10 Healthy Pantry Changes

by Lynn on April 22, 2010

There are many changes we can make when we decide we want to live a healthy lifestyle, one of the biggest changes we can make is to the food we stock in our kitchen and pantry. If your pantry is loaded with quick unhealthy snacks, then that’s what you’ll grab when you get hungry and your in a hurry, guaranteed!

If you want to get healthy you have to start by going through the food you have now and getting rid of foods that don’t fit your healthy lifestyle. Donate them, throw them out, give them to friends, whatever you have to do, just get them out of the house.

Here are ten changes you can make to your pantry (and refrigerator) to help you stick to your healthy eating plans.

1. Stock foods that are as close to nature as you can. The less processing the better. Natural foods are generally healthier for you. For example whole grains, fresh fruits, nuts and seeds. It will take less of these foods to satisfy your hunger. Stay away from processed foods.

2. If it has ingredients in it you can’t read, don’t buy it, your body’s probably never heard of it either.

3. Replace sugar substitutes, and refined sugars with evaporated cane sugar, maple syrup, or honey.

4. Buy organic whenever your budget will allow.

5. Buy as close to the producer as possible. The recent salmonella scares are a good example of why it’s good to know the source of your food. Go check out your local farmers market, ask them if they grew their produce, if not where did it come from?

6. Read those labels before you buy, this ties back to number 2. Read the label on everything you put in your pantry. Then you’ll know how much fat, and how many calories, versus vitamins and fiber you’re putting into your body. Make this an automatic habit when you add something to your cart.

7. Keep your pantry stocked with healthy foods. When my pantry and refrigerator are stocked with healthy choices I’m less likely to go to the grocery on a whim, or order out. When the cupboards are bare, I’ll tend to run out to the grocery, or local fast food place to find something quick to eat.

8. All oils are not created equally. Again check the label and avoid anything with hydrogenated oils, or saturated fats. Stock your pantry with polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated oils such as olive oil, or canola oil. Expeller pressed is best because the oil is produced without harsh chemicals.

9. Avoid foods that contain high fructose corn syrup. Again I say read the label on everything you buy. Corn syrup is a cheap sweetener, but it doesn’t do much for your body. Manufacturers put it in everything from chips, to salad dressing.

10. What’s your best tip for keeping your pantry healthy? I know I didn’t cover everything. I’d love to hear your ideas.

Image via stock.xchng

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