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The Top 12 Foods to Buy Organic – Meet the Dirty Dozen

The Top 12 Foods to Buy Organic – Meet the Dirty Dozen

Did you know that nearly two-thirds of the 3,015 produce samples tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2013 contained pesticide residues? This is a surprising fact considering the rapid increase in consumer demand for food without agricultural chemicals.

In efforts to help educate shoppers, each year the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases its report on pesticides in produce along with a list of foods that we should aim to buy organic – enter the Dirty Dozen. The EWG looks into the Department of Agriculture data surrounding pesticide residue and ranks foods based on how much or little they have. The EWG estimates that people can reduce their exposure by about 80% if they switch to organic when buying these foods. Now that makes spending a few extra dollars at the grocery store a bit more compelling, doesn’t it?

This year, apples, peaches, nectarines, strawberries, grapes, celery, spinach, sweet bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and potatoes ranked the highest for pesticide residue. The average potato had more pesticides by weight than any other produce. Between 97-98% of apples, peaches and nectarines tested positive for at least one pesticide residue, while a single grape or sweet bell pepper sample contained up 15 pesticides.

In general, it’s good to get smart on what we put in our bodies so we can be the best, most healthy version of ourselves. Organic section, here we come!

Read the EWG’s 2015 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce here.

Skip right to the Dirty Dozen list here.

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Expert Rx

Healthy Holiday Eating

The holidays are here. I know this because of the influx of cookies, candy and deluxe gourmet gift baskets from Harry & David that arrive daily at the Coolibar office. Most of the year, I can contain my sweet tooth, but I have a difficult time during the very special holiday season. And the office is just the start, there’s still 2 weeks of cheesy appetizers, creamy eggnog and cranberry cocktails to contend with.

So, I thought it would be helpful for all of us to have a few tips to help maintain our weight over the holiday. I looked to WebMD for holiday survival suggestions and they came through with a great list. I realize it’s long, but there are a lot of really great ideas here.

  • Keep up your regular physical activity and make sure to get in a good workout on the day of the party or event. NO excuses!
  • Be super-diligent on non-party days by sticking closely to your eating plan.
  • Eat a small, nutritious snack before leaving for the party. This helps to take the edge off of your appetite and gives you willpower to resist hors d’oeuvres, saving your calories for the meal.
  • Offer to bring a healthy dish, one you know you can enjoy without lots of extra calories.
  • Ladies, carry a clutch handbag that will keep one hand occupied, reducing the urge to nibble.
  • Ladies and gents, wear a comfortable yet tight outfit that will not allow you to overindulge.
  • Watch your alcohol calories — they add up fast. Alternate alcoholic beverages with non-calorie beverages such as sparkling water.
  • Look over all the food offerings before you decide what you are going to eat. If there are foods that you love but know are decadently rich, just sample a tasting portion.
  • Use a smaller plate (the dessert plate is good). This tip can help you reduce the total amount you eat as long as you don’t go back for seconds.
  • Eat slowly and savor every bite.
  • Don’t linger around the food table! Move to another location that is less tempting.
  • Always sit down while you eat.
  • Portion control and moderation are the keys to success.

Happy holidays from Coolibar and remember to eat responsibly. And if you blow your diet, don’t beat yourself up, just get right back on track, so you can start off the New Year looking and feeling great.

Got a sweet tooth? Check out this Quiz: Do You Know How to Do Dessert Damage Control?

– Jennifer Annett
Coolibar Blog Contributor

Portion control and moderation are key.

 

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