Out with the old and in with the new! The first step in creating a Daniel Plan pantry is to clean out the stuff that is not serving you well.

This means reading labels, checking expiration dates, tossing or donating the bad stuff, then refilling with healthy new items.

While we want you to focus on the abundance of delicious whole foods, we also want you to know what harmful foods to remove from your pantry and shopping lists for good. Simply getting rid of these foods from your eating life will make a tremendous difference in your health and eating habits.

Do this with your dry pantry, where you store canned goods, whole grains, and nonperishables. While you are at it, go through your refrigerator and freezer too and toss things that have harmful ingredients.

Having good foods in your pantry will support healthy eating and save you time. With a well-stocked pantry, you will never be at a loss for something healthy to eat.

Choose a weekend to clean out the pantry, and make it a group project. Or choose a friend, and help each other do a pantry clean-out.

Have a pantry clean-out party!

You might even treat yourself to a few new storage containers for bulk items you will be adding like brown and black rice, quinoa, dried beans and more. Keep a pen and masking tape handy to label containers, or use a label-making tool. Be sure storage containers are clear so you can see inside and that lids fit tight.

Foods and Ingredients to Avoid

  • -White Flour
  • -White Sugar
  • -White Rice
  • -High fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
  • -Trans fats, partially hydrogenated and hydrogenated fats
  • -Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • -Regular and diet sodas
  • -Sports drinks and other sweetened beverages
  • -Sodium and calcium caseinate
  • -Phosphoric acid
  • -Artificial sweeteners (except stevia)
  • -Artificial flavors
  • -Artificial colors and dyes
  • -Sulfites
  • -Nitrites and nitrates
  • -Carrageenan

A few pantry clean-out tips:

  • -Read labels and check for unhealthy ingredients.
  • -Say good-bye to the “white menaces,” as well as the things hiding in your pantry that are made with them.
  • -Banish processed foods like sugary breakfast cereals, unhealthy cookies and crackers, fried chips and junk food.
  • -Exile high-sugar or high-sodium condiments (read that ketchup bottle, you might be surprised). Shop for healthier versions, comparing labels for ingredients.
  • -Evict unhealthy oils, like standard mass-market “vegetable” oil. We’ll tell you what the good stuff is as you read further (page xx).
  • -Aim for labels with five ingredients or less or at least ingredients that you recognize as real food. If you don’t understand what something is and your grandmother would not know what it is, probably not what you want in your pantry.

Those jars of dried herbs that look like they have been around since the Stone Age? Toss them. Same for old spices. When you open new containers, be sure to date them.