If you are asking, “are pears low fodmap”? Read on!
For individuals sensitive to certain types of carbohydrates known as FODMAPs, consuming pears can be a slight problem.
Good news – you can still enjoy the sweet, juicy flavor and gain the health benefits of some pears in small quantities.
In this blog, we delve into the FODMAP content of different types of pears and offer guidance for those looking to enjoy this delicious fruit without digestive discomfort.
The post outlines specific certified quantities of pears you can choose and those to avoid.
What are FODMAPs?
FODMAPs (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols) are a group of fermentable carbohydrates.
These carbohydrates can cause digestive issues in some people, particularly those with IBS.
Fermentable carbohydrates are poorly absorbed in the small intestine, increasing water delivery and gas production.
This process can lead to symptoms like bloating, gas, loose stools, and abdominal pain (1).
This diet is a short-term restriction, and you can read how to reintroduce fodmaps back into the diet.
Are pears low FODMAP?
Despite their popularity, people often question, “Are pears low FODMAP?”.
Pears are a high-FODMAP fruit, due to their fructose and sorbitol content. However, the FODMAP levels can vary depending on the type of pear and its ripeness.
The exact quantities of pears you can enjoy are Monash University-approved serving sizes (2). We discuss specifics further down the page.
Monash is an Australian University that completes research on IBS, looking at the low FODMAP diet and FODMAP concentrations of different foods and drinks.
The Monash app or website can locate the certified serving sizes.
Are Prickly pears low FODMAP?
A prickly pear is a type of cactus fruit known for its spiky exterior and vibrant, reddish-purple hue. Its flesh is sweet and juicy, making it a popular choice for both sweet and savory dishes.
A medium prickly pear (standard serving size 166g) is low in FODMAPs and can be consumed on a low FODMAP diet. It is low in all FODMAPs.
Are Nashi/Asian pears low FODMAP?
The Nashi pear, also known as the Asian pear, is commonly eaten fresh but can also be used in many cooked dishes.
Its crisp texture and subtly sweet flavor make it ideal for salads, desserts, and even as a crunchy complement in savory dishes.
Fructose and sorbitol are found in Nashi/Asian pears.
Monash recommends a 5g serving (1 teaspoon) per meal, which is considered low enough in FODMAPs to be tolerated by most people with IBS.
Are dried pears low FODMAP?
A dried pear is a pear that has been dehydrated to remove most of its water content, resulting in a chewy, concentrated form of the fruit.
Dried pears are often used as a snack, in trail mixes, or as an ingredient in baked goods. It offers a sweet and fruity flavor.
They are a concentrated source of FODMAPs, containing fructose and sorbitol.
Avoid these when following the low FODMAP diet, as Monash recommends the FODMAP content is too high.
Are Packham pears low FODMAP?
A Packham pear is a variety of pear known for its green skin and juicy, sweet flesh.
Packham pears are considered high in fructose and sorbitol.
A medium Packham pear with skin on (standard serving size) is considered high in these FODMAPs and not suitable for a low FODMAP diet.
If you peel the skin off, 5g (1 teaspoon) should be low enough to count as low FODMAP in one meal.
Are canned pears low FODMAP?
A canned pear has been peeled, cored, and often sliced before being preserved in a syrup or juice within a sealed can.
The texture is generally softer than that of a fresh pear, and the preserving liquid sweetens and intensifies the flavor.
Interestingly, canned pears are lower in FODMAPs than fresh pears. The canning process can break down some fermentable carbohydrates (3).
Is pear juice low FODMAP?
Pear juice is exceptionally high in FODMAPs and is best avoided if you are following a low FODMAP diet.
But you can find suitable alternative Low FODMAP juice (safe options + ingredients to be wary of).
Are cooked pears low FODMAP?
Cooking pears does not significantly alter the FODMAP content, so they are still considered high in FODMAPs.
What about foods containing pears?
Other foods may contain specific quantities of pears.
You may want to watch out for chutney – some chutneys contain pears and are usually high in fructose. A small serving (18g) can be considered low in FODMAPs (2).
Other fruits to consider
When looking are pears low fodmap, other fruits provide similar properties. Each fruit will contain different types and quantities of FODMAPs, so it is best to check the specific fruit. For example:
What are the health benefits of eating pears?
Despite the delicious taste, there are many health benefits to consuming pears. These include:
- Pears contain some water, helping to contribute to your fluid requirements. Adults should aim to drink 35ml/kg/day (4).
- They provide dietary fiber, especially from the skin of the fruit. Read How To Get 30g of Fibre a Day.
- Pears provide calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium minerals.
- You can find vitamins such as vitamin C, thiamine, B6, and folate in pears (5).
- Pears may help to prevent constipation due to the fructose and sorbitol, promoting bowel movements (6).
- They are rich in antioxidants, which may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes or a stroke (6).
Alternative low FODMAP fruit and vegetables
These serving sizes are certified according to Monash, based on the research into the low FODMAP diet (2).
Try to eat an array of suitable fruits and vegetables in your diet to get vitamins and minerals daily.
The blog tackles the question, “Are pears low FODMAP?”. While pears are generally high in FODMAPs, you can consume small portions of certain pears on a low FODMAP diet.
Prickly pears are low in all FODMAPs, while a small 5g serving of Nashi/Asian pears is also considered tolerable.
These servings/recommendations are based on the latest research from Monash University.
Avoid dried pears, pear juice, and Packham pears, as these are high in FODMAPs.
Pears provide many health benefits, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and some water content, and can be eaten to tolerance as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
Hannah Pritchard is a UK HCPC registered Dietitian, specialising in gastroenterology, and she is a member of the British Dietetic Association. Working within the NHS, voluntary and private sectors have enabled her to work with a mixture of people to improve their gut health and achieve their dietary targets. She is also FODMAP trained and has spent over 5 years focusing on helping people with conditions of the gastrointestinal system, including IBS. Prior to this, she worked in other areas such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and weight management. Hannah has a particular interest in the gut microbiota and the impact that diet and lifestyle choices can have on it, and ways to optimise long term gut health.