Here are the Dirty Dozen Foods You Shouldn’t Buy & The Clean 15 You Should

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Here’s everything you need to know about the dirty dozen foods and the clean 15.

platter of fresh keto vegetables on marble cutting board - clean 15 dirty dozen foods

No one wants pesticides in their produce. 🙅🏼‍♀️

We’re sharing all the info on the dirty dozen foods and the clean 15 so you’re prepared the next time you grocery shop – keto or not.


What are “Dirty Dozen” foods?

bowl of red strawberries soaking in water inside bowl - dirty dozen foods

Dirty dozen foods contain the highest traces of pesticides and they are not foods you want to consume unless you’re buying them organically.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) comes out with the dirty dozen food list annually and it helps consumers make smarter and healthier choices when it comes to their farmed foods.

Did you know the consumption of pesticides is linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, ADHD, and even birth defects? 😳

Taylor Farms Organic Salad in packaging - dirty dozen foods

Avoid these harmful chemicals by buying organic foods. They do tend to be pricier, but it’s a small price to pay for good health. 🙌🏻

According to EWG, a small amount of sweet corn, papaya, and summer squash sold in the United States is produced from genetically modified seeds so buy organic varieties of these crops if you want to avoid genetically modified produce.

Not all of the dirty dozen foods are aligned with a keto lifestyle so I’ve noted them below for you.

Vegetables in the produce aisle at a grocery store - dirty dozen foods

Here are the 2022 EWG Dirty Dozen Foods (listed in order with the most pesticides):


  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale, collard, and mustard greens
  4. Nectarines*
  5. Apples*
  6. Grapes*
  7. Bell and hot peppers
  8. Cherries*
  9. Peaches
  10. Pears*
  11. Celery
  12. Tomatoes

*These foods are not considered keto or may need to be eaten in small quantities on rare occasions when following a keto lifestyle.


So what are “Clean 15” foods?

hand holding half of an avocado with pit - clean 15

You guessed it! The clean 15 foods are also tested annually by EWG and contain the least or no pesticides when grown conventionally. Therefore, choosing to buy these produce items from the non-organic section will still give you peace of mind and will likely cost you less money too.

Thankfully, one of our most beloved keto foods (avocados) made the top of the list, but just like the dirty dozen foods list, not all of the clean 15 are considered keto.

sliced watermelon on wood cutting board - clean 15

Here are the 2022 EWG Clean 15 foods (listed by cleanest):


  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn*
  3. Pineapple*
  4. Onions
  5. Papaya*
  6. Sweet peas (frozen)*
  7. Asparagus
  8. Honeydew melon*
  9. Kiwi*
  10. Cabbage
  11. Mushrooms
  12. Cantaloupe*
  13. Mangoes*
  14. Watermelon
  15. Sweet Potatoes*

*These foods are not considered keto or may need to be eaten in small quantities on rare occasions when following a keto lifestyle.


keto vegan diet — assortment of vegetables like asparagus, tomatoes, and avocados

Overall, it’s important to know what’s going inside our bodies and that’s whether you’re keto or not!

Screenshot our Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen foods lists and reduce your and your family’s exposure to toxic pesticides and make healthier choices you won’t regret.


Dining out? Our keto fast-food dining guides are simple to follow and perfect for your next date night.


Sara is a self-taught blogger and photographer with 5 years of experience having work featured in various building, travel, and fashion publications, most notably Bassett Furniture and Fossil.


Join The Discussion

Comments 4

  1. Queenie81

    So peaches and watermelon are ok for keto? Those are two of my favorites!!

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Yes, they are totally keto-friendly if eaten in moderation. So glad you get to enjoy some of your favorite fruits! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ’—

      • Queenie81

        Doing Collin’s happy dance for this. Thank you!

        • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

          Woohoooooo! ๐Ÿ’ƒ Doing my happy dance for ya! ๐Ÿ˜†

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