Eating the right kinds of carbs can boost your energy, get you through your challenging workout (or busy work day), and fuel your body and mind. The wrong kind can leave you feeling lethargic, and hungry. Learn how to kick start your energy level and brain power with delicious food choices!

Knowing the Difference Between Good Vs. Bad Carbs
Contrary to what you may have been told, carbs are not the enemy. In fact, your body needs carbs to function at an optimal level! The right kind of carbs, otherwise known as complex carbs, provide your body with energy immediately (and is one of the many reasons a sugary donut and vanilla latte for breakfast makes you feel sluggish). Complex carbs can also boost your metabolism, improve your digestion and fill you up. Bad (or ‘simple’) carbs do the opposite: they increase your appetite, negatively affect your sleeping pattern, lower your energy level and over time, cause you to gain weight.

Good (or ‘complex’) carbs include:
• Honey• Fruit• Dried fruit (raisins, dates, etc.) • Nuts (and nut butter)• Sweet potatoes• Milk• Rice• Chickpeas• Brown rice• Oats• Yogurt (also a great source of protein!)
Bad carbs are often processed, and nutrient-weak. Here are some bad carbs to eat in moderation, or swap out entirely with ‘good’ carbs:
• White pasta• White bread• Cookies, cakes and other sugary pastries • Chocolate and candy• Fruit juice• Fried foods (French fries, potato chips, etc.) • Ice-cream • Coffee drinks (loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners) • Bagels • White rice • Pizza• Tortilla chips• Beer• Pancakes • Refined cereals.

How to Replace the ‘Bad’ With the ‘Good’
If you’re in the habit of eating a sugary muffin or cereal for breakfast every morning, switch it out with the ‘good’! Overnight oats are a great way to rev up your metabolism – and fill you up! —with nutrients that give you a much needed ‘brain boost’. Replace a bowl of white pasta with zucchini noodles instead. Processed tortilla chips may be tempting to eat on ‘game day,’ but it’s chocked full of empty calories. Instead, switch it out for sliced pita bread and hummus, or air popped popcorn.

If you’re greatest indulgence is pizza, make it an occasional indulgence. You can also turn your pizza craving into a healthier caprese salad. Without the dough, you’re still getting cheese, tomatoes and basil. Get creative and add other topping to it as well!

It’s not always easy to kick the ‘bad’ carbs habit, but all it takes is a little commitment to a healthier habit, and some creativity. In no time at all, the ‘good’ carbs will give you boundless energy, and a healthier overall diet.