People with diabetes can benefit from drinking up to five cups of black or green tea per day, according to a report by the Health Council of Netherlands.
Only certain kinds of tea offer the health benefits, which include lower blood pressure, lower risk of stroke and increased insulin sensitivity. The tea must be green or black, and it must not be sweetened.
Herbal teas were not included among the health-improving teas.
“We noted that in the scientific literature in the last 10 years, there are clear signs that drinking tea is good for your health,” said Eert Schote, a spokesman for the Health Council of the Netherlands.
“Three to five cups a day reduce blood pressure, diabetes and stroke risks, so this comes as one of our 16 guidelines.”
Tim Bond, of the Tea Advisory Panel, agreed with the Dutch guidelines, describing them as “in keeping with what we would advocate.”
“A number of recent studies looking at long-term drinking habits have indicated that three to five cups of tea are associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke,” Bond said.
“Other studies in the short term looking at risk factors also agree that daily tea consumption in this range are likely to have a positive impact on heart health.”
Tea, coffee and diabetes
Several studies have linked tea to improved blood pressure, lower risk of heart disease, lower risk of type 2 diabetes and greater insulin sensitivity. Research indicates, however, that adding milk to tea negates any improvements to insulin sensitivity.
Studies investigating the health benefits of coffee have reached more ambivalent conclusions. Coffee has been linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease, but other chemicals in coffee are associated with impaired insulin production.

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