If you want to ensure that you and your family eat healthier, you need to purge your pantry! This means getting rid of all those unhealthy foods that continue to stare at you all day long. You're continually tempted to eat those potato chips, cookies and sugary cereals. Rid yourself of the sugary, salty temptations so you don't find yourself standing in front of the pantry, staring longingly at the foods you can't eat anymore. You can even do your community some good by donating the foods you haven't opened yet to your local food bank.
>> Read more: 10 Of The Best Weight-Loss Friendly Foods
While you're cleaning all the unhealthy foods out of your pantry, you can update it as well! You want to start by first cleaning out your pantry of old food items. You should get rid of these items:
- Stale and expired foods
- Duplicated items
- Anything unappealing
- Old spices
- Random non-food items like cleaning supplies. Reorganize those somewhere else!
After you have cleaned your pantry out, now you can purge it of the unhealthy items. If you want to focus on healthy eating and avoiding temptation, you should purge the following foods from your pantry.
Sugar: There are very few health benefits to this sweet additive. You can actually become addicted to it, too! It has been linked to diabetes, obesity, heart disease and depression. To get rid of all the sugar in your pantry, you'll need to read the labels on your foods. To get that sweet taste you can add Splenda, stevia or even agave nectar instead.
Sugary snacks and cereals: These may be your favorite snacks ,but also your biggest tormentors! You know those snacks and cereals that are so yummy but filled with sugar are bad for you. The cookies, toaster pastries and snacks are made with processed sugars and flours, which means that they have very little nutritional value. When you read the food label, watch out for the terms dextrose, dextran, sucrose, fructose, galactose, lactose and maltose, because they all mean sugar.
>> Read more: 10 Breakfast Cereals with the Least Amount of Sugar
White flour and cornstarch: The reason these foods are white is because of a bleaching process. It turns those foods white while also stripping them of all nutrients and fiber! You should get rid of all your chips, pasta, bagels and pretzels. Replace those foods with a healthier option like whole grain flour and foods.
White rice: Since all the nutrients have been stripped from this rice, you're really eating empty calories. It has been known to wreak havoc with blood sugar levels. Eat brown rice instead, and you'll get plenty of fiber and nutrients like riboflavin, folate, magnesium and zinc.
High fructose corn syrup: This is a popular sweetener that has been found in sodas, fruit drinks, sport drinks, salad dressing and breads. A process changes the sugar from cornstarch into fructose. It's a cheap way to produce sugar while hiding it from you.
Processed high fat foods, mixes and prepackaged meals: It's best to avoid these items like chips, microwave popcorn, Lunchables, crackers and of course, cookies, altogether. They contain trans fats which some consider the worst ingredient. It can raise your bad cholesterol and lower your good cholesterol, making it a bad food for those with heart problems.
Corn and blended vegetable oil and shortenings: This additive can be found in many pantries but has been found to be only slightly better than butter and can weaken your immune system. Replace your corn and vegetable oil with better options like olive, canola, peanut or sunflower oil.
>> Read more: 9 Scariest Food Additives
Flavor enhanced foods: Why eat foods with no real ingredients when you can eat the real thing? Eating blueberry muffins with artificial flavoring and coloring is not the same as eating real blueberries! Plus the real blueberries have all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients your body needs.
Sources: Empowering Retreat and Apartment Therapy
To check out more tips on cleaning out your pantry, click here!