There’s nothing better than a health regimen that tastes great, so here’s one almost all of us can get on board with. Researchers have found that those who eat a pear a day are more likely to maintain a healthy body weight when compared to their non-pear-eating conterparts.
In a one study, scientists from Louisiana State University used 9 years of data collected by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey involving 24,808 participants aged 19 and above, and found that people who ate pears were 35% less likely to be obese than individuals who did not consume pears regularly.
The study abstract concludes with:
“Consumers had a higher percentage population meeting the EAR for vitamins A and C, copper, and magnesium; consumers had a higher percentage above the AI for fiber (p<0.01). HEI-2010 [Healthy Eating Index-2010] was higher in consumers…Compared to non-consumers, consumers were 35% less likely to be obese (p<0.05). Fresh pears should be encouraged as a component of an overall healthy diet.”
‘Pear Eaters More Diet-Conscious’
In general, people who regularly ate pears were older, consumed less alcohol, and smoked fewer cigarettes than those who never ate the delicious fruit. These individuals were also found to be more diet-conscious, and they consumed more fiber, vitamins, and less fat and sugar. They also ate less total monounsaturated fatty acids, saturated fatty acids and added sugars.
Yet, the pear eaters weren’t necessarily more active than non-pair eaters.
‘There was no difference in energy intake or level of physical activity between the fresh pear consumers and non-pear consumers,” said Dr. Carol O’Neil, who led the study.
Dr. O’Neil added that her team believes the high fiber content in pears explains why pear eaters tended to have a healthier body weight than those who didn’t indulge once a day in the healthy treat.
Just one medium pear has higher percentages of fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, copper and potassium, and leads to higher mean intakes of total sugars. Pears are free of fat, cholesterol and sodium.
Past studies have shown people who regularly eat pears and apples have a 52% reduced stroke risk.
Per the USDA Guidelines for Americans, people who eat more fruit as part of an overall healthy diet are less likely to develop chronic diseases. The researchers found, however, that only 2% of Americans ate a single, medium-sized pear a day. And that’s all people need to eat to get the recommended daily fruit intake!
The team concluded:
“consumption of fresh pears should be encouraged as part of an overall healthy diet, since pears are nutrient-dense and can help individuals meet the fruit recommendation.”
Julie Fidler is a freelance writer, legal blogger, and the author of Adventures in Holy Matrimony: For Better or the Absolute Worst. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two ridiculously spoiled cats. She occasionally pontificates on her blog.