Want to create a healthy kitchen for diet success?
Whether you want to eat better or lose weight, we have healthy kitchen tips to set up your diet for success. If you’re like most people, you don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen every day. That’s why it’s important to create a healthy kitchen. We’ll make it easy to have healthy foods on hand, while keeping unhealthy foods out of your home. We’ll also cover time-saving kitchen tips to make your daily diet easier than ever.
Create a Healthy Kitchen
First, let’s start with your kitchen. It’s hard to eat well if you don’t have healthy food available.
1. Purge Your Pantry
What’s one of the easiest ways to eat healthier and lose weight? Get rid of unhealthy temptations! Create a healthy kitchen by purging your pantry. Begin by removing all food items from your pantry and cupboards. Clear counter space to go through each item. First, check expiration dates and discard expired items. Next, decide which items to save or donate. Keep in mind that getting rid of unhealthy stuff makes it much easier to eat well.
Read Food Labels
To determine which items stay or go, read food labels and ditch products containing:
- Ingredients that look like a chemistry experiment
- The 10 toxic ingredients to avoid (below)
- Artificial coloring
- Artificial and refined sweeteners
- Greater than 10 ingredients on the label
- More than 10 grams of sugar per serving
- GMO ingredients, such as non-organic corn or soy
- Manmade fats: canola, corn oil, vegetable oil, soybean oil
- Wheat and gluten, such as flour, barley, rye, bread crumbs, etc.
Clean shelves and organize items as you put them back to help prevent food waste and save time. Labels can also help keep the new system in place. Create zones in your pantry so healthy food is easy for everyone to find. Add a “snack” zone for kids, a “cheat meal” zone for weekends, and a “seasoning” zone for herbs and spices.
After the pantry is complete, you want to create a healthier fridge and freezer. Repeat this healthy kitchen clean-out process with your fridge and freezer items.
2. Stock Your Kitchen
Another healthy kitchen tip is to grocery shop like a nutritionist. This will help you stock your kitchen so you always have something healthy on hand. Choose whole foods over processed products. Select healthy alternatives when available. Opt for the highest quality foods you can afford, such as organic and grass-fed.
No matter what diet you follow, here are some dietary staples to stock your healthy kitchen…
- Fresh fruit: bananas, apples, oranges, lemons, limes, etc.
- Proteins: canned salmon or sardines
- Oils: avocado, coconut, olive, macadamia nut
- Fats: avocado, coconut butter, coconut milk, coconut cream
- Gluten-free: cookies, crackers, pasta, wraps, granola, trail mix
- Sweeteners: cinnamon, raw honey, maple syrup, dried fruit, stevia
- Baking: chocolate, cacao powder/butter/nibs, flour (coconut, cassava, almond, or oat)
- Other: tea, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, dried herbs or spices, seaweed, vanilla
- Staples: dressings, condiments, Kalamata olives, coconut aminos
- Fruits: apples, tangerines, dates, figs
- Vegetables: carrots, cabbage, kale, salad mix, cauliflower, etc.
- Cultured: kombucha, kvass, sauerkraut
- Other: bread (Paleo, sprouted, or sourdough), nut or seed butter, salsa, guacamole
- Fruits: berries, cherries, mango, açaí, dragonfruit, bananas, etc.
- Vegetables: spinach, broccoli, asparagus, kale, etc.
- Nuts and seeds: chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, almonds, etc.
- Protein: wild salmon, Italian chicken sausage, black bean burgers, etc.
3. Make Healthy Eating Easy
Now that you’ve tossed the bad stuff and stocked up on the good, you’ll want to make these upgrades delicious and doable. A healthy kitchen will help you eat better, save time, and prepare delicious meals that the whole family can enjoy.
Come up with a few no-excuse meals you can make in minutes…
- Black bean salad with sweet potatoes, tomatoes, guacamole, and salsa
- Banza chickpea pasta with tomato sauce, spinach, and mushrooms
- Frozen shrimp stir-fry with frozen vegetables and coconut aminos
- Rotisserie chicken wrap served in a Paleo wrap with Primal Kitchen vegan Ranch
- Paleo bread sandwich with almond butter and sliced bananas
Want more fast home-made meals in minimal time? Check out Real Plans Meal Plans. This affordable online meal planning tool helps you create healthy weekly meal plans. You can customize your plan to follow a particular diet, adjust serving sizes, and fit your schedule. It will give you simple recipes to follow and even a grocery list to shop for ingredients you don’t already have. And if that doesn’t make life easy, check out meal delivery services available in your area.
4. Reduce Toxic Ingredients
Toxins are abundant nowadays. They can have negative impacts on your health and weight loss efforts. Reduce toxins in your kitchen with the following tips:
- Opt for organic foods whenever available.
- Avoid plastic as much as possible.
- Use glass or silicone for food storage containers and jars.
- Select natural hand soap, dish soap, dish detergent, and cleaners.
- Swap non-stick cookware for glass, ceramic, enameled, stainless steel or cast iron.
- Cook with an Instant Pot for a quick non-toxic solution.
- Filter water with a Reverse Osmosis system or a Berkey.
- Avoid the microwave. Use safer heating methods such as sautéing, baking, or broiling.
Ditch Toxic Ingredients
While you create a healthy kitchen, you want to read labels and keep an eye out for these 10 toxic ingredients to avoid. These toxic ingredients are harmful to your body. Unfortunately, they’re found in many processed products. They contribute to a long list of health problems. This includes weight gain, hormone imbalances, behavioral issues, and even cancer.
10 Toxic Ingredients to Avoid
1. Wheat & Gluten
Most people LOVE wheat and foods containing gluten. It’s a staple in many diets around the world. Unfortunately, wheat is not the healthy food it used to be. Modern wheat is sprayed heavily with the Roundup. This herbicide contains the active ingredient glyphosate. This cancer-causing chemical contributes to countless health issues. Modern wheat is also less nutritious, more inflammatory, and linked to digestive issues.
Label says: wheat, gluten, flour, rye, barley, bread, bread crumbs, etc.
Healthy kitchen alternatives: Paleo bread, Paleo Wraps, etc.
Want to see drastic improvements with your health and experience rapid weight loss? Go gluten-free!
Corn is the second most common GMO and is hidden in many processed foods.
Label says: corn, corn oil, cornstarch, starch. Also, avoid sweeteners made from corn. That means high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, dextrose, maltodextrin, and more.
Healthy kitchen alternatives: Fresh organic corn is ok. But, it’s still a grain and shouldn’t be a replacement for vegetables. Veggies or potatoes can replace corn as a side dish. Swap corn tortillas for Primal Wraps. Replace cornstarch with arrowroot powder.
Soy is a GMO crop. It can contribute to excess estrogen, infertility, thyroid issues, mineral deficiencies, and more.
Label says: soy, soya, soybeans, edamame, soybean oil, soy milk, soy flour, tofu, soy sauce, tamari, teriyaki sauce, textured vegetable protein, hydrolyzed soy protein (HSP), hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP). It’s also in glycerides, MSG, soy lecithin, soy protein, bean curd, bean sprouts. Possible soy ingredients: bulking agent, gum arabic, guar gum, lecithin, mixed tocopherols, natural flavoring, stabilizer, thickener, vegetable gum/starch/shortening/oil, vitamin E.
Healthy kitchen alternatives: fermented soy such as soy sauce, tamari, natto, and miso.
4. Artificial Sweeteners
Although calorie-free, artificial sweeteners promote weight gain. They can cause digestive issues, headaches, seizures, depression, joint pain, sleep problems, and diabetes. They’re also linked to heart disease and cancer.
Label says: “sugar-free.” This includes aspartame, (NutraSweet, Equal), sucralose (Splenda), saccharin (Sweet’N Low), etc.
Healthy kitchen alternatives: 100% pure stevia
5. Refined Sugars
Excess sugar can cause severe metabolic problems. It can also contribute to inflammation, obesity, heart disease, blood sugar issues, diabetes, and cancer. Sugar is present in many sweet foods. This includes cookies, candy, and other sweets. It’s also hidden in other foods. Sugar is often added to salad dressings, tomato sauce, condiments, canned foods, and crackers.
Label says: fructose and other words ending in “-ose.”, maltodextrin, brown rice syrup, etc.
Healthy kitchen alternatives: cinnamon, fruit, raw honey, maple syrup, stevia, coconut sugar
6. High Fructose Corn Syrup
HFCS is linked to weight gain, overeating, obesity, diabetes, and numerous diseases. It’s made from GMO corn, not metabolized well by the body, and also contains the heavy metal mercury.
Label says: high fructose corn syrup, HFCS.
Healthy kitchen alternatives: see Refined Sugar alternatives (above)
7. Artificial Coloring
Artificial food coloring and dyes are linked to serious health issues. This includes birth defects, hyperactivity, hypersensitivity, behavioral issues, cancer, and more.
Label says: blue, green, red #40, yellow #5, etc.
Healthy kitchen alternatives: go without or use natural coloring. For example, use beets for pink and spinach for green.
8. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
This flavor enhancer is a toxic additive. It’s linked to obesity, diabetes, digestive issues, neurological and brain damage, and fatty liver. It causes or contributes to a host of health issues.
Label says: hydrolyzed/textured vegetable protein, textured protein, yeast extract, gelatin, malted barley, rice syrup, brown rice syrup, or soy sauce. Many restaurants commonly use MSG.
Healthy kitchen alternatives: Tamari, coconut aminos, tomatoes, or mushrooms.
9. Canola Oil
Made from rapeseed, most canola oil is genetically modified. Like most vegetable oils, canola is highly processed. It’s often refined, bleached, and deodorized. This adds toxins and removes nutrients including the omega-3s. The manufacturing process makes it partially hydrogenated.
Label says: canola oil, vegetable oil.
Healthy kitchen alternatives: choose organic, high-quality oils. This includes avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, unrefined coconut, and ghee.
10. Trans Fats
These man-made fats contribute to weight gain, obesity, cancer, and diabetes. They’re also linked to weakened immunity, reproductive issues, heart disease, and degenerative diseases.
Label says: vegetable oil, canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, margarine, or butter spread. Avoid terms like hydrogenated oil, partially hydrogenated oil, or fractionated oil.
Healthy kitchen alternatives: see Canola Oil alternatives (above)