Cleaning Out the Kitchen

A lot of the success I’ve had thus far with changing my diet hasn’t been as much due to will power as it has been due to controlling what is available to eat, so when I ran across this article I really wanted to share since I know a number of people who are working on eating more healthfully.  Removing items that are detrimental to your health from your home is a great way to start changing your eating habits. This article has some good tips on how to go about doing this. I’ve posted the entire article below, but I would suggest you check out the site since they have a number of great health related articles.

Kitchen Makeover (from HealthCastle.com)

(HealthCastle.com) For many of us, junk food is much more tempting when it’s within easy reach. If it’s out of sight, it is probably out of mind – and won’t be calling your name every time you walk past it. So go take a deep dive into your kitchen and get rid of all the junk that your body doesn’t need, and trade up for something healthier that is deserving of permanent citizenship in your home!

Grain Products

Toss these: Why? Stock these instead:
Commercially baked products (e.g., store-boughtmuffins andpies) high in fat and sugar
likely contains trans fats
low in vitamins and minerals
100% whole wheat bread(4g fiber per serving would be ideal)
Sugar-ladencereals (e.g., fruit flavored hoops, “frosted” cereal) high in sugar
likely to be low in fiber
quick-cooking oatmeal
whole grain cereal (ideally less than 4g sugar and more than 5g fiber per serving)
Instant noodles high in sodium
likely high in fat
low in any nutrients
non-fried Asian noodles(e.g., soba, multi-grain udon)
Ready-to-bake mixes likely contains trans fat
lots of additives
whole wheat flour (to make your own from scratch)
Boxed macaroni high in fat
high in sodium
likely contains trans fat
whole wheat pasta

Meat and Alternatives

Toss these: Why? Stock these instead:
Deli meats (e.g., salami, bologna, pepperoni) very high in sodium
very high in total and saturated fat
frozen cooked meat (e.g., chicken breast)
fat-free turkey breast (enjoy occasionally due to high sodium content)
Frozen beef patties high in total and saturated fat extra-lean ground turkey
extra-lean ground beef
veggie burger patties
Wieners and other sausages high in total and saturated fat
high in sodium
fat-free 100% turkey or beef franks
extra-lean turkey bacon, lean smoked turkey sausage, or lean turkey kielbasa (all items in this category are high in sodium, so serve occasionally)
Luncheon meat, corned beef high in sodium
high in total and saturated fat
frozen cooked meat
canned baked beans (choose lower sodium varieties)
Regular bacon high in sodium
high in total and saturated fat
extra-lean turkey bacon
Fish canned in oil high in fat low-sodium fish canned in water

Dairy and Alternatives

Toss these: Why? Stock these instead:
Yogurts made with more than 5g sugar per oz high in sugar plain yogurt + fresh fruits
Sweetened non-dairy beverages (e.g., soy, rice, almond, hemp, etc) high in sugar unsweetened non-dairy beverages
Whipped dessert topping likely source of trans fat
may contain high fructose corn syrup
lots of additives
use real whipping cream if you must, and use sparingly
Processed cheese high in sodium
lots of additives
frozen cooked meat
natural cheese

Fruits and Vegetables

Toss these: Why? Stock these instead:
Fruits canned in thick syrup high in added sugar fresh fruits
dried fruits
frozen fruits
fruits canned in water or juice
Pickled or preserved vegetables high in sodium fresh vegetables
frozen vegetables

Snacks

Toss these: Why? Stock these instead:
Chips high in calories
high in fat
high in sodium
likely contains trans fat
baked chips or baked tortilla chips
unsalted nuts and seeds
plain popcorn
Crackers and cookies possible source of trans fat
can be high in sodium
high in calories
high in fat
high in sugar
low-fat whole graincrackers
brown rice cakes (unsalted or lightly salted)
Candies empty calories
high in sugar
dried fruits
Chocolate and candy bars high in calories
high in sugar
high in fat
likely a source of trans fat
lower in antioxidantsthan dark chocolates
pure dark chocolate squares
Flavored microwave popcorn high in sodium
lots of additives
high in fat
plain popcorn
Fruit bars contain more sugar than real fruit fresh fruits

Condiments

Toss these: Why? Stock these instead:
Shortening, or margarine that contains hydrogenated fats contains trans fat margarine made with non-hydrogenated fats
olive oil + balsamic vinegar
Coffee whitener and other artificial coffee creamers contain trans fat
lots of additives
skim milk
dried skim milk powder

Beverages

Toss these: Why? Stock these instead:
Fruit drinks high in added sugar
contain artificial flavoring and coloring
100% fruit juices
Sodas very high in sugar
may contain high fructose corn syrup
contain artificial flavoring and coloring
sparkling water
100% fruit juices
Sweetened drink mixes (e.g., iced tea mixes, flavored coffee mixes, and 3-in-1 coffee mixes) high in sugar
may contain trans fats (for flavored coffee mixes)
contain artificial flavoring and coloring
tea leaves/bags
coffee

The Bottom Line

If you haven’t already noticed, we are a big proponent of simple and fresh ingredients for homemade wholesome goodness. The less often you choose processed foods the better, but if you must buy them for convenience, choose ones with the least number of ingredients. Don’t forget to also check the label for total fat, trans fat (or the presence of hydrogenated fats/oils in ingredients list), sodium, and sugar – less is truly more.

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