Are Carbs at Night Good or Bad?

For ages, conventional wisdom held that eating carbs in the evening was a terrible idea if you were trying to lose weight. A recent study coming out of an Israel university flipped that old saw on it’s head. Now the headlines are telling us we should eat carbs at night, so what’s the deal? Melanie Thomassian, the dietitian behind Dietriffic, breaks the research down to explain whether or not eating carbs at night is good for your waistline.

popped amaranth
Popped Amaranth / John Lambert Pearson / CC BY 2.0

The Bottom Line

Eating carbs at night does have the potential to help boost weight loss efforts for a very specific group of people following a very specific diet and exercise regime. The research just isn’t broad enough to say universally that eating your carbs at night is better for every person. And, like most diet fads, it takes more than swapping one simple part of your eating efforts to create change. Here are a few key pieces of advice from Thomassian’s article that will benefit anyone who tries them:

  • Make sure your eating plan includes lots of whole plant foods.
  • Choose omega-3 rich sources of fat over omega-6 saturated fats.
  • Exercise regularly.

Sound familiar? They should. We’d add one more piece of advice. Regardless of what time of day you and your doctor decide it’s best for you to get your carbs, make sure you’re choosing whole grains over highly processed carbs.