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Healthy You

3 Naturally Sweetened Iced Teas That Will Make You Rethink Your Drink

Monday, June 14, 2021 12:54 PM

This summer, join our challenge to “Rethink Your Drink” and pledge to consume one less sugar-sweetened beverage daily.

Recent research shows that sugar consumption has increased by more than 30% in the U.S over the last three decades, with almost half of the added sugar coming from sugar-sweetened beverages.

The American Heart Association recommends adult males consume less than 9 teaspoons (36 grams) of sugar daily and for women to aim for no more than 6 teaspoons (24 grams) daily. However, the average adult consumes about 17 teaspoons of sugar each day which is 2-3 times the daily recommended value!

Excessive sugar increases the risk for cardiovascular disease, cognitive problems (including Alzheimer's and dementia), colon cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and kidney disease. We are biologically programmed to want sugar because up until a few hundred years ago, we only saw it seasonally in fruit and honey.

Like any other drug of addiction, daily sugar consumption builds tolerance, resulting in individuals needing more sugar to get that same sweet sensation, which continues the cycle.

NorthShore wants to help you get started on this new path! Take a few minutes to watch this video and check out the recipes for naturally sweetened iced tea from NorthShore dietitian Elyse Roel, RD.


To brew the tea, add all ingredients to a pitcher, cover, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours. Remove the tea bags after 12 hours and serve over ice.

Green or Blackberry Mint Iced Tea:

  • 2 green tea or black tea bags
  • 2 cups water
  • 8 blackberries
  • 4-6 sliced strawberries
  • 10 blueberries
  • 2 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 lime slice (optional)

Blackberry Mint Tea


Peach Mint Green Iced Tea

  • 2 green tea bags
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 sliced peach
  • 2 fresh mint leaves

Peach Mint Tea


Herbal Cucumber Watermelon Iced Tea

  • 2 herbal tea bags
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup watermelon cubes (cut into fun shapes like stars if you wish!)
  • 4-6 cucumber slices
  • 2 basil leaves

Watermelon Cucumber Tea