Healthy Pantry Staples: What to Keep and What to Toss!

July 14, 2021

Have you ever considered whether or not you’re stocked up on healthy pantry staples?

No matter how much fresh produce you purchase and consume, it’s those processed, sugary items hiding in your pantry that likely detour your path to health

Fortunately, there are some simple guidelines for what to keep, what to toss, and what to swap out in order to maintain healthy pantry staples that will support your efforts for health.

Let’s dive into this all-important topic to make sure you don’t fall victim to those sneaky items that may very well be hiding your pantry.


Healthy Pantry Staples: How to Set Yourself Up for Wellness

In order to set yourself up with healthy pantry staples, the first line of business is to toss anything highly processed and full of chemicals.

If you have a history of grabbing a package of cookies or a bag of salty, greasy chips at the grocery store or have a love affair with sugary cereals, you may have your work cut out for you. But I promise that it will be well worth it in the end.

How so? Well, according to a 2018 review, four of five studies found that higher purchases or consumption of ultra-processed food was associated with being overweight or obese. [1] And because these foods are known to be inflammatory, we also know they contribute to inflammation-based diseases.

The good news is that you likely already have several items in your pantry that you can keep! To give you a jumping-off point, here’s a quick overview of a few things you should keep versus toss.


Healthy pantry staples - Dr. Pingel


You can probably see a pattern, right? You’re basically tossing inflammatory foods and keeping the health-promoting ones.

If you’re unsure on whether you should keep an item, take a look at the ingredients list. If there are any ingredients you can’t pronounce, odds are high that it should go!

Once you’re done tossing those items, take a quick inventory of what you have and compare it to the list below.

Suggested Healthy Pantry Staples to Stock Up On

Once you’ve compared your items to this list, make note of the items you don’t have so you know what to consider grabbing the next time you’re at the grocery store. This list isn’t comprehensive, but will provide a great starting point for you

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Avocado oil
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Beans (canned and/or dried)
  • Coconut milk (full-fat, canned)
  • Coconut oil
  • Coffee (organic)
  • Dark chocolate chips (vegan)
  • Dates
  • Dried fruits
  • Granola
  • Herbal and black teas
  • Herbs and spices
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Nut butters
  • Nut-based flour
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Quinoa
  • Rolled oats
  • Tortilla chips
  • Wild rice


And there you have it! You’re now well-informed and on your way to having a variety of healthy pantry staples to set you up for optimal health.

Make sure when you organize your new items that everything is in clear view, so you know exactly what you have at your disposal. This not only make meal prep a snap but will make you aware if you’re starting to get low on certain items. Here’s to your health!

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