There are as many opinions about how to get your carbohydrate intake as there are fitness professionals out there. Some people count vegetables as useful carbs, while others claim they provide no useful energy to the body. I’m not going to really make any bold claims here, because we all know that vegetables count as carbohydrates, but they’re usefulness does depend on what you’re wanting to get from your exercise.
The topic really boils down to one, simple question: Are you training for performance, or are you training to lose weight???
The answer to that question will tell you what you need to be putting more of into your body. Simply put, if you’re wanting to just lose weight, you’re going to want to stick with vegetables (and LOTS of them) as your main source of carbohydrate. However, if you are wanting to improve your performance – in ANY endeavor – you ARE going to need some starchy vegetables in your diet. Any intense type of activity, whether it be sprinting, swimming, weightlifting, etc, requires a VERY FAST utilization of glucose. Starchy carbohydrates provide a perfect avenue for this.
Many people do not approach diet from the “I want to improve my performance” side of things. Most will approach it from the weight loss standpoint. There is nothing wrong with that. If you are one of those who wants to improve at what you are doing, though, you might want to rethink a few things. I have found a great article, which you can read here, that deals with looking at food as a means of fueling the body for activity as opposed to a weight loss tool.
Again, there is absolutely nothing wrong with slow, low carbohydrate diets. They work wonders for those looking to trim some fat. But, if you are concerned at all with how you actually perform in the gym or on the road, consider a different approach to fueling your workouts.