There’s a misconception that those living with diabetes can’t eat fruit. Fruits contain some carbohydrates, but they also have many beneficial nutrients that can contribute to a balanced diet.

Fruits provide many health benefits for people with diabetes, though it’s important to keep in mind portions, your overall carbohydrate intake, and the glycemic index of the food.

Pears can be very tasty and are a great fruit to eat if you have diabetes. Many studies indicate that their nutritional benefits can help you manage the condition.

Pears also have a low glycemic index, so they won’t raise blood glucose too quickly.

You can eat pears if you have diabetes, as long as you keep your portions in mind and eat them with other nutritious foods. Pears may satisfy your need for something sweet while also providing nutritional benefits.

General benefits of pears

Pears are a nutrient- and vitamin-rich food that has many health benefits, including:

There are more than a thousand types of pears, but you’re likely to see only a fraction of these available for sale. Some of the most popular types of pears for food intake include:

  • Bartlett
  • Bosc
  • D’Anjou

Asian pears, which resemble the texture of apples, are another common type. Some foods labeled as “pears” aren’t actually part of the same genus. Prickly pear is a type of cactus. Balsam pear is also known as bitter melon.

On average, a person consumes almost three pounds of fresh pears annually.

Nutritional benefits of pears

According to the USDA FoodData Central database, a medium-sized pear contains:

  • 101 calories
  • 27 grams (g) of carbohydrates
  • 5.5 g of fiber (71% of the fiber is insoluble, and 29% is soluble)
  • 7.65 g of vitamin C
  • 206 milligrams (mg) of potassium

Pears also contain antioxidants, fructose, and sorbitol. A significant amount of nutrition from pears is found on the skin.

Benefits for people with diabetes

Many studies available link health benefits to pears, particularly for those with diabetes or at risk for diabetes.

One study suggests that foods rich in anthocyanin, including pears, lowered the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Eating whole fruits versus other types of pear products may be key in maximizing their health benefits for those at risk of diabetes.

A study indicates that eating whole fruits, like pears, lowered the risk of type 2 diabetes as opposed to consuming them as juice.

Research on pear intake among people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes notes that eating apples and pears reduced the risk by 18%.

Consuming pears along with maintaining a balanced diet may help manage early-stage diabetes as well.

The glycemic index (GI) can be a helpful tool to determine how a food with carbohydrates raises your glucose level.

To maintain usual glucose levels, it’s important to try to eat foods that are on the low or medium spectrum of the GI as much as possible.

The GI measurement for specific foods depends on many factors, including how much fat and fiber they contain and the cooking method, ripeness, and processing of the food.

Pears and many other fruits are low on the GI. A medium-sized pear has a GI score of 30, while apples have a similar GI score of 36.

Strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries have the lowest GI scores of all fruits, with one cup each rated at 25.

Other single servings of fruits like peaches, bananas, and watermelon are rated as medium GI foods.

Fruit is just one part of a balanced diet if you have diabetes. You should make sure to incorporate other nutritious foods as part of your meal plan, including lean proteins, vegetables, and whole grains.

A balanced diet that incorporates these items will help you get the vitamins, nutrients, and minerals you need.

Portion management is also very important for your diet. Keep serving sizes in mind as you decide how much to add to your plate at mealtime or before you select a snack.

Keeping your blood glucose levels healthy is key to managing diabetes, so try to avoid foods that’ll spike these levels, like ultra-processed foods.

You can incorporate pears into many different recipes. A few pear recipes that work well in a well-balanced diet include:

Pears in salad

This salad incorporates arugula, pears, walnuts, and pecorino cheese with a balsamic olive oil dressing. It would work well alongside a lean protein at lunch or dinner.

A serving contains 8 g of fat, 7 g of carbohydrates, and 2 g of protein. It also contains 170 mg of potassium and 50 mg of phosphorus.

Pears as an appetizer

You can enjoy two mini pear and goat cheese tarts for just 90 calories, 4 g of fat, 11 g of carbohydrates, and 3 g of protein.

These tarts would be a fun addition to a holiday spread or a great dish to take to a party.

Pears as a snack or dessert

Cinnamon roasted pears may fit the bill for a seasonal snack or dessert in fall or winter. You need to toss walnuts, margarine, a brown sugar substitute, and cinnamon together and use this as a topping on halved pears.

You then roast these well-dressed pears in the oven for 45 minutes.

It’s important to keep your blood glucose levels stable if you have diabetes. You should make an appointment with your doctor or a dietitian to discuss your diet if you notice spikes or dips in your blood sugar regularly.

They can help you create a balanced diet plan that includes whole foods and specifies portions to regulate your blood sugar levels.

Do pears raise blood sugar?

Pears have a low glycemic index, so they don’t raise blood sugar quickly.

What is the safest fruit for those with diabetes?

Low GI fruits include strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries.

Which fruits should those with diabetes avoid?

It’s best to avoid canned fruits, dried fruits, and fruit juices with added sugar.

Pears are a delicious and natural food to incorporate into a balanced diet if you have diabetes.

They may be able to prevent the onset of diabetes or even help you manage the early stages of the condition because of their nutritional content.

Keep the serving size in mind when you eat pears, and balance them with other foods like lean proteins and vegetables to keep your blood glucose levels healthy.

You can enjoy pears as a whole fruit or incorporate them into recipes for meals and snacks.