Which are you – an apple or a pear? If you have heard these terms before, then you probably realize that I’m describing two common body shapes. The apple refers to someone who carries fat around the midsection, giving a rounded shape. The pear shape is heavier on the bottom and lighter on top – like a pear! Although this is a rather general way of looking at health, science is learning that shape says a lot about your risk for chronic illness.
Storing fat around the abdomen and chest is more common in men, but also affects women, especially later in life. Unfortunately, this particular shape causes a larger amount of fat to deposit around the internal organs, increasing risk for coronary heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, gall bladder disease, and even breast cancer.
However, people who have a pear shape may actually have a reduced risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and many other illnesses related to weight compared to those with an apple shape. This is because fat sits lower on the body, around the hips, buttocks, and thighs. Although carrying extra fat isn’t healthy anywhere, this body shape limits fat stored around the internal organs.
Having a pear shape may be beneficial related to risk. But whether you are an apple or a pear, eating pears can help you pare down your shape! Fruit and vegetables tend to be lower in calories and are good sources of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce calories, leading to weight loss. Further, the beneficial nutrients found in fruits and vegetables may help reduce risk for chronic illnesses associated with excess weight. Pears are high in fiber, which helps stabilize blood sugar and helps you feel full faster and keep you satisfied longer. Pears are also a good source of vitamin C, a natural antioxidant that fights some of the negative consequences of fat-related illnesses.
So whether you’re an apple or a pear, pare down your shape with a delicious pear!