If you are on or planning to follow a ketogenic diet, then something you should know is that you must drastically reduce your consumption of carbohydrates and replace them with a different source of energy: fats.
This means that you will remove grain products from your diet – things like bread, pasta, cereals, starchy foods, legumes, products that contain added sugar, as well as many fruits and vegetables that contain a large quantity of carbs.
Therefore, it will be necessary (and really helpful to you!) to do a good cleaning of your pantry and fridge, so you can simplify meal planning and preparation.
It sounds simple, but it’s worth saying: when you have bad food in the house, you’ll eat it.
How to start ⁉️
All you need to do is set aside 30 minutes to go through your kitchen and toss or donate what you no longer need.
For some people, cleaning can be very liberating and motivating. If you are one of those people, this will be an easy task. Others find cleaning out the pantry to be extremely hard, because they think that they are throwing away money and have doubts about what they are actually going to eat. Be strong and push through these emotions. You can do it! Think of this step as setting yourself up for success.
What to toss 🗑️
- Most condiments that are more than six months old , especially if they have lost their color or smell (whole spices like cinnamon sticks and cumin seeds are ok).
- Anything moldy or funky
- Anything you’re never going to eat (if it's still in good condition, you can donate / gift it)
- Anything with even a hint of freezer burn on it
- Homemade prepared food older than six weeks
- Raw meat and fish older than two months
- Anything you can’t identify and anything you don’t remember putting in there!
- Sniff whole-grain flours (like whole-wheat or brown rice flour); if they smell at all off, toss them (they can go rancid quickly). If they are still in good condition you can donate them.
- Taste baking powder by mixing a little water in a teaspoon of the powder. If it bubbles, it is still active. Do the same with the baking soda, using vinegar instead of water.
What to donate / gift or simply hide ♻️
- Canned soups (most are high carb)
- Canned fruits
- Packaged crackers, cookies, cereals, or snacks
- Anything with added sugars — Look for terms such as brown syrup, evaporated cane juice, glucose, dextrose, honey, and corn syrup
- Regular ketchup with added sugar
- Tomato-based chili sauce and cocktail sauce (unless no-added sugars)
- Salad dressings with sugar added
- Tartar sauce
- Plum, sweet and sour sauce, oyster sauce
- Teriyaki sauce
- Honey mustard
- Steak sauce and barbecue sauce
- Jams, jellies, preserves (unless low-carb and no added sugar)
- Fruits and juices
- High-carb frozen foods such as pizza, pasta, dessert, and waffles
- Any other high-carb dairy products such as ice cream
If someone you live with can use the high-carb food you’re removing from your life, try making separate shelves in the pantry and fridge for them.
Don’t want anything risky in the kitchen?
Give away or donate your old favorites. A local food bank or charity that takes food donations is a possibility, especially for packaged and canned foods.
Doing a kind deed is a great way to launch a “healthier, better you” plan.
What to keep ✅
- Canned seafood (tuna, salmon, crab)
- Canned tomatoes
- Sauces (make sure they have no added sugar)
- Pasta sauce or tomato sauce with no added sugars
- Canned green chilies
- Tomato paste
- Roasted red peppers (make sure they have no added sugars)
- Chicken / beef / vegetable stock
- Dill pickles
- Nut butters
- Coconut/almond milk (unsweetened)
- Herb tea (without barley or fruit sugars)
- Mustard (yellow and Dijon)
- Mayo (full-fat, no added sugars)
- Cider and wine vinegar
- Tamari soy sauce
- No added sugar salad dressings (or you can make your own)
- Horseradish sauce
- Herbs and spices (only if they are in good conditions)
- Extracts (vanilla,almond)
- Broth or bouillon
- Low-carb ketchup
- Balsamic vinegar (check label for sugar content)
- Rice wine vinegar (check label for sugar content)
- Worcestershire sauce (check label for sugar content)
- Low-carb vegetables
- Meats (frozen and fresh)
- Dairy — hard cheeses, cream, sour cream, butter
- Nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, peanuts — you can keep them in the freezer)
- Seeds (sunflower and pumpkin — you can keep them in the freezer)
- Lemon or lime juice
- Bags of greens for quick and easy salads
- Lettuce for wraps and roll-ups
- Shirataki noodles
Once you are done, clean the shelves in the refrigerator and pantry. Order your products based on how often you use them (this way it will be easier to find them).
When starting a healthy eating plan, it's also a good idea to create a better, healthier kitchen. Cleaning your kitchen to remove any foods that no longer serve you (and may tempt you), while adding new items that better support, can help you move closer to your health goals.