By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
October 16, 2019
For most people, house cleaning means you’ll sort out your closets, dust under the furniture, and clear out the attic.
But how often do you clear out another important room… your kitchen?
More specifically, how often do you peer into your pantry shelves to rid yourself of items you won’t (or shouldn’t) eat?
I know. No one wants to waste perfectly good food. But, there’s no reason why you can’t donate to a local food bank.
And, if food isn’t healthy… well, it’s time to get rid of it.
Easy Tips to Spot Unhealthy Foods
The first victim in your pantry clean-out should be easy to spot… packaged or processed foods like chips, cookies, colas, and pancake mixes.
You already know these foods have no place in your kitchen.
They’re loaded with genetically-modified ingredients, sugars, high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives and other deadly additives that can destroy your health.
So be ruthless… get rid of them. Your body will thank you later.
Now, some items in your pantry may be disguised as “health foods” – they don’t seem like they could be that bad for you.
These foods are a little trickier, so let’s talk about a few of them…
I remember when so-called “nutrition bars” first came out. They claimed to be healthy, but were packed with high-fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners.
In fact, I found some candy bars that tasted better and were healthier to eat. Nutrition bars may come in the form of breakfast bars, energy snacks, or protein bars. Whatever the label – they have no place in your pantry.
Replace with: An assortment of healthy nuts and seeds to snack on whenever you need an energy boost.
Rice is often labeled as being good for you. But the truth is, there is no healthy form of rice!
Why? Well, all rice contains high levels of inorganic arsenic – which you probably already know as a deadly poison. It’s also classified by the EPA as a “known human carcinogen.”
Many rice-growing countries – like Bangladesh for instance – have toxic levels of arsenic in their groundwater. When rice grows in flooded paddies, the poison is pulled up into the plant and later transferred to you.
Although I still eat rice, I usually go for wild rice. It’s more of a seed or grass than a grain.
Replace with: Quinoa. It’s a gluten-free grain that can be used as a replacement for rice in most recipes without altering the integrity of the dish.
Now cooking oils are always confusing…
Soy, canola, safflower and sunflower oils have such healthy-sounding names. But most of these contain GMO ingredients. On top of that, they’re processed to death. And if you use them regularly, you’re on the fast-track to inflammation and heart disease.
Replace with: Extra virgin olive oil. It’s full of natural antioxidants that slash inflammation and protect both your heart and brain. Cold-pressed, organic and unrefined coconut, sesame, palm fruit, avocado and sesame seed oil may also have a place on your shelves.
I love salads because they’re tasty and healthy. But you may want to think twice before dumping dressing all over your greens. Salad dressings are usually very bad for you.
Plus, these bottles tend to collect in great numbers … ranch, blue cheese, thousand island… the flavors just keep stacking up.
If you look at the ingredients, you’ll see how most dressings start with some sort of vegetable (canola, soy) oil, with sugar and salt also high on the list. MSG is also a big problem with bottled dressings.
Replace with: Extra virgin olive oil along with an assortment of vinegars (regular, red wine, balsamic). Mixing olive oil and vinegar with some garlic and a few spices makes a perfect salad dressing.
Here’s another item which sounds healthy but isn’t. Sports drinks sure are refreshing after a bout of exercise. But they’re not much better for you than drinking a soda.
Replace with: Natural coconut water. It’s a rich source of electrolytes – especially magnesium and potassium. Plus it’s high in antioxidants, low in sugar and nearly fat free.
These lab-created chemicals may seem like great alternatives. But your body reacts to them the same way it does to sugar. Artificial sweeteners also disrupt your hunger hormones and act as excitotoxins in your brain.
Replace with: Stevia is a safe, all-natural sweetener that actually has a positive effect on your weight, blood sugar and insulin response. Raw honey is another acceptable alternative.
More Great Foods for Your Kitchen
Once you’ve taken the time to root out the six categories of food listed above, you’ll have some cabinet spaces to fill…
I recommend you use this opportunity to stock up on dried beans, bottled olives, sea salt (instead of table salt) and a variety of gluten-free grains like quinoa, millet, buckwheat and amaranth.
Canned sardines and salmon are good choices too. You can even keep a little stash of dark chocolate tucked away to satisfy your sweet tooth when it kicks in. My favorite is Ghiardelli’s dark chocolate raspberry squares that I freeze…nibbling on the edges and letting it melt on my tongue. Two will usually see me through my needing something sweet moment.
And don’t forget to keep plenty of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables at hand in bowls on your kitchen counter and in the fridge.
Buckland G, et al. The role of olive oil in disease prevention: a focus on the recent epidemiological evidence from cohort studies and dietary intervention trials. Br J Nutr. 2015 Apr;113 Suppl 2:S94-101.
Kalman DS, et al. Comparison of coconut water and a carbohydrate-electrolyte sport drink on measures of hydration and physical performance in exercise-trained men. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012 Jan 18;9(1):1.
Pepino MY. Metabolic effects of non-nutritive sweeteners. Physiol Behav. 2015 Dec 1;152(Pt B):450-5.
Uddin, Riaz, and Naz Hasan Huda. “Arsenic poisoning in bangladesh.” Oman medical journal vol. 26,3 (2011): 207. doi:10.5001/omj.2011.51