Apples and Pears Can Keep Obesity Away

By Sherry Baker and Temma Ehrenfeld @SherryNewsViews
November 21, 2023
Apples and Pears Can Keep Obesity Away

Apples are great for you. And so are pears. Both fruits can help keep you slim and may protect you from diabetes and heart woes, too. Here's what you should know.

If you eat apples and pears, you can reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, asthma, and type 2 diabetes

Both fruits really do help “keep the doctor away.”


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Pears and waistlines

Both fruits may also keep you trim. You might say, “A pear a day keeps obesity away.”

In just 12 weeks, when 20 volunteers aged 45 to 65 ate two fresh pears every day — either green Bartlett or D’Anjou — their waistlines shrank a quarter inch. They also had lower systolic blood pressure and a drop in leptin concentration, a measure of body fat, in their blood. A control group that consumed a drink with the same number of calories didn’t do as well, researchers at Florida State University reported.

In a study at a Brazilian hospital, overweight women aged 30 to 50 added three pears to their daily diet and lost about two pounds in 10 weeks, without otherwise dieting.

Analyzing survey data from nearly 25,000 Americans over 10 years, researchers observed that adults who ate a pear a day took in more fiber and ate less saturated fat and added sugars than people who didn’t eat pears. They weighed eight pounds less, on average, and were 35 percent less likely to be obese without having exercised more.

"We believe fiber intake may have driven the lower body weights that were seen in this study because there was no difference in energy intake or level of physical activity found between the fresh pear consumers and non-consumers," said Carol O’Neil, PhD, a former Louisiana State University College of Agriculture professor of dietetics, who headed the research.

Pears may also help you exercise more. In a separate study, male cyclists rode faster after eating a Bosc pear, and their cortisol levels, a sign of stress, were 22 percent lower afterwards than people in the control group, who drank water instead.

The nutritional benefits of pears

One medium pear provides about 24 percent of your daily fiber needs but has only 100 calories. Pears are also sodium-free, cholesterol-free, and fat-free.

They also contain:

  • 190 mg of potassium
  • Substantial amounts of vitamins C, B2, and E
  • Magnesium
  • Copper

High-fiber fruits may improve the balance of good and bad microbes in your gut microbiome, notes North Dakota plant metabolism scientist Kalidas Shetty, PhD.

A study Shetty headed suggests that pears can help prevent overgrowth of H. pylori, the most common chronic bacterial infection in humans, without harming beneficial gut bacteria. 

His team found that natural chemicals, phenolics and antioxidants, in Bartlett and Starkrimson pear varieties promote starch and glucose metabolizing enzymes, which may explain why eating pears seems to lower your risk of type 2 diabetes and diabetes-induced high blood pressure.


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November 21, 2023

Reviewed By:  

Janet O’Dell, RN