Clean Fruit Options:
• Fresh fruit
• Canned fruit with no added sugar
• Frozen fruit with no added sugar
• Dried fruit with no added sugar
• 100% fruit juice
Fresh fruit can almost always be considered a clean choice. I use the words “almost” and “considered” for a couple of reasons, which have to do with the use of pesticides and herbicides.
Relative to processed and packaged foods, fresh fruit is much, much closer to being clean. But unfortunately, because of the use of pesticides and herbicides, even fresh fruit contains some toxins and chemicals.
Buying organic fruit greatly minimizing this risk, but contrary to popular misconception, even fruit certified as organic may not be 100% clean. Organic farms do use pesticides. The difference is that they only use naturally-derived pesticides, rather than the synthetic pesticides used on conventional commercial farms. Natural pesticides are believed to be less toxic, however, some may still have health risks. That said, your exposure to harmful pesticides will be lower when eating organic.
Fruits and vegetables with highest levels of pesticides
According to the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization that analyzes the results of government pesticide testing in the U.S., the following fruits and vegetables have the highest pesticide levels – so if you can, these are best to buy organic:
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Nectarines (imported)
Fruits and vegetables you DON’T need to buy organic
These fruits are generally low in pesticides:
What About the Natural Sugar Content in Fruit?
Some people worry about fruit’s sugar content but fruit is packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber. Health experts don’t worry about natural sugars for the most part because it’s hard to overdo it and you’re getting beneficial nutrients. You will want to check labels for added sugars in canned fruits and dried fruits.
Fruit juice can count toward your daily recommended fruit intake, too—just make sure it’s 100% juice. Even 100% fruit juices don’t contain the beneficial fiber found in whole fruits, so you may want to limit your intake.