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Pears nutrition: glycemic index, calories weight loss and diets

Pears, raw
*all the values are displayed for the amount of 100 grams

Complete nutrition and health benefits analysis for Pear



Pears are often distinguished by their unique shape and are associated with Autumn. In this article, we will talk in depth about a pear’s nutrition, impact on health, how it fits in different diets and much more.

Pears grow on trees or shrubs that belong to the Rosaceae family and the Pyrus genus. Belonging to this family, they are related to apples, peaches, apricots, cherries, strawberries and many other fruits.

There are estimated to be around 3000 varieties of pears. Most of these varieties are ready to harvest from mid August to October. Like apples, pears are pome fruits, having a core with small seeds, a tough flesh and an edible skin.


First have a look at our pear nutrition infographic below

Pear nutrition infographic

Pear nutrition infographic
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Fruits have always been associated with being full of vitamins and good for your health, but what exactly does a pear consist of?

Calories in a Pear

A 100g of pear contains 57 calories. An average serving is a middle sized pear that weighs around 166g. Therefore one serving of a pear contains 97 calories. This number is only slightly higher compared to the caloric content of an apple and is considered to be low.


The main element that a pear contains is water, like most fruits. Pears consist of 84% water.

Carbohydrates in a Pear

A 100g pear contains 15g of carbohydrates. Out of this the dietary fiber comprises 3g and total sugars make up for another 10g. A pear also contains 1g of added sugars

Out of all sugars, pears are particularly rich in fructose and sorbitol, compared to other fruits (3).

One average serving of a pear is a source of 25g of carbohydrates.

Proteins and Fats in a Pear

A 100g pear contains less that one gram of both protein and fats.

However small the amount, the main type of fats found in a pear are the healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids, followed by monounsaturated fatty acids. Pears are very low in saturated fats and naturally do not contain cholesterol.

Pear also contains very small amounts of all essential amino acids, except for methionine and histidine.


Among all vitamins, pears are the best source of vitamin C. Pears are also quite high in vitamin A and vitamin K. They contain moderate to low amounts of vitamin B9 (folate), vitamin E, vitamins B6, B3, B2, B1 and B5.

All vitamins are more concentrated in the skin (3).

However, pears completely lack vitamin B12, vitamin D and the folic form of vitamin B9.


Pears are rich in copper and magnesium. They also contain some amounts of calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, choline, phosphorus and selenium.

Pears are low in sodium.

Glycemic Index

The glycemic index of a pear can differ depending on the conditions it was grown in. The mean of fours studies, including different varieties of pears from 3 different countries, makes the average glycemic index of a raw pear equal to 38±2 (1).

The glycemic index of a pear that was canned in its own juice has been calculated to be 44, whereas pears, canned in reduced-sugar syrup have a glycemic index of 25±6.

Dried pears from the UK have a glycemic index ranging around 43±15 (2).

Pear is classified as a low glycemic index food.

Health Impact

Pears are one of the oldest fruits cultivated by man. In its history pear has often been used in traditional medicine, for its reported anti inflammatory, antihyperglycemic and diuretic qualities. Pears have also been used to relieve cough, as a remedy for alcohol hangovers and as a laxative (3).


Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death globally. The right diet can make all the difference in early prevention of cardiovascular disease development.

Antioxidant Effects

Pears are rich in phytochemicals that have strong antioxidant properties, providing between 27 to 41mg of phenolics per 100g (3).

Antioxidant content of pears can differ depending on the pear variety. One study compared antioxidant abilities of 10 different pear varieties and found that Yaguang, Hongpi, Qingpi and Guifei varieties contained relatively more total phenolic, total flavonoids and total triterpene, and showed stronger antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, while Lvbaoshi and Youran appeared to be weakest among them. All the chemical components found in the pear peel were approximately 6 to 20 times higher than those in the flesh of pear (4).

Pear pomace water extract has also been shown to be a valuable natural source of antioxidants (5).

Effects on Lipid Metabolism

Diets supplemented with pears have improved lipid metabolism and increased the plasma antioxidant potential in rats fed with added cholesterol (6).

Fruit consumption may affect smokers and non-smokers differently. One study has found that pear consumption increased total antioxidant capacity in non-smokers, but not in smokers. In non-smokers, levels of total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein and low density lipoprotein increased significantly; while in smokers, total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein levels decreased (7).


Epidemiological studies have demonstrated significant evidence of an inverse association between pear consumption and the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Pear intake was estimated to have an 18% reduction of type 2 diabetes risk (8).

Pears are said to have this antidiabetic quality due to their concentration of anthocyanins (9).

Antihyperglycemic Effects

Aqueous and ethanolic extracts of both peel and pulp from 8 different pear varieties have been demonstrated to possess antihyperglycemic qualities, due to the phenolic content. Pears can be included in a healthy diet for people with type 2 diabetes to help manage early stages of hyperglycemia (10). 

Pear extract also improves impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance (11).

Antiobesity Effects

A clinical study has concluded that pear consumption can be associated with weight reduction (12). 

It has been shown that pear extract supplementation ameliorates diet‐induced obesity and associated metabolic complications. Both pear fruits and malaxinic acid, found in a pear’s composition, suggest health-beneficial effects that counteract these diseases (11).


Diets rich with various fruits and vegetables have been associated with lowered risk of developing cancer.

Higher consumption of pears has been studied to lead to decreased lung cancer incidence (13). 

The Nordic diet that includes high consumption of pears among other foods has been found to lower the risk of colorectal cancer development in women (14).

Another study found a protective association between intake of fruits from the Rosaceae family, such as pears, and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (15).


As healthy as a pear can be, it can also be hazardous for people who are intolerant to it.

There are two different types of pear allergies. The first form is called birch-fruit syndrome and is a form of cross reactivity between birch pollen and fruit such as pears. This allergy is more common in the North of Europe and the allergen that causes it is not tolerant to high temperatures. This means that people with a birch-pear allergy can often eat pears in cooked forms. This allergy also has been found to commonly have cross reactions within other fruits, such as apples, apricots, cherry, melon, banana, nuts, etc (16).

The second form of this allergy often causes more severe reactions and has no cross sensitivity to birch pollen. However people with this allergy are commonly also allergic to peaches. The peel of the fruit can be more allergenic than the flesh and the allergen survives processing, so even cooking does not destroy it. This allergy is more common in Mediterranean countries (16).

The allergens found in pears are called Pyr c 1, Pyr c 3, Pyr c 4 and Pyr c 5 proteins and reside both in the flesh and in the pulp. However these proteins are concentrated in the peel, so the peel tends to be more allergy inducing (17).

The general symptoms can range from mild to severe. These include oral allergy syndrome (itching, swelling and redness of the oral area), itching of the eyes and throat, contact dermatitis, nausea, stomach pains, diarrhea and in rare cases anaphylactic shock.

Pears in Diets


One average pear contains 25g of carbohydrates. Since the keto diet allows only 5 to 10% (20 to 50g) of your daily caloric intake to consist of carbohydrates (18), pears are not considered to be keto friendly (19).


Pears are low in sodium and high in fiber, containing moderate amounts of calcium, magnesium and potassium. Due to these characteristics, pears suit the DASH diet.


Pears, containing 15g of carbohydrates per 100g, are considered to be high carb fruits and are only allowed in the Induction phase of this diet and in moderation. Overall, it is advised to avoid this fruit during the Atkins diet.


Fruits are essential to the Mediterannean diet. Pears are also included in the traditional version of this diet (20).


Most fruits and vegetables are included in the paleo diet. Pears fit this diet but only in moderation.

Vegan/ Vegetarian/ Pescetarian

Pears being fruits, naturally fit in all three diets.


Pears are not allowed in the first two, Attack and Cruise, phases of this diet. Starting from the Consolidation phase you can add pears in limited amounts to your diet. In fact, pears are one of the best fruits to add during this phase (21).

Intermittent Fasting

Like most fruits, you can use pears during the eating periods, but not during the fasting periods.

Low Fat & Low Calorie

Pears are very low in fats but contain 97 calories per serving. You can have pears during low fat diets and can use them in low calorie diets in moderation.

Low Carb

A serving of pear contains 25g of carbohydrates. Pears are not advisable to use during low carb diets.

Anti Inflammatory

Studies have found pear to have certain anti inflammatory qualities, due to its phytochemical content (3). Therefore pears can be a healthy option during this diet.


Raw pears are high in fiber and sugar and are to be avoided. However you can have pear juice in the first 8 to 12 hours of this diet and can add canned pears, preferably in natural juice, during the next 12 to 24 hours of this diet (22).

Nordic Diet

The Nordic diet is based on traditional ways of eating in the Nordic countries, which include Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland. It has been studied to have positive effects on the environment and health, lowering mortality rates (23).

Nordic diet staples include whole-grain cereals such as rye, barley, and oats; berries and other fruits; vegetables (especially cabbage and root vegetables like potatoes and carrots); fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and herring; and legumes (beans and peas) (24).

Pears and apples are an important part of this diet.


Fruits in general tend to be more acidic. Pears have a pH of 3-4, making this fruit acidic as well (25).

Inside the human body, pears have been calculated to have a potential renal acid load (PRAL) of -2.1, making it alkaline.

Serving Size

One average serving size of a pear is considered to weigh 166g, that is the size of a medium pear.


Pears are more often eaten raw but can also be used in salads, pastries and desserts.

Keeping, Storing and Conservation

Storage of pear can affect its antioxidant capacity and is it important to use pears correctly in order to not waste its beneficial qualities on health.

Ripe pears should be refrigerated at a 2 to 7°C (35 to 45°F) temperature and at 85% to 90% humidity. Unripe pears can be kept at room temperature to ripen. However pears ripen from the inside out, so when the peel gets soft, the pulp can already be overripe. The ripeness of pears can be checked by applying pressure to the neck of the fruit. If it gives slightly to pressure, it is already ripe. You can also speed up the process of ripening by keeping pears close to avocados or bananas (26).

You can also freeze pears to lengthen the storage period, however they may lose some nutrients in the process.

After one week of domestic storage, the ascorbic acid content was found to decrease by 75%. Peeling led to a more than 25% decrease in total phenolics and ascorbic acid (27). So it is recommended to consume pears shortly after buying and preferably with peel.

Consumption and Production

In 2012, US per-capita consumption of fresh pears was 1.3 kg (2.8 lb), according to the US Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service. Per-capita consumption of all pear products was about 3 kg (7 lb) in 2010. About 60% of the US pear crop is sold as fresh, and 40% is processed, primarily in the form of canned product. The United States is a net exporter of pears (3).

China, with approximately 17 million tonnes of pear production per year is the largest pear producing country worldwide, comprising around 68% of total production. The country that follows is Argentina with 954K tonnes and is followed by Italy with 767K tonnes of pear production per year (28).

China is also the largest consumer of pears, accounting for nearly 66% of total consumption. The second largest consumer in the world is Italy, followed by the USA.

Overall, the global pear market revenue in 2018 amounted to 27.3 billion dollars (28). 


There are estimated to be over 3000 varieties of pears, however, only about a hundred of them are commercially popular.

The 10 main varieties grown in the United States are Green and Red Anjou, Bartlett and Red Bartlett, Bosc, Comice, Forelle, Seckel, Starkrimson, and Concorde (3).

The varieties mainly differ by their softness and sweetness. The Bartlett, Red Bartlett, Comice and Starkrimson are very soft, juicy and sweet, whereas Forelle, Seckel and Bosc are crispy and less sweet (29).

Whatever the variety, the nutrition of pears make this fruit a great choice for most health-conscious consumers. 


Article author photo Victoria Mazmanyan
Profession: Yerevan State Medical University
Last updated: December 03, 2020

Important nutritional characteristics for Pear

38 (low)
Serving Size ⓘ Serving sizes are taken from FDA's Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed (RACCs)
1 NLEA serving (166 grams)
Acidity (Based on PRAL) ⓘ PRAL (Potential renal acid load) is calculated using a formula. On the PRAL scale the higher the positive value, the more is the acidifying effect on the body. The lower the negative value, the higher the alkalinity of the food. 0 is neutral.
-2.1 (alkaline)
74% Fiber
70% Vitamin C
60% Sugar
59% Carbs
55% Cryptoxanthin, beta
Explanation: The given food contains more Fiber than 74% of foods. Note that this food itself is richer in Fiber than it is in any other nutrient. Similarly, it is relatively rich in Vitamin C, Sugar, Carbs, and Cryptoxanthin, beta.

Check out similar food or compare with current

Macronutrients chart

16% 84%
Daily Value: 1%
0.36 g of 50 g
Daily Value: 0%
0.14 g of 65 g
Daily Value: 5%
15.23 g of 300 g
Daily Value: 4%
83.96 g of 2,000 g
0.31 g


Nutrition Facts
___servings per container
Serving Size ______________
Amount Per 100g
Calories 57
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g
Saturated Fat 0g
Trans Fat g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 1mg
Total Carbohydrate 15g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Total Sugars g
Includes ? g Added Sugars
Protein 0g
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%

Calcium 9mg 1%

Iron 0mg 0%

Potassium 116mg 3%

The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Health checks

Low in Cholesterol
Dietary cholesterol is not associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease in healthy individuals. However, dietary cholesterol is common in foods that are high in harmful saturated fats.
No Trans Fats
Trans fat consumption increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality by negatively affecting blood lipid levels.
Low in Saturated Fats
Saturated fat intake can raise total cholesterol and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) levels, leading to an increased risk of atherosclerosis. Dietary guidelines recommend limiting saturated fats to under 10% of calories a day.
Low in Sodium
Increased sodium consumption leads to elevated blood pressure.
Low in Sugars
While the consumption of moderate amounts of added sugars is not detrimental to health, an excessive intake can increase the risk of obesity, and therefore, diabetes.

Mineral coverage chart

Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium Choline 3% 7% 5% 6% 11% 1% 3% 28% 7% 1% 3%
Calcium: 9 mg of 1,000 mg 1%
Iron: 0.18 mg of 8 mg 2%
Magnesium: 7 mg of 420 mg 2%
Phosphorus: 12 mg of 700 mg 2%
Potassium: 116 mg of 3,400 mg 3%
Sodium: 1 mg of 2,300 mg 0%
Zinc: 0.1 mg of 11 mg 1%
Copper: 0.082 mg of 1 mg 9%
Manganese: 0.048 mg of 2 mg 2%
Selenium: 0.1 µg of 55 µg 0%
Choline: 5.1 mg of 550 mg 1%

Mineral chart - relative view

0.082 mg
TOP 61%
0.048 mg
TOP 67%
9 mg
TOP 79%
116 mg
TOP 79%
7 mg
TOP 89%
0.18 mg
TOP 90%
0.1 mg
TOP 91%
5.1 mg
TOP 92%
12 mg
TOP 92%
0.1 µg
TOP 96%
1 mg
TOP 98%

Vitamin coverage chart

Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 2% 3% 0% 15% 3% 6% 4% 3% 7% 6% 0% 11%
Vitamin A: 25 IU of 5,000 IU 1%
Vitamin E : 0.12 mg of 15 mg 1%
Vitamin D: 0 µg of 10 µg 0%
Vitamin C: 4.3 mg of 90 mg 5%
Vitamin B1: 0.012 mg of 1 mg 1%
Vitamin B2: 0.026 mg of 1 mg 2%
Vitamin B3: 0.161 mg of 16 mg 1%
Vitamin B5: 0.049 mg of 5 mg 1%
Vitamin B6: 0.029 mg of 1 mg 2%
Folate: 7 µg of 400 µg 2%
Vitamin B12: 0 µg of 2 µg 0%
Vitamin K: 4.4 µg of 120 µg 4%

Vitamin chart - relative view

Vitamin C
4.3 mg
TOP 30%
Vitamin A
25 IU
TOP 57%
Vitamin K
4.4 µg
TOP 57%
7 µg
TOP 72%
Vitamin E
0.12 mg
TOP 84%
Vitamin B6
0.029 mg
TOP 88%
Vitamin B2
0.026 mg
TOP 89%
Vitamin B3
0.161 mg
TOP 89%
Vitamin B1
0.012 mg
TOP 91%
Vitamin B5
0.049 mg
TOP 94%
Vitamin B12
0 µg
TOP 100%
Vitamin D
0 µg
TOP 100%

Protein quality breakdown

Tryptophan Threonine Isoleucine Leucine Lysine Methionine Phenylalanine Valine Histidine 3% 4% 3% 3% 3% 1% 2% 3% 1%
Tryptophan: 2 mg of 280 mg 1%
Threonine: 11 mg of 1,050 mg 1%
Isoleucine: 11 mg of 1,400 mg 1%
Leucine: 19 mg of 2,730 mg 1%
Lysine: 17 mg of 2,100 mg 1%
Methionine: 2 mg of 1,050 mg 0%
Phenylalanine: 11 mg of 1,750 mg 1%
Valine: 17 mg of 1,820 mg 1%
Histidine: 2 mg of 700 mg 0%

Fat type information

0.022% 0.084% 0.094%
Saturated Fat: 0.022 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.084 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.094 g

Carbohydrate type breakdown

0.71% 2.6% 6.42%
Starch: g
Sucrose: 0.71 g
Glucose: 2.6 g
Fructose: 6.42 g
Lactose: 0 g
Maltose: 0 g
Galactose: 0 g

Fiber content ratio for Pear

9.75% 3.1% 2.38%
Sugar: 9.75 g
Fiber: 3.1 g
Other: 2.38 g

All nutrients for Pear per 100g

Nutrient DV% In TOP % of foods Value Comparison
Protein 1% 92% 0.36g 7.8 times less than Broccoli
Fats 0% 90% 0.14g 237.9 times less than Cheese
Carbs 5% 41% 15.23g 1.8 times less than Rice
Calories 3% 84% 57kcal 1.2 times more than Orange
Fructose 8% 81% 6.42g 1.1 times more than Apple
Sugar 0% 40% 9.75g 1.1 times more than Coca-Cola
Fiber 12% 26% 3.1g 1.3 times more than Orange
Calcium 1% 79% 9mg 13.9 times less than Milk
Iron 2% 90% 0.18mg 14.4 times less than Beef
Magnesium 2% 89% 7mg 20 times less than Almond
Phosphorus 2% 92% 12mg 15.2 times less than Chicken meat
Potassium 3% 79% 116mg 1.3 times less than Cucumber
Sodium 0% 98% 1mg 490 times less than White Bread
Zinc 1% 91% 0.1mg 63.1 times less than Beef
Copper 9% 61% 0.08mg 1.7 times less than Shiitake
Vitamin E 1% 84% 0.12mg 12.2 times less than Kiwifruit
Vitamin D 0% 100% 0µg N/A
Vitamin C 5% 30% 4.3mg 12.3 times less than Lemon
Vitamin B1 1% 91% 0.01mg 22.2 times less than Pea
Vitamin B2 2% 89% 0.03mg 5 times less than Avocado
Vitamin B3 1% 89% 0.16mg 59.5 times less than Turkey meat
Vitamin B5 1% 94% 0.05mg 23.1 times less than Sunflower seed
Vitamin B6 2% 88% 0.03mg 4.1 times less than Oat
Folate 2% 72% 7µg 8.7 times less than Brussels sprout
Vitamin B12 0% 100% 0µg N/A
Vitamin K 4% 57% 4.4µg 23.1 times less than Broccoli
Tryptophan 0% 98% 0mg 152.5 times less than Chicken meat
Threonine 0% 98% 0.01mg 65.5 times less than Beef
Isoleucine 0% 98% 0.01mg 83.1 times less than Salmon
Leucine 0% 98% 0.02mg 127.9 times less than Tuna
Lysine 0% 98% 0.02mg 26.6 times less than Tofu
Methionine 0% 98% 0mg 48 times less than Quinoa
Phenylalanine 0% 98% 0.01mg 60.7 times less than Egg
Valine 0% 98% 0.02mg 119.4 times less than Soybean
Histidine 0% 99% 0mg 374.5 times less than Turkey meat
Cholesterol 0% 100% 0mg N/A
Trans Fat 0% 100% 0g N/A
Saturated Fat 0% 91% 0.02g 268 times less than Beef
Monounsaturated Fat 0% 82% 0.08g 116.7 times less than Avocado
Polyunsaturated fat 0% 86% 0.09g 501.9 times less than Walnut


The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article and glycemic index text the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.


Data provided by should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.