With Christmas over and New Year looming, many of us are turning our thoughts to diets and New Year’s resolutions.
And this year it seems carbohydrates will be on the hit list.
New research suggests nearly 50 percent of women feel guilty about eating them.
The study of 3,000 people revealed many believe removing carbohydrates from their diet is an effective way to shed the pounds.
However, Jane Ogden, professor in health psychology at the University of Surrey, and designer of the new survey, claims this is dangerous as carbohydrates are an ‘essential’ part of people’s diets.
She said, “If they realise that carbohydrates have an essential part in their diets, not only for energy but also for building long-term sustainable healthy habits, then carbohydrates can resume their place as a central part of how they eat.”
Professor Ogden added that rather than cutting out all carbohydrates, people should try to steer clear of sugary ‘bad carbs’.
She says the problem with avoiding carbohydrates altogether is that it means people feel hungry and that this leads to snacking on fatty, sugary foods.
This, she explains, can lead to an unhealthy, vicious cycle.
The new survey, which was conducted from the weight-loss supplement XLS-Medical Carb Blocker, also revealed that women are twice as likely as men to feel guilty about their carbohydrate consumption – despite the fact they are less likely to be overweight.
One in 10 women say they constantly feel bad about their carb consumption while a quarter say they try to avoid eating them during the week so they can eat more at the weekends.
It also found that most people are unsure how much carbohydrate they ought to eat each day.
The government currently recommends that about half of a person’s daily calorie intake should be in the form of carbohydrates but most people surveyed significantly underestimated the amount of food that would amount to.
In reality, this would add up to about one bowl of cereal, two slices of bread, a portion of pasta and three oatcakes.
While Professor Ogden is clear in her opinion that carbohydrates should remain a key part of people’s diets, nutritionist Zoe Harcombe disagrees.
She claims it is illogical to say people should avoid carbohydrates that are high in sugar, because all carbohydrates break down into sugar.
She told MailOnline, “This shows nutritional ignorance. Telling people to cut down on sugar but to eat more carbohydrate is like telling people to use the car less but to consume more petrol. All carbs break down into sugars. Whether polysaccharides (many sugars), disaccharides (two sugars) or mono saccharides (single sugars) – all carbs break down into sugar.”
She added, “Carbs are not essential. Essential in nutrition means that the substance must be consumed – the body doesn’t make it. There are essential fats. There are essentials proteins (certain amino acids). There are no essential carbs.” She added, “Women are right to be wary of carbs – they make us fat.”
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