Pears are an excellent source of water-soluble types of fibres, such as pectin. Pears contain both soluble and insoluble fibre, which is helpful in lowering cholesterol and acts as a 'fuel' to encourage the growth of healthy bacteria in the bowel. Pears contain no fat or cholesterol and are an excellent source of dietary fibre and vitamin C. The average pear contains four grams of fibre, which is equivalent to one and a half cups of brown rice. The dietary fibre in pears has for some time been thought to assist in the fight against serious illnesses including some forms of cancer. A sweetener is a food additive which adds the basic taste of sweetness to a food; artificial sweeteners and natural sweeteners that aren't purely sugar are sugar substitutes.