As soon as a white starch hits your blood stream, it turns into sugar. Your body is not differentiating between the bowl of white pasta, and the chocolate chip cookies you ate. There are simple carbs that are good for you, like nutrient dense fruit. Simple carbs burn quickly for a short burst of energy (think of a sugar high). Because of this, having some fruit before a workout is a great snack to give you a boost of energy.
There are many theories and fad diets surrounding carbs. You have good carbs, bad carbs, no carbs, low carbs, and more. It can be confusing! Here are the facts. There are simple carbs and complex carbs. Simple carbs are things with sugar in them: fruit, honey, dairy products (yogurt, milk), white starches. Think about that for a second. White starches (pasta, bread, rice) are all in the same category as sugar.
Complex carbohydrates are your whole grains. These have much more fiber and nutrients, and are slow burning. This means they will give you lasting energy, and keep your blood sugar stable. Eating complex carbs earlier in the day (breakfast of lunch) will give you sustained energy you need to get you through your day, without crashing. Conversely, in the evening, when you’re getting closer to bedtime, you want to limit your carb intake, because you won’t be burning as many calories between dinner and sleep. The lighter your dinner is, the better you will sleep and the better you will feel in the morning. I suggest a salad or soup you’ve doctored up (add some fresh veggies to store-bought soup), and a serving of lean protein or another vegetable on the side.
Some of my favorite carbs at the moment are sweet potatoes (stay tuned for my EnLITEned Eats Springtime Sweet Potato Hash recipe coming soon), quinoa (take a look at my Chimichurri Quinoa recipe below), oatmeal, and brown rice. These all help to keep my tummy from growling, my energy high, and my meals tasty. Go ahead, have some carbs! Just make sure they're working for you, not against you.