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Published on May 11th, 2013 | by Mary Gerush

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Ten Guidelines For Creating A Healthy Pantry

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Pantry

What’s in your pantry? Is it filled with natural or processed foods? How much high fructose corn syrup sits on those shelves? If you removed all but the healthy products, what would remain?

If your answers to these questions give you pause, you might want to do a quick cleanout. To decide what to keep and what to toss (or donate) and to keep your pantry healthy moving forward, take a look at these ten guidelines, adapted from a list graciously provided by Esther Oakley at A, B, C, Vegan.

Ten Guidelines for Creating a Healthy Pantry

  1. Never believe health claims on the front of a package.
  2. Always read the nutrition facts and ingredient list.
  3. Avoid products with a calorie to sodium ratio higher than 1:1.
  4. Ditto if fat calories are more than 20% of total calories.
  5. Check for the number of kinds of sugar — the fewer the better.
  6. Get rid of products with non-natural sweeteners.
  7. Stock your pantry with products that have 100% whole grains.
  8. Only keep products with ingredients your grandmother would recognize. (This is my favorite.)
  9. Don’t keep products with more than five ingredients.
  10. Refill your pantry with unprocessed foods.

That’s it for now — I have to go clean out my pantry. Will you do the same? If you do, come back and add a comment letting us know what you found in there.

Image Credit: Rum Bucolic Ape via flickr/CC


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About the Author

An accomplished environmental and food author, you can find Mary Gerush on !



6 Responses to Ten Guidelines For Creating A Healthy Pantry

  1. Leanne says:

    Great suggestions! It’s the contents of your pantry that dictate not only what but how you eat. I have started a business that focuses on unprocessing the pantry called The Whole Pantry. I organized kitchen and pantry spaces to eliminate clutter and facilitate the cooking process as well as suggest/provide ingredients and recipes that support a whole foods diet. Thanks!

    • Mary Gerush says:

      Thanks Leanne. I like you on Facebook! Great idea for a small business… Best of luck.

  2. AEM says:

    What a trip to think about what would have been in either of my grandmothers’ pantries. I suspect they would have looked quite different, with far fewer preservatives.

  3. Kathy Hites says:

    Regarding your article on keeping a healthy pantry ; please provide examples of foods to be kept in pantry form. Most requires refrigeration. Occasionally emergency items are needed from the shelf.
    The reality is we need better cooling storage and refrigerator space and less pantry.
    Are their fresh foods not requiring refrigeration ? I’m of earn confused by which produce is better in a dry location and those requiring refrigeration.
    Thank you so much in advance for reading my note

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