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Nearly half of women feel guilty about eating carbohydrates, even though carbs have an essential part in a healthy diet, a new study has found.
Women are about twice as likely as men to suffer from 'carb guilt', even though they were more likely to be a healthy weight, according to a survey of 3,000 people.
One in ten women said they felt guilty all the time about the amount of carbohydrates they ate while about a quarter said they would avoid them in the week to allow themselves to indulge at the weekend.
Jane Ogden, a professor in health psychology at the University of Surrey who helped design the research, said that people were irrationally demonising carbohydrates.
'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,' she said. (Read: Carbohydrates are no more the enemy when it comes to weight loss)
The survey, conducted for a weight-loss brand, found that most of those questioned were unaware of how much carbohydrate they should be eating.
The recommended daily allowance is 250g - around half of a person's daily calories - but when asked what that might amount to in food, most people significantly underestimated it, 'The Times' reported.
Instead of trying to cut out carbohydrates, Ogden said that the focus should be on avoiding 'bad carbs' from added sugar, and trying to include foods with healthy complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables. (Read: Cutting down on calories, not carbs helps weight loss)
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