This from John Berardi, whose judgment on matters nutritional I implicitly trust. Berardi gives as one of his eight rules for healthy “gourmet” nutrition, this advice about carbohydrates:
[F]lavor and nutritional value are not mutually exclusive. I prefer to think of them as absolutely reconcilable. And by using the principles of “gourmet nutrition” you can create meals that both taste great and are healthy, too.
To this end, a “gourmet nutrition” meal must conform to the following: ….
It must offer you carbs only if you “deserve” them.
You’ve probably read all about high carb vs. low carb dieting. In my opinion, this high vs. low carb debate is a little misunderstood. As the body handles carbs best when it’s in an exercised state, the best carb strategy is this: eat carbs only if you’ve earned them.
Have you exercised? If so, you’ve earned a higher carb meal. Have you exercised a lot? If so, you’ve earned even more carbs. However, keep this in mind; if you haven’t exercised, your carb intake should probably be lower. Therefore “gourmet nutrition” means having two categories of meals — higher carb meals (for when you’ve earned them) and lower carb meals (for when you haven’t).
This especially makes sense when you are insulin sensitive and/or diabetic, & is completely reconcilable with the way of eating prescribed by Richard Bernstein in Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution, which by its nature is very low carb.
It also accords with Lyle McDonald’s info about targeted ketogenic diets (TKD) for low-carbers who are involved in cardio & strength-training exercise: with TKD, you consume a modicum of carbs around exercise, but only around exercise, so that adaptations to ketosis are retained.
And of course people who are eating higher carb, non-ketogenic diets will be well-served by this advice too.