Carbohydrates (starches and sugars) have certainly gotten a bad reputation for packing on the pounds over the last few years. But, it really is not necessary to count carbohydrates out of your low calorie cooking.
When it comes to low calorie cooking, a calorie is a calorie. With that in mind, be aware that a carbohydrate has 4 calories per gram, the same amount of calories as a gram of protein. Note that, on the other hand, fats have a whopping 9 calories per gram. So, for low calorie cooking, what you really want to use in moderation is great amounts of fat, or very concentrated sources of carbohydrate such as sugar. But, carbohydrates as a whole are completely tolerated in low calorie cooking, and are part of a healthy diet as they provide essential nutrients such as B vitamins and dietary fiber (when using whole grains).
From a health standpoint, it is in your best interest to choose carbohydrates that offer the most nutrition, such as whole grains. Grains such as rice, pastas, and breads are readily available in whole grain form, and are the most nutrient dense carbohydrate choices. So, when it comes to low calorie cooking, don't be afraid to include this important food group in your cooking plan.