This is where it can get tricky because the answer is yes and no but trust me we MUST have carbs in our diet. ‘No Carbs’ diets are not healthy.
The truth is we need carbs.
We had a small discussion about carbs and weight loss here.
Now for the basic background info on carbs:
Carbs come in three forms low, medium and high GI (glycemic index).
Ideally, we want to eat ‘Good Carbs’: low GI carbs such as brown rice and quinoa when possible as they break down to glucose slower and hence less of an insulin response. If High GI foods are eaten such as white bread and white rice, more insulin is produced causing excess glycogen to turn into triglycerides (fats).
You can find a stack of info regarding all things insulin, health and carbohydrates in this article from Harvard
Why are carbohydrates so necessary then if excess turns to fat?
The carbohydrate which breaks down to glucose and converted to glycogen is what our cells and more importantly our brain uses for energy. So starving the body of carbs leads to mental and physical deterioration.
The tricky part is how much carbs is right for you as it is REALLY based on individuals. You need to start listening to your body. If you are feeling lethargic your glycogen stores may be too low and you may need to increase the amount of low GI carbs in your diet, however if you feel gluggy bloated and heavy your glycogen levels may be excessive and if you aren’t training hard enough or engaged in physical activity at work you may put on weight
How much carbohydrate your body can tolerate and the insulin response really varies from person to person so trial and error and objective measures like skinfold testing, weigh ins, photos and clothes comparisons as we talked about earlier. are great guidelines to work out how much is best for you.