This weekend I attended the American Diabetes Association’s Chicago Expo, a free educational event for those with diabetes. At the pear booth, I noticed the question we were asked most was “How are pears good for diabetes?” Just like any carbohydrate-rich food, grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, etc., the naturally occurring sugar in fruit is broken down in the gut and absorbed into the blood stream, causing blood sugar to rise. This is good and necessary! Every single cell in the body needs carbohydrate because it is the primary source of energy for the body. Think about how much you move every day. Your large muscle groups use a lot of energy from carbohydrate and fat. But, energy from carbohydrates is especially important for the brain and central nervous system. In fact, the brain alone requires at least 120 grams of carbohydrates daily. [1, 2] It is best to obtain carbohydrates from whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and low-fat dairy, because of the other nutrients found in these foods—vitamins, minerals, protein, fatty acids, and fiber.
Pears are a good choice because they naturally contain 6 grams of fiber, 24% of your daily needs. Fiber helps to stabilize blood sugar by slowing absorption of carbohydrate into the blood stream. This limits sugar spikes and makes energy available to body tissues over a longer period of time.  Indeed, fiber is good for everyone because of this very factor; you will feel fuller for longer and won’t experience sugar crashes. So when you’re craving something sweet, do something good for your body and bite into a pear!