup of tea splashing out of cup with claim: Drinking Unsweetened Lipton Black or Green tea can help support a healthy heart.

Written by Joy Dubost, PhD RD

As the world’s largest tea company, Unilever makes many of the most popular tea brands including Lipton, Pure Leaf, TAZO, Pukka, PG Tips, and Red Rose, among others. We have been creating high-quality teas since the 1800s when Sir Thomas Lipton became a tea merchant in Scotland and later in New Jersey. Tea dates back thousands of years and is the most widely consumed beverage in the world next to water.

American Heart Health Month

February is American Heart Health Month. This is an ideal time to pause and reflect on how your diet and lifestyle supports the care of your heart, as well as your friends and family hearts. We know you can care for your heart through daily activities like exercising, getting adequate sleep, and following a heart healthy diet, including drinking unsweetened Lipton black or green tea.

Tea and Heart Health

According to the American Heart Association, nearly half of all adults in the U.S. have heart disease. Drinking unsweetened tea can be an effective strategy to help support a healthy heart. A significant amount of scientific evidence supports that drinking unsweetened green and black brewed tea every day, hot or iced, can help support a healthy heart. In fact, the most comprehensive research study to date published in 2020 on tea and heart disease, sponsored by Unilever, indicated daily tea intake as part of a healthy diet may be associated with lower risks of death from heart disease among adults.1

Chart showing tea as one of the best sources of Flavonoids in the diet versus other foods such as fruits and vegetables.

Unsweetened Tea Can Help Support a Healthy Heart

First, unsweetened tea is more than 99% water and can contribute to people’s daily fluid requirement, which is important for circulatory functions. In addition, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans indicate that a lower intake of added sugars is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease in adults. Making a simple swap of unsweetened tea for sugar sweetened beverages or other beverages with little nutritional value can be one effective strategy to reduce added sugar intake.

Plus, tea is one of the best sources of flavonoids in the diet. Flavonoids are dietary compounds naturally found in tea, wine, cocoa, fruits and vegetables, which have long been associated with heart health benefits. Unsweetened brewed Lipton green and black tea contain about 150mg and 170mg of flavonoids per cup, respectively. Daily consumption of at least 200-500mg of flavonoids, found in 2-3 cups of tea, can help support a healthy heart as part of a diet consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Decaffeinated brewed green or black tea provides this benefit too!

Beverages Matter

The most recent 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend unsweetened tea as a smart beverage option since it is calorie-free and has zero grams of added sugar. The Guidelines showcase unsweetened iced tea as a primary beverage option with well-balanced, nutrient dense meals. Lipton offers a variety of unsweetened options to choose from. Remember to include unsweetened green or black tea as your next beverage choice. Your heart will thank you for it!

For Healthcare Professionals seeking additional information and inspiration, check out our new Communications Toolkit and Tea and Health Healthcare Professional toolkit.

1. Chung M, Zhao N, Wang D, et al. Dose-Response Relationship Between Tea Consumption and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and All-Cause Mortality: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Population - Based Studies. Adv Nutrition. 2020 Feb 19:1–25

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