Cutting out sugar in tea does not affect how fond you are

Cutting out sugar from a cup of tea doesn't make people any less fond of the drink, scientists have said.

Researchers asked a group of participants to remove it from their cuppa and found that their likeness for the drink didn't change, according to Daily Mail.

Cutting out sugar in one drastic step, or gradually reducing it over time, were both effective methods for consuming less sugar.

Health officials recommend no more than seven teaspoons of sugar per day, but the average consumes almost double that, according to estimates.

The researchers, from University College London and the University of Leeds, said the switch to a sugarless tea could improve people's diet. 

In their study, they wrote: 'Reducing sugar in tea doesn't affect liking, suggesting long-term behaviour change is possible.

'Excess sugar intake is a public health problem and sugar in beverages contributes substantially to total intake.

'Reducing sugar intake from beverages may therefore help to reduce overall consumption.'

The academics analysed data for 64 men who habitually drank tea sweetened with sugar, who followed a new protocol for one month.

The group was split equally into men who gradually reduced the sugar in their tea over the four weeks, those who quit sugar in tea in one step, and a control group who continued drinking sweet tea.

The results showed that the sugar reduction groups were able to get rid of sugar without it affecting how much they liked their tea.

Some 36 per cent of those who eliminated sugar in one step were able to kick their sugar habit for good, and six per cent of those in the control group.

But 42 per cent of those in the gradual reduction group quit sugar in tea, showing that gradual change is more successful.

The researchers concluded: 'Individuals can successfully reduce the amount of sugar consumed in tea using two different behavioural strategies.

'Similar interventions could be used to reduce intake of sugar in other beverages such as dilutable fruit juices (such as squash), as well.'

Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, said: 'Cutting down on table sugar is a very good idea.

'We get all the sugar we need from other food sources and the researchers' findings should come as no surprise.

'Reducing the sugar gradually, allowing the taste buds to become acclimatised to the new formula, might be less of a sudden shock to the system but, as the study reports, the end result is the same.

Added sugars shouldn't make up more than five per cent of the calorie intake people get from food and drink each day.

This equates to about 30g of sugar a day, or seven teaspoons, for those aged 11 and over.

Adults drink an average of two to three cups of tea a day, according to a survey of 2,000 people