The Dirty Dozen Plus and the Clean 15
Dr. Shillingford, a South Florida based surgeon specializing in gastric sleeve, lap band, and gastric bypass weight loss surgeries encourages his patients to eat a healthy post bariatric surgery diet. While many of our gastric sleeve, lap band, and gastric bypass surgery patients seek information on incorporating more vegetables into their diets, some also inquire about organic produce after their bariatric surgery in order to maximize their health.
If you want to buy all organic produce but it just isn’t in your budget, consider buying the Clean 15 conventionally grown produce items. According to the nonprofit organization Environmental Working Group (made up of scientists, researchers and policymakers), in 2015 these 15 fruits and vegetables contain minimal levels of pesticides, so they are safe to eat without buying organic:
- asparagus, avocados, cabbage, cantaloupe, cauliflower, eggplant, grapefruit, kiwi, mangoes, onions, papaya, pineapples, frozen sweet peas, sweet corn, and sweet potatoes
Avocados were the cleanest, and no other fruit from the Clean 15 list had more than 4 different detectable pesticide residues.
Save your money on the Clean 15, but consider putting that money toward buying organic fruits and vegetables on the Dirty Dozen Plus list. These 12 foods (plus 2 more in the 2015 version) have been found to test positive for multiple different chemicals even after washing and sometimes after peeling:
- apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, imported snap peas, spinach, strawberries, and sweet bell peppers (plus kale/collard greens and hot peppers)
Potatoes had more pesticides by weight than any other produce, and several of the Dirty Dozen list contain up to 15 pesticides apiece. In addition, kale/collard greens and hot peppers did not meet the criteria for the Dirty Dozen list, but contain trace levels of highly toxic pesticides that warranted attention.
While you are investing so much (both personally and financially) in becoming healthier after your bariatric surgery, Dr. Shillingford’s office is happy to offer helpful advice through our blogs and social media outlets.