If you have goals to lose weight or to become healthier, then a pantry full of processed and high sugar foods will definitely get in your way.
We often don’t realize that our pantries are filled with over processed foods, foods high in sugar and sodium, not to mention the foods that contain ingredients that no one can pronounce!
Don’t worry, there are a few simple ways to make your pantry much healthier!
The first step to a healthier pantry is to actually know what you have in there! Often pantries are so deep that we end up losing things to the depths of the shelves only to rediscover them upon a move or when a mystery scent arises from the cabinets! So your first step to a healthier pantry is to actually figure out what is in that thing!
Take every single item out and lay them out so they are all visible to you. This will help you with step two!
If you truly want a healthier pantry, you first need to be honest with yourself about that bag of chips and box of cookies!
Of course indulgences are welcomed in any healthy diet, in moderation. However, these high fat, high sugar, high sodium foods don’t need to be dragging down your healthy eating habits.
Get rid of the things you absolutely know are complete junk foods. Donate what foods you can (unopened packages, etc.) and trash the rest. Realistically, these foods don’t bring you any nutritional value and can be a pretty big temptation that can lead you off the path of nutritious eating.
Now that you have cleared out the obvious junk you, may be wondering if what’s left is any good. Chances are you will have some healthy options in your pantry already. There are even better chances that you have a pantry full of things you think are healthy but on a closer look, you may realize they are over processed and not meant for your healthy pantry!
To start, take a look at the ingredient list. You will find that ingredients are listed in order of decreasing volume. This means that whatever the product has the most of is listed first and then goes down from there. If sugar (or another name for sugar such as dextrose, cane sugar, corn syrup, etc) is in the top few ingredients, it should be trashed!.
You also want to check how many calories there are per serving, and how much a serving actually is. After that, check how many grams of sugar there are per serve.
What is an allowable calorie and sugar intake for your diet will be entirely up to you and your body. If you’re trying to lose weight, it could be a great idea to check in with a certified nutritionist or dietician about the nutrient levels your body needs!
The key to a healthy pantry is a well stocked pantry with loads of healthy options so that you never need to scramble to make a delicious meal. So before you head to the grocery store, do a little research about the products and brands you intend to buy. Make sure that they fall within the guidelines you have set for your nutrient levels and your diet.
Whether you love sweet or savory snacks, there will be an alternative out there for you. Instead of grabbing chips, cookies, candy, and other highly processed foods, put a little thought into healthier alternatives.
For instance, if you love chips, try air popped popcorn or roasted chickpeas! Veggies and hummus also make for a great savory snack and a delicious way to get your veggie servings in! If sweet foods dominate your cabinets, see if you can swap in fruit or higher quality dark chocolate. These options will satisfy your sweet tooth while also providing excellent antioxidant benefits.
It can be hard to start a healthy eating journey, and having a pantry full of highly processed foods will stop you in your tracks!
So give these tips a try and don’t be afraid to throw away or donate foods that don’t fit in with your nutrient needs.
Most importantly, make sure you pay attention to your body and how it feels when you eat certain things. Most of the time, your belly will be the judge of whether a food is meant for you or not!
If you follow these simple steps, you will be on your way to a healthier pantry in no time!