The Ultimate Tea Diet” (William Morrow; 2007) by Mark “Dr. Tea” Ukra is beautifully packaged and hooks you with the subtitle “How Tea Can Boost Your Metabolism, Shrink Your Appetite and Kick-Start Remarkable Weight Loss”. As a devoted tea drinker for decades and someone who needed to loose a few pounds, I eagerly checked out my local library’s copy.
Does the title of the book sound too good to be true? Yes. That should give you a clue as to how reliable the information is. The book is merely a 320-page advertisement for the author’s tea shop, The Tea Garden & Herbal Emporium in West Hollywood. There is a lot of hype and a lot of false statements with dodgy science to try and prop it up.
About “Dr. Tea”
The cover of “The Ultimate Tea Diet” has an interesting way of presenting the author’s name. “Mark” and “Ukra” are in harder to read, thinner script, while “Dr. Tea” is in thicker and larger print. This gives the false impression that Mark Ukra is a doctor or somebody working in the medical industry. He’s not. He’s a tea seller who just happens to now have a book out. You don’t find out this crucial bit of information until a few pages into the book.
Ukra claims that his ancestors have been in tea merchants for over 400 years. Perhaps he’s the only one of the lot to have a book out. He’s certainly the only one to claim that drinking and eating tea will help people to loose weight. If drinking tea could help you loose weight, I’d be skinnier than Kate Moss.
Ukra claims that all types of tea contain three magic ingredients to help make your body burn calories faster than if you didn’t drink tea. These are caffeine, L-theanine and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). He also claims that L-theanine “reduces the harmful effects of caffeine”. Ukra then expalians that you can drink all the tea you want and not have to worry about being overly-caffeinated. Really? This writer Googled the claim and could find no clinical study to back it up. And just how does Dr. Tea know how much caffeine is in tea, anyway?
No one does, according to “The World of Caffeine: The Culture Behind the World’s Most Popular Drug” (Bennett Alan Weinberg & Bonnie K. Bealor; Routledge; 2002). This also hammered home in “The Story of Tea: A Cultural History and Drinking Guide” (Ten Speed Press; 2007), written by tea merchants and connisours Mary Lou and Robert J. Heiss. This is because each batch of tea varies widely in each batch of tea. Caffeine content can fluctuate depending on the soil that the plants were grown in, how the tea was processed and how long the tea is brewed.
As a book, “The Ultimate Tea Diet” starts out promising, but ends up a yawner. It’s basically the same sentence over and over again – “I promise that if you drink tea, you’ll be thin.” There are many testimonials in the book by people who claim to have lost weight on the tea diet but, oddly enough, all of those different people wrote exactly alike. There is also no way for the reader to vertify if these people existed or if they were just made up out of thin air.
In conclusion, “The Ultimate Tea Diet” should, in future editions, be filed under “fiction.”