Do you know the difference between good and bad carbohydrates? If you don’t, that’s okay. That’s what I’m here for!

A lot of people say they’ve sworn off carbs, but in reality, they should only be eliminating the type that’s bad for them: refined carbs.

When you hear the word refined, you may think of a refined gentleman. But not in this case. Refined carbs are stripped of their fiber and nutrients, which your body needs.

Good carbs, on the other hand, are full of fiber and nutrients. Some sources of these carbs are steel-cut oats and brown rice, and they’re called complex carbs. You can enjoy these types of carbs with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even snacks! My favorite breakfast is a bowl of steel-cut oats, a little bit of honey, and greek yogurt.

Is it such a big deal if they’re low in nutrients? I mean, there’s a whole industry designated to selling supplements so we can just pop a pill to get our vitamins, right? Well, studies have actually shown that consuming bad carbs have negative, long-term effects on your health. So yes, it is a big deal! Especially when you’ve made the decision to incorporate healthier habits into your life.

For example, have you ever been eating a bag of cookies, suddenly looked down and saw that most of the bag was empty? We all have, and guess what? That could very well be a result of consuming bad carbs.

Those refined carbs, even though they can be delicious, have actually been linked with overeating. Good carbs let you know when you’re full, but bad carbs actually encourage you to pig out! So, what started out as enjoying a cookie or two has turned into a total calorie bomb and one that your body isn’t cut out to fight.

Whenever you overeat, you’re at risk of gaining weight and adding inches to your waistline. Those extra inches can lead to obesity, which can cause you to develop Type 2 Diabetes, which means that your body can no longer process sugar the way it used to.

If that happens, you can pretty much say goodbye to sweets and treats, and don’t we all deserve the occasional slice of cake?

As you’re cutting out refined carbs from your diet, be sure to search for healthy alternatives. For example, search for snack cakes that are low in sugar and high in complex carbs. With the right combinations, you may very well trick your brain into thinking that you’re indulging!

Be sure to fill up on complex carbs, such as oatmeal, brown rice and other whole grains. They can make you feel full enough to not even want a bag of cookies or a piece of cake!