3 Sweet Reasons to Choose Pears if You Have Diabetes

November is National Diabetes Month and it’s also a great time to find perfectly ripe pears, which comes in handy since pears have a lot of the attributes we recommend in a diet to prevent and treat type 2 diabetes. Pears are a low glycemic index (and low glycemic load) food – a medium-sized pear ranks 38 on the glycemic index – which means they have a mild effect on blood sugar levels. While there isn’t a cure for diabetes (yet!), we do know that food is a very powerful tool that can be used to reduce symptoms and improve overall quality of life. As registered dietitians, we see the power of food every day, and the research supports just how much of an effect food can have on reducing the impact of diabetes. Whether you’ve been diagnosed with type Continue reading

Four Recipes for Diabetic Eating

Nourishing, naturally sweet and truly delicious, pears are in season which makes it the perfect time of year to celebrate the joy of eating well. National Diabetes Month (November) is coming to a close, but eating diabetes-friendly foods is important year-round and it’s my personal mission to change the conversation around the diabetic diet from one of deprivation to one of gratifying intentions to eat to nourish your body. Whole foods, like pears, are nutrient dense and sustaining which makes them easy to love. I also love the concept of “food gratitude” as it offers you a positive way to celebrate the good-for-you foods on your plate like the many reasons to be grateful for pears. The fiber content of the pear, 6 grams per medium piece of fruit, helps to naturally keep blood sugars in check. Plus, they are Continue reading

Diabetes? Eat More Pears!

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 Continue reading

Pears Fight Diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 26 million Americans have diabetes. It is a common misconception that people who have diabetes cannot eat carbohydrates. Everyone needs carbohydrates, but not all carbohydrates are created equally. When I educate clients or future dietitians about nutrition therapy for diabetes, I focus on a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat milk to healthfully meet carbohydrate needs. And now there is even more research to support this guidance. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition just released findings that eating more flavonoids from blueberries, apples, and pears may reduce risk for type 2 diabetes. Flavonoids are classes of pigments in plant foods known to have strong antioxidant activity against chronic diseases. The current study followed over 200,000 U.S. men and women for upwards of 24 years, and dietary intakes and risk for Continue reading