Peaches and Other Stone Fruits
Fight Obesity and Diabetes

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April 11, 2018

By Susan Callahan, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

There are a lot of reasons we in America have gained more
weight than we like --- but eating peaches is not one of
them.  Peaches, scientists have recently discovered, have
very special biochemical properties that inhibit weight gain
and lower the risk for diabetes. But aren't peaches a sweet
fruit and aren't sweet fruits a problem for diabetics, you
might be asking?

To stay on the same page, we are not talking about
desserts that incorporate peaches such as peach cobblers
or peach pies. Eating these can and will promote both
weight gain and diabetes. We're talking about whole, fresh
peaches, frozen peaches or canned peaches.

We Need to Do Something Different and Peaches Can Help

By now, you have heard the statistics ad nauseum. Over a
third of  Americans are technically obese and two-thirds of
us are overweight, according to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention. Along with obesity, rates of
diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease
have climbed.

The World Health Organization says  "
metabolic syndrome"
exists if a person has insulin resistance of diabetes, plus
two of the following criteria:

  • high blood pressure (over 140/90)

  • triglyceride levels over 150 mg/dL or HDL less than 35

  • waist line circumference compared to your hip
    measurements of over 0.9 for men or 0.85 for women

By this definition, most of us now suffers from metabolic
syndrome, which means we can expect shortened lifespans.
As it stands,
Americans have slipped to 41st place in life
expectancy. The situation is rather critical. But not
hopeless. We are not all in the same boat. Some of us are
fit. But we're talking about averages here.

There is a thriving industry dedicated to selling us almost
every imaginable weight loss tool. And none of them is
working to bend the curve downward on our weight gain.
But what if the solution were not something new but
instead was something old?

That's the direction in which many scientists are heading.

In 2012, a group of scientists from a research company
called AgriLife Research presented a paper at the American
Chemical Society in Philadelphia.

Their study discovered that peaches and other fruits with a
stone in their center share a special set of bioactive

It's the Stone --- Peaches, Nectarines and Other Stone Fruit
Are Special in the Way they Interact with Your Genes

Most fruits and vegetables reduce metabolic syndrome risk
by working on one or at most two avenues of attack at the
cellular level.

Peaches work on four avenues, four different lines of
attack. Peaches, nectarines and other stone fruits contain
four major phenolic groups called anthocyanins, catechins,
clorogenic acids and quercetin derivatives. Each of these
phenolic groups tackles a different problems linked directly
to heart disease, stroke  and diabetes risk.

Some of the phenolic groups attack fat cells. Others target
macrophages and others improve the cells that line your
blood vessels (vascular endothelial cells), helping them to
dilate and stay smooth.

Peaches Can be Eaten At Any Time of the Year

Both canned and frozen peaches retain the phenolic
compounds that improve your metabolic profile. So, you
can enjoy peaches in every season of the year.

Peaches, without any additional whipped cream or pie
crusts or added sugar for that matter, make a delicious
dessert. They are rich in Vitamins C and A, and are believed
to help keep your skin smooth.

The research is promising but there are reasons to add
caution to the mix. First, the study was funded by the fruit
industry. The sponsors included the California Tree Fruit
Agreement, The California Plum Board, the California Grape
and Tree Fruit League and the Texas Department of

We might be able to dismiss this good result as an industry
funded study except that other studies from different
universities around the world have duplicated some of its

A study from the Biology Department at Qassim University
in Saudi Arabia found, for example, that feeding lab rats
peach syrup and green tea lowered total cholesterol and
improved cardiovascular markers. The study noted that
"intake of syrup of peaches and pears (peel and pulp) &
green tea ... decreased the level of LDL. The treatment also
decreased significantly ...the levels of plasma cholesterol, TG
[triglycerides] and heart [triglyceride] TG levels."


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