Nutrition: Time to quit sugar on the course
How can eating sugary foods affect your golf ?
Sugary snacks only give you a quick fix because they lift your blood sugar up quickly but don’t provide long-lasting energy. When this wears off, you’ll feel irritable, light-headed and even find it hard to concentrate or focus. All of this can negatively impact your game. But by eating healthier snacks, you get sustained energy and feel more calm and focused.
How else does sugar affect your health and mental wellbeing?
For woman especially, sugar has an extremely negative impact on your health. It not only increases your risk of being overweight (especially around the middle of your body) but also of developing Type-2 diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s. It also causes premature ageing as well as other symptoms such as mood swings, depression, aggressive outbursts, headaches, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, muscle cramps, excess sweating and digestive problems.
What are the best alternatives to sugar?
There are many good natural sweeteners on the market, however you can also add sweetness to foods in other ways. For example, you could add carrots, raisins, dates, figs or bananas as natural sweeteners. Some spices like cinnamon and vanilla also add sweetness, enabling you to reduce the amount of other sweeteners in a recipe.
How can you combat sugar cravings?
Make sure you are eating little and often and don’t go more than three hours without eating or your body will be craving a ‘quick fix’ like a chocolate bar. Also try to avoid feeling stressed as this can increase your sugar cravings. Some nutrients can help reduce your stress levels. These include chromium for blood sugar balance, the B vitamins for energy, magnesium for relaxation and L-Theanine for reducing anxiety. A supplement that contains all these nutrients is Natural Health Practice’s Tranquil Woman Support (available from naturalhealthpractice.com).
Sugar-Free Gingerbread Cookies
- 280g finely ground wholemeal spelt flour/wholemeal flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼-½ tsp ground ginger
- 120g soft pitted dates e.g. Medjool
- 100ml olive oil/softened butter
- 120g maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg white
- Blend flour, baking powder, spices and dates in a food processor.
- Add the oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract and egg white and process into a soft dough.
- Roll out the dough until less than ½cm thick. Place the dough in the fridge for 1 hour to firm up.
- Preheat the oven to 150C. Cut out the shapes, place on tray lined with greaseproof paper and bake for 30 minutes or until golden.
Marilyn Glenville PhD is the UK’s leading nutritionist specialising in women’s health. Dr Glenville runs clinics in Harley Street, London, Kent and Ireland. Visit marilynglenville.com. Recipe from Dr Glenville’s Natural Alternatives to Sugar.