When following a balanced diet, limit your consumption of added sugar, refined grains, processed food, trans fat, and artificially flavored goods. Steel-cut oats, nuts, canned beans, white wine vinegar, green tea, and lentils are healthy additions to your pantry.
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Ready to make lifestyle changes that can help you maintain a clean, healthy diet?
Limiting certain food items from your pantry might help you stay on track with your weight loss goals and improve your overall health. Here are six food items to look out for.
6 Food Items to Remove From Your Pantry
1. Added Sugar
Products with large amounts of added sugar should be avoided when trying to achieve a healthier lifestyle and weight loss.
Added sugar has low nutritional value and offers calories that you don’t necessarily need. Eating too much can lead to health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
Review the nutrition facts and ingredients of all your food items — it may surprise you how many of them have added sugar. Added sugar comes in many different forms and may be disguised through names such as granulated sugar, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, and molasses.
As a rule of thumb, any ingredient with the ending “-ose” may be a source of added sugar. Always make sure that sugar isn’t the first ingredient listed when purchasing a product.
2. White Flour
White flour is flour that has been bleached and processed, reducing fiber and nutritional value. This may leave you feeling bloated and constipated.
Review all of your carb foods, such as bread, pasta, bagels, pretzels and see if they are primarily made with white flour.
Aim to choose the whole grain versions, which are higher in fiber and nutrients, and known to reduce the risk of certain diseases. Whole grain products can help prevent you from overeating by keeping you fuller longer.
3. White Rice
Similar to white flour, white rice is also lower in fiber and nutrients when compared to its whole-grain counterparts, and is known to have a yo-yo effect on one’s blood sugar levels.
Replace white rice with brown rice, wild rice, or quinoa.
Health advantages of these kinds of rice:
- Brown Rice is nutrient-packed, fiber-rich, and may help prevent heart disease.
- Wild Rice has more protein than other types of rice, is high in antioxidants, and may reduce the risk of several diseases, such as heart disease.
- Quinoa promotes a healthy gut by providing gut-friendly bacteria and resistant starches, which help with digestion.
4. Processed and Prepackaged Food
Avoid eating too many processed foods altogether such as chips, cookies, and lunch meat.
Processed foods are usually high in sodium, which can cause your body to hold more water and raise blood pressure. This might make you feel bloated and mask weight-loss progress.
Choose low-sodium options, or replace these foods with fresh food that you can prepare yourself.
5. Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil
You don’t need partially hydrogenated vegetable oil because according to the Food and Drug Administration(FDA), the trans fat found in this oil can increase your chances of heart disease.
This type of oil is typically found in margarine and baked goods.
Choose products that contain healthier alternatives such as olive, sesame, or grapeseed oil.
Health advantages of these oils:
- Olive Oil contains nutrients that are anti-inflammatory and lowers the risk of a stroke.
- Sesame Oil is a great source of Vitamin E and might be able to help reduce blood pressure.
- Grapeseed Oil contains Vitamin E, anti-inflammatory nutrients, and is a rich source of Omega-6 fatty acids, which promote heart health.
6. Artificial Flavor Enhanced Foods
Choose wisely when it comes to food with artificial flavors because they might not be the best option. Why not go for the “real” thing? It will provide you with more nutrients!
For example, instead of eating processed blueberry muffins, eat a cup of blueberries. Blueberries have a lot of vitamin C and potassium that are beneficial for your body!
Eat foods in their natural state since they can provide the proper vitamins and minerals your body needs to function properly and effectively.
Take Action Now
Review the food items in your pantry and replace items that may be negatively impacting your health. Fill up your pantry with organic, unprocessed, and nutrient-packed food instead.
You will feel a boost in energy, have an elevated mood, and improve your quality of life. Cutting out these temptations from your life will help you stay on track with your weight loss goals and promote a healthy lifestyle.
6 Must-Have Pantry Foods for Healthy Lifestyle
Have you ever wondered, “What foods can I eat to help me lose weight and feel satisfied?”
Believe us when we say that there are many healthy options to choose from at the grocery store.
Fill your kitchen with these 6 healthy food options to help you reach your health goals.
1. Steel-Cut Oats
Steel-Cut Oats are nutrient packed with protein, fiber, and iron. They are a type of whole grain, allowing you to stay fuller longer. Enjoy cooked steel-cut oats with some fresh berries or banana slices on top as a healthy breakfast option.
You can also make some overnight oats that are ready for you to eat in the morning. All you have to do is put them in a jar with milk and toppings, place them in the fridge, and wait to enjoy them until morning.
Other whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, granola are great to have around as well!
Nuts provide a variety of nutrients and are considered heart-healthy. They are full of protein, unsaturated fat (helps reduce bad cholesterol levels), omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and vitamin E (prevents plaque build up in your arteries).
Macronutrient value of nuts (per 1 ounce):
- Cashews: 155 kcal, 9 g carbs, 5 g protein, 12 g fat
- Almonds: 161 kcal, 6 g carbs, 6 g protein, 14 g fat
- Walnuts: 183 kcal, 4 g carbs, 4 g protein, 18 g fat
Eat nuts as a snack or add them on top of your salads or soups as a garnish.
3. Canned Beans
Stock up on canned chickpeas, black beans, and kidney beans. Like most beans, they are considered “healthy” carbs because they don’t cause a spike in blood sugar and provide other health benefits. Wash them before use to rinse off any excess salt. They are a simple and fast way to add protein to your salads, wraps, soups, and stews.
Here are the health benefits of each bean:
- Chickpeas can help lower bad cholesterol levels, help prevent constipation, and promote a healthy digestive tract. Try making a chickpea-based tuna salad, which is great on top of salads or on a slice of whole grain bread for a hearty sandwich. Follow this recipe from the Simple Vegan Blog to make your own.
- Black Beans are known to help maintain healthy bones because they are rich in calcium. Also, they are a great way to lower one’s blood pressure because they contain potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
- Kidney Beans are high in fiber which help manages blood sugar levels and promote a healthy colon.
4. White Wine Vinegar
Buy a bottle of white wine vinegar and use it as a salad dressing. Mix it with olive oil for added flavor and texture. It is a lot healthier than other pre-made salad dressings on the market.
This type of vinegar has a mild flavor, so you can add it to a variety of foods.
5. Green Tea
If you love to drink warm beverages, then you definitely want to pick up some green tea.
Green tea carries powerful antioxidants that may help prevent cell damage and inflammation.
If you love earthy flavors, brewing the loose leaf form will provide more flavor than the bagged version.
Have a warm cup of green tea in the morning or, use cold green tea in smoothies for an extra kick of flavor (try one of our banana ice cream recipes with green tea or matcha powder).
Dried green or red lentils are great to have because they are full of protein, potassium (helps balance the body’s acidity levels and maintains a consistent blood pressure), and fiber.
With dried lentils, you don’t need to soak them before cooking, which is a time saver. Use red lentils for thick soup recipes and green lentils for rice pilafs, salads, and soups.
Pick up these up during your next grocery run to help you stay on track with your weight loss goals. Look for new healthy recipes (or try a healthy meal plan delivery service if you’re feeling lazy) to try with these ingredients.