Stocking Your Low-Carbohydrate Pantry

Nuts and Seeds in Jars
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Out with the old, and in with the new! When you switch to a low-carb diet, it's best to have food in your home that supports your new endeavor. One of the worst situations is to find that you are hungry without anything appropriate to eat. It's just as bad when it's time for a meal and you don't have the ingredients you need on hand.

How can you fix that? Do a quick sweep of your pantry and refrigerator and replace all that high-carb food with options that fit your new low-carb diet. Admittedly, this can be a little painful, but it will be worth the effort. By taking this step, you're setting yourself up for success and your health is worth it.

We'll go through the kitchen one area at a time to show you what to keep, what to buy, and what to get rid of.

What to Do With All That High-Carb Food?

Rather than throw away a bunch of food, think about how you can give it away. The local food bank or another charity that takes food donations is a good option, especially for packaged and canned foods. Maybe you have a neighbor or friend who could use a gift as well.

There may even be people in your home who can make use of the high-carb food you want to take out of your life. Try making separate shelves in the pantry and refrigerator for them and avoid the temptation to raid it yourself.

As you make more shopping trips, try not to put these high-carb foods in the cart. If they don't make it into your home, you won't be tempted to eat them. Also, a low-carb diet can be budget-friendly if you shop smart.

Refrigerator and Freezer

When changing to a low-carb way of eating, you will probably find yourself eating more fresh produce, meats, and other perishable foods. Due to this, many dieters find that their refrigerators and freezers are fuller than they used to be.

"Shopping the perimeter" is a good strategy for low-carb eating. The inner aisles of the supermarket contain most of the high-carb processed foods while the outer edges are filled with fresh foods. This is where you will find the vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and dairy products needed to stock your low-carb refrigerator.

Tip: If you find you are throwing away produce and other perishable foods, place them in the freezer before they go bad. Keeping freezer wrap and plastic freezer bags in stock will help with this. Many fresh fruits and vegetables freeze well, though you may have to prepare them a certain way.

Canned Goods and Jars

It's great to know that you can make a meal out of the pantry if need be. This is convenient during power outages, when you're under the weather, or when you don't feel like going to the store.

As convenient as it is, some foods in cans and jars can hide carbs, sugars, and other things that aren't diet-friendly. Canned soups and fruits, as well as anything with pasta, make the list of things to toss in your sweep of the pantry.

The good news is that there is a nice variety of ​canned and jarred foods that you can keep. Included in this list are many canned fruits and vegetables, sugar-free sauces, salsa, and a number of pickled foods.

Packaged Foods

Unfortunately, a lot of those processed cereals, crackers, rice, and candy will have to go. You can keep some packaged foods if they are low in carbohydrates. Admittedly, the list is short and is limited to nuts, seeds, coffee, and tea. However, you can buy nuts and seeds in bulk so they're readily available for healthy snacking.


Barbecue sauce? That's usually loaded with sugar. Mustard? Usually not. Condiments are a tricky thing because some are okay while you will want to find alternatives for others. There are some ​dos and don'ts regarding condiments that you'll want to learn about.

The good news? With some creative alternatives, your food can be seasoned and spiced to taste great while remaining low-carb.

Special Ingredients for Cooking and Baking

There are some special low-carb ingredients that you can have on hand to make life a lot easier. These low-carb substitutes can be used when trying to "de-carb" your favorite foods and recipes. 

Alternative sweeteners, flours, thickeners, and flavoring ingredients can replace common ingredients in many of the recipes you enjoy making. You may have to make adjustments, but there is ​plenty of advice available on that as well.

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