When you first start to get into the real food world, it can be intimidating. All those products that you’ve grown up on and currently have in your pantry are suddenly no longer what you should have.

Switching to real food products can be confusing. What type of oil should you buy? What are the real food alternatives to snack foods? Can’t there just be a simple list of what foods you need to replace?

Let me help you out!

Now please note, as I always say, do not feel like you must do absolutely everything right away. Getting rid of everything will only stress you out and burn you out. Try gradually replacing items. Either replace as you run out of a product or break it up into categories (baking staples, boxes, cans, drinks, etc). You don’t want to overwhelm yourself so much that you throw in the towel!

Natural Pantry Staples Substitution List


In the Cupboards:

White flour – whole grain or grain free flours (ideally soak or ferment these flours first)
White sugar – sucanat, honey, stevia, real maple syrup, molasses (sucanat is closest to white sugar)
Honey – raw honey (preferably local)
Maple syrup –real maple syrup (preferably grade B)
Salt – unrefined sea salt
Baking powder – aluminum free baking powder
Vegetable oil/Canola oil – coconut oil, butter, extra virgin olive oil
Cornstarch – arrowroot powder
Peanut butter – natural peanut butter or try sunbutter or cashew butter
Broth – homemade broth
White rice – brown rice (ideally soaked before cooking)
Pasta – I’m not decided on this one. On one hand standard durum pasta is like the white flour version, but on the other hand if you buy store bought whole wheat pasta you can’t soak or ferment it so it will contain all it’s phytic acid. It’s a toss up in my opinion.
Microwave popcorn – organic popcorn kernels (make your own)
Canned soups – make your own soup and can or freeze them in mason jars
Cold cereal – rolled oats
White bread – soaked, sprouted, or sourdough bread (with no crazy ingredients)
Canned vegetables – fresh or frozen veggies or veggies in jars
Tomato/pasta sauce – organic tomato sauce without crazy ingredients or make your own.

In the Fridge:

Margarine – real butter (preferably organic and grass-fed)
Milk – organic and grass-fed whole fat milk (best if raw)
Non-dairy milks – organic coconut, almond, hemp milk (or make your own)

Yogurt – whole fat plain yogurt (or make your own)

Did I miss any? If I did, please let me know and I’ll add them to the list!