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Summer is fast approaching, and the long, sunshine-filled days have many itching for a cleaner, less-cluttered filled space. And it makes sense. Science shows that when it comes to happiness and well-being, often less is more.  Holding onto only the items that serve you and align with what you want out of life allows you to focus your attention and resources toward pursuing what is most meaningful. 

Most people equate home cleaning with decluttering closets and wiping down baseboards, but sometimes forget to check the contents of their kitchens. Life gets busy and plans get derailed, which means that accumulating impulse, higher-carb food buys throughout the year can be a pretty sure bet. 

Summer is the perfect time to reset by tossing out the foods that aren’t serving you and making space for those that square with your goals. Every health journey begins in the kitchen, and by ensuring that your pantry and fridge are stocked up and ready to go with accessible, health-promoting foods, you’ll be taking a giant leap toward improving your health. 

How to carb-proof your kitchen for low carb success

Priming your kitchen for a low carb way of life is a two-step deal: first, removing tempting higher-carb foods from your space, and second, filling your grocery cart with a healthy, low carb haul to bring home.  

Out with the old: clearing out higher-carb foods 

In spite of your best efforts, coming across tempting high-carb foods day after day in your eating space can really challenge your attempts at low carb success. Make it easier for yourself by purging those foods from the get-go so that they remain out of sight and out of mind. One tip? Instead of tossing unused food products into the trash bin, consider donating them instead.

Pantry

Which foods to clear out from your cupboards? Think processed, starchy, sugary, or grain-based pantry-friendly staples: 

Cereal

Canned or dried fruit

Canned or dry beans 

Lentils 

Canned soups

Wheat flours 

Oats 

Wheat crackers 

Pasta 

Rice 

Bread 

Doughnuts 

Potato or tortilla chips 

Pretzels 

Cookies 

Candy

Fridge 

Now that your pantry is in good order, let’s focus on clearing out the fridge. Start by examining each item and discarding any that are past their prime. Then, zero in on higher-carb foods and drinks with any added sugars:  

Dairy milk 

Fruit juice 

Soda (regular or artificially sweetened) 

Sweetened yogurts 

Ice cream

Frozen pizza 

Frozen waffles 

Jelly 

Syrup 

Sweetened condiments and dressings (ketchup, teriyaki, BBQ sauce)

Produce

As you root through your stash of produce, select out these sweeter fruits and starchy veggies which are better left out of your kitchen:

Cherries 

Peaches 

Apples 

Oranges 

Tangerines 

Mandarins 

Plantains 

Bananas 

Pineapples 

Grapes 

Mangoes 

Papaya 

Apricots 

Sweetcorn 

Potatoes 

Sweet potatoes and yams 

Beets 

Parsnips 

Peas 

Squash

In with the new: restocking the shelves with low carb staples 

Pantry

Keep these low carb foods around for a filling, energizing snack or for preparing a delicious meal.

Canned tuna 

Canned salmon 

Sardines 

Tomato sauce without added sugars 

Tomato paste 

Olive oil 

Coconut oil 

Avocado oil 

Nut oils 

Coconut butter 

Unsweetened coconut milk 

Dark chocolate (>70%) 

Coffee

Tea

Macadamia nuts

Brazil nuts

Walnuts

Pecans 

Peanuts 

Nut butters 

Pumpkin seeds 

Sunflower seeds 

Olives 

Sugar-free beef jerky 

Turkey sticks 

Freeze-dried berries

Almond flour

Coconut flour 

Low carb tortillas

Snacks 

These days, it’s easier than ever to satisfy a sweet or salty craving while keeping your fat-burning macros in check, thanks to the many delicious low-carb snack offerings that are now commercially available. Keep these handy the next time you’re wanting a chocolaty treat, a crunchy, flavorful bar, a rich creamer for your morning coffee, a stack of fluffy pancakes, or an exogenous ketone supplement boost.  

Ketobrick – Pure fat bomb (actually a brick) our team has been using for two years.  Great flavor and perfect to keep fat intake appropriately higher when typical essential fat is not around.  Staple in the Readout Health office.

Keho Life We tried four flavors of this high-fiber, low net carb “meal” bars.  Only minimal decrease in ketone levels, keeping us in ketosis.  Much like the sweetened keto bars, these offer real-food flavors like tex-mex and curry, perfect to stuff in a glove compartment or summer snacks to go.  2g sugar, 5g net carbs solid 17g of fat.

Ketobrainz – We love this type of product.  With the standard MCT powder that others have, we use this in our coffee every day since it has lion’s mane.  It literally has become the go-to coffee addition that has become somewhat of a necessity.  

Nush Foods – Some of our team tried the Blueberry and Banana Nut single-serving cakes.  Neither kicked any of us out of ketosis, and the taste is what you would hope it would be for those with a sweet tooth.  1g sugar, 3 net carbs.  Some of the team tried the pancakes and quite liked it. We call this the “metabolically correct Twinkie”.

Fridge 

With all the newfound space on your fridge shelves, you’ll have plenty of room to store up these satisfying low carb staples. 

Unflavored almond milk and soy milk 

Full-fat butter 

Cheese 

Greek yogurt (non-sweetened) 

Hard cheeses 

Cream cheese 

Sour cream 

Heavy cream 

Cottage cheese 

Eggs 

Ground beef 

Chicken 

Pork 

Lamb 

Veal 

Fresh salmon 

White fish 

Shrimp 

Deli meats (ham, turkey, roast beef, pastrami, salami) 

Egg salad 

Tuna salad 

Chicken salad 

Full-fat mayo 

Mustard (non-sweetened) 

Balsamic vinegar 

Wine vinegar 

Cider vinegar 

Salsa 

Tamari soy sauce

Tahini 

Tofu 

Shirataki noodles 

Cauliflower pizza crust

Produce

You may not be enjoying the sweeter side of produce quite as often, but you can still generously savor a variety of antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies to your heart’s content:

Avocados 

Leafy greens 

Cucumbers 

Celery 

Bell peppers 

Carrots 

Tomatoes 

Asparagus 

Green beans 

Eggplant 

Turnips 

Radishes 

Onions 

Broccoli 

Cauliflower 

Cabbage 

Artichokes 

Spinach

Mushrooms 

Brussels sprouts 

Strawberries 

Blackberries 

Raspberries 

Blueberries 

Lemon 

Lime

Kiwi

Plum 

Frozen berries

Article authored by Readout Health with editorial oversight from Chief Medical Officer, Naomi Parrella, MD.

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