There's so much contradiction in relation to carbohydrates and I hope this article can give you a clearer picture.
Carbohydrates are the easiest source of energy for the body.
Provide energy for the brain
Provide the body with fibre, minerals and vitamins.
Contribute to better sleep.
Aid in recovery and building of muscles.
Help to burn fat.
Highly processed, refined carbohydrates pose problems.
They cause very sudden spikes in blood sugars.
Impact us on a hormonal level causing food cravings.
Suppress feelings of satiety.
Are the cause of a lot of inflammation in the digestive system.
Refined carbohydrates have contributed greatly to the obesity epidemic that is sweeping through our planet.
Mass produced breads, cereals, pastas, spaghettis, pastries, fizzy drinks, added sugars and confectionary are the main culprits that need to be greatly limited in our diets.
Of course you can. The problem with carbohydrates is people eat too much, too frequently - cereal and toast for breakfast, sandwhiches, wraps and rolls for lunch, biscuits and chocolates as a midday snack, spaghetti, pasta, rice and potatoes for dinner. The only thing this will help with is weight gain. What you should be looking for is something close to between 30% and 50% of your carbohydrate intake coming from vegetables and fruit, and the remainder coming from healthy starches.
As a general guide I look to eat 3 servings of vegetables, 2 servings of fruit and 1 - 2 servings of staches per day.
Choose carbs in their whole, natural and unprocessed state.
Vegetables and fruits are great sources of carbohydrates that come packed with plenty of minerals and vitamins. Broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, carrots, parsnips, onions, peppers, celery, apples, pears, berries etc. They're high in fibre, low in calories and help nourish our body.
Starches such as brown rice, rice, sweet potato, potato, oats, squashes, turnip, etc. help provide the body with a healthy supply of energy, fibre and health promoting minerals.
Timing of your carbohydrate intake is more important than you think. Generally speaking, you should increase your intake of carbohydrates as the day goes by. What works really well with my clients and I is starting the day with a low carb breakfast. After this you could include some berries / an apple / a pear as a snack, along with some nuts. At lunch try to introduce plenty of leafy greens along with a variety of meditteranean vegetables. Wait until your evening or post workout meal to add in the more starchy carbs such as brown rice / sweet potato etc. Why? Simple, when you eat carbs later in the day they help you get a good nights sleep. When you consume carbs in the hour following your workout they help with recovery, muscle building and fat burning. Just make sure to watch your serving size as too much will work against your weight loss efforts.