A medium pear contains 101 calories and no cholesterol.
A good source of vitamin C and potassium, pears are also a low-calorie and low-fat addition to your healthy eating plan. As an added bonus, the impressive dose of dietary fiber in a pear just might help lower your cholesterol level. Because high cholesterol is a potentially life-threatening condition, it's wise to find ways to help reduce your levels, and pears are a good place to start.
Dangers of High Cholesterol
Your body needs cholesterol, but many people have much more floating around in their bloodstream than they actually need. Some of the cholesterol in your body is made naturally by you, while the rest accumulates in levels that depend on what foods you eat and don't eat. If you have too much low-density lipoprotein -- the "bad" cholesterol -- and not enough high-density lipoprotein -- the "good" kind -- you're at a higher risk for heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. If you have high cholesterol, making certain dietary changes can help lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol.
Fiber in Pears and Cholesterol
Pears are a good source of fiber, and eating more fiber is one way to help lower your cholesterol level. In fact, adding more fiber to your diet can lower your LDL cholesterol by between 5 percent and 10 percent, according to a 2011 article published in "Current Opinion on Lipidology." Some of the fiber in pears is water-soluble, which is particularly beneficial when trying to lower your cholesterol levels, according to Michael T. Murray and Joseph E. Pizzorno, authors of "The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods." A medium pear contains 5.5 grams of fiber, and large pear has 7.1 grams.
Pears Might Also Help BecauseвЂ¦
Because pears are so rich in fiber, they help fill you up, which can be beneficial because it can help you eat less food overall, including foods that contain saturated or trans fats. Eating too much saturated or trans fat can raise your cholesterol levels, according to the American Heart Association. For example, if you choose a pear over a bag of potato chips for a snack, you've increased your fiber intake and reduced your saturated fat intake, both of which can help you lower your bad cholesterol level.
Adding Pears to Your Diet
Swap your usual snack or side dish for a chilled pear as one of the easiest ways to add the fruit to your diet. Combine sliced pears with mustard greens, watercress, leeks and walnuts as another way to eat the food, Murray and Pizzorno recommend. Pair fresh pears with goat cheese for a fiber and calcium-rich snack or appetizer. Puree poached pears with cinnamon to make a tasty dip for fresh fruit, or saute fresh pears with ginger and garlic and use the mixture as a topping for grilled chicken.