Do you come home from grocery shopping and put all of your fresh produce away in the refrigerator? Do you put your fruits and vegetables in their respective crispers? Or do you leave your produce on the counter? Turns out some belong in the fridge and some belong in the crisper. It just depends on the food.
Some foods need to ripen on the counter. Some need to be in the cold refrigerator to stay fresh. For gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band patients, storing your fruits and vegetables correctly can mean eating them when they taste their best and when they have the most nutrients. So storing them correctly can be important for you to not only get the most taste from your produce but it may also help you get the most nutritional benefit also.
These five fruits and veggies are best left out of the crisper:
- Melon- Watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew melons should be stored on the counter to ripen to the best flavor. It may also help keep the antioxidants intact. Once you cut the melon open, however, you should store it in the refrigerator. For gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band patients, please make sure to hold off eating fruit until you’ve reached the proper stage of Dr. Shillingford’s post-op bariatric diet.
- Tomatoes- Whole tomatoes should be stored on the countertop (or another spot that’s not the refrigerator). Cold temperatures can make the tomatoes mealy and stifle their flavor.
- Avocados- Ripen them on the counter. Their creaminess is best enjoyed at room temperature.
- Eggplant- Store it at room temperature. Then when you’re ready, try using the eggplant for something delicious (like these pizza ideas).
- Onions- Onions do best when kept out of the refrigerator. If you cut an onion and need to store the leftovers, that part can be stored in a container in the fridge.
By storing foods in the refrigerator instead of the countertop, you likely won’t make them unsafe to eat, unlike if foods should be refrigerated and you keep them on the counter. But, your foods may taste better if you store them in the right place. A ripe, juicy, sweet tomato is going to make a better partner to your turkey roll up (or other protein) than a bland, mealy, tasteless one.
Dr. Shillingford, MD, PA is a board-certified surgeon specializing in advanced laparoscopic and weight loss surgery. His sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass, and gastric band patients have their surgery performed under the specialty care of Northwest Medical Center’s Center of Excellence in Bariatric Surgery, where Dr. Shillingford serves as Medical Director. Dr. Shillingford encourages all of his weight loss surgery patients to pay careful attention to introducing foods back into their diet following their bariatric surgery. Don’t introduce foods too soon. But once foods are able to be introduced and tolerated, gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band patients should enjoy the foods they eat!