The 4th of July is when we celebrate America’s independence from England. More than two hundred years later, there is a new threat to our pursuit of happiness and healthiness. The threat is sugar. It is added in shockingly high amounts everywhere to products like yogurt, “health” drinks, peanut butter, granola bars and lunch meats. This does a number of things to our bodies. For one, it skews our palate towards sweet foods so we continue to need sweeter and sweeter food. More dangerous is the effect sugar has on our bodies; refined sugars cause the body’s blood sugar to rise and fall quickly. Even a modest rise in blood sugar causes an inflammatory response and when this happens all day, everyday, it can burn out the pancreas-resulting in Type-2 diabetes.
This Fourth of July, consider declaring your independence from sugar. A great way to start is to forego the patriotic cupcakes and indulge your sweet tooth in some strawberries and blueberries. Also, keep an eye out for these hidden sources of sugar: ketchup, hot dogs, baked beans, white breads, alcohol and fruit juice.
Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy July 4th!
Dr. Tasneem Bhatia M.D.
Medical Director and Integrative Health Expert