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    Pantry Essentials continued...

    Condiments: Watch out for high amounts of salt in condiments and sauces. Even small amounts add up fast.

    • Barbecue sauce, low-sodium
    • Ketchup, reduced-sodium
    • Mayonnaise, reduced-fat or nonfat
    • Mustards: whole grain, honey, Dijon, yellow
    • Soy sauce, reduced-sodium
    • Vinegars: rice, red wine, balsamic, apple cider, raspberry. These make delicious salad dressings.

    Fats and Cooking Oils: Cut down on butter in your cooking. Instead, use healthier oils, like olive and canola.

    • Margarine, trans-fat-free
    • Nonfat cooking sprays
    • Nonhydrogenated shortening
    • Oils, olive and canola
    • Replacements for fat when baking, such as applesauce, fruit puree, or yogurt
    • Salad dressings, reduced-fat or nonfat

    Snacks: Stock your pantry with nuts, dried fruit, and whole wheat products for snacks and meals.

    • Nuts and seeds, assorted, raw (almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds)
    • Breads, tortillas, pitas, whole-grain
    • Crackers, whole-grain, trans-fat-free
    • Dried fruits
    • Popcorn cakes or brown rice cakes
    • Popcorn, plain or light microwave
    • Pretzels, whole-grain
    • Tortilla chips, baked, trans-fat-free

    Spices vs. Salt: Too much salt drives up your blood pressure. Instead, add flavor with zesty spices and herbs. Options include:

    • Allspice
    • Basil
    • Bay leaves
    • Black pepper
    • Caraway seeds
    • Cayenne
    • Chili powder
    • Chinese five-spice
    • Cinnamon
    • Cloves
    • Coriander
    • Cumin
    • Curry powder
    • Dill
    • Garlic powder
    • Ginger
    • Italian seasoning
    • Marjoram
    • Mint
    • Nutmeg
    • Onion powder
    • Oregano
    • Paprika
    • Parsley
    • Red pepper flakes
    • Rosemary
    • Thyme
    • Sodium-free seasonings

    Sweeteners: Cut down on sugar. It's full of calories that will pack on pounds. Instead, satisfy your sweet tooth with healthier options -- although the less you use of any sweeteners, the better.

    • Brown rice syrup for a sweetening alternative in baking
    • Honey (in moderation)
    • Sugar-free or "light" maple syrups