How Many Calories in Pears?

When rating pears and apples in popularity, pears come in as the second favorite fruit in the United States. Pears are nutritious and low in calories, and pears are a good source of fiber.

Half a cup of pears contains 50 calories, and none of those calories are fat calories. A ½-cup serving of pears contains 13 g of carbohydrates and 8 g of sugar. Pears contain 6 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. A ½-cup serving of pears in light syrup from a can contains 87 calories.

Throughout the world there are over 3,000 kinds of pears. Yellow Bartlett pears are a common favorite. These pears are large and shaped like a bowling pin. Other varieties include red and green Anjou pears, red Bartlett, Bosc, Comice, forelle and seckel. Ripe green Anjou pears are sweet and juicy. Forelle pears are crisp as well as sweet and juicy.

The number of calories in a whole pear will vary from one pear to the next since pears come in different sizes. Green Anjou, yellow Bartlett and Comice pears are generally large in size. Seckel pears are very small pears.

How Many Calories Are in Asian Pears?

An Asian pear, also known as a Chinese pear, Japanese pear, Sand, Nashi or apple pear, is more closely related to an apple than to a European pear. Select fragrant, unbruised pears with minimal spotting and store them in the refrigerator if you plan to keep them more than a week.

One large Asian pear weighing approximately 275 g contains 116 calories, 29.3 g of carbohydrate, 19.3 g of sugar, 9.9 g of fiber, 1.4 g of protein and 0.6 g of fat. The calorie composition is roughly 90 percent carbohydrate, 5 percent protein and 5 percent fat. Asian pears have no sodium or cholesterol and negligible saturated fat.

A large Asian pear supplies approximately 12.4 percent of the RDA of vitamin K, 11.6 percent of the RDA of vitamin C, 7 percent of the RDA of potassium, 5.5 percent of the RDAs of magnesium and folate, 4.6 percent of the RDA of vitamin B-6, 3.9 percent of the RDA of pantothenic acid, 3.8 percent of the RDA of niacin and trace amounts of other vitamins and minerals.

Pair Asian pears with a flavorful cheese for a nutritious snack or dessert. Sprinkle diced pieces over a salad to add a touch of sweetness.

Vitamins & Minerals in Pears

Pears are packed with energy producing natural sugars and healthy carbohydrates to promote proper organ function. A medium sized pear with its peel has 27.5 grams of carbohydrates.

Vitamin C

Pears contain vitamin C, most of which is found in the skin of the fruit. A medium sized pear with skin has about 7.5 mg or 10 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. This vitamin is important for its antioxidant properties as well as its function as a cofactor in enzymatic reactions that lead to the production of collagen protein. Collagen is a connective tissue protein that helps to bind cells together in tissues such as skin.


An electrolyte and mineral, potassium is a positively charged ion that helps to keep fluids in balance and contributes to the proper functioning of all cells and tissues. A medium sized pear with skin contributes about 212 mg or about 7 percent of the recommended daily allowance of potassium.


Folate is a water soluble B vitamin that contributes to the proper division of cells and the production of blood cells. Taking folate supplements for one month prior to conception and throughout pregnancy is a way to lower the risk of neural tube defects in a developing fetus. Adults are advised to get about 400 micrograms of folate daily. A medium sized pear contributes about 12 micrograms of folate.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is essential for the production of the blood clotting factor proteins. Men should get about 120 micrograms of vitamin K daily, and women should aim for 90 micrograms. A medium sized pear with peel will provide about 8 micrograms of vitamin K.


Dietary fiber is important for sustaining steady blood sugar levels. High fiber diets are also linked to lower cholesterol levels. Children who had a high dietary fiber intake had more energy and received more vitamins and minerals than children who had a low dietary fiber intake. Additionally, serum cholesterol levels were lowered by a high fiber diet. A medium pear with peel contributes around 22 percent of the recommended daily fiber allowance.

Smart Shopping for Pears

Known for their sweet flavor and juicy, hearty texture, pears are an asset to any healthy eating plan. Eaten whole with the nutritious skin, this fruit provides 4 g of dietary fiber. Pears are also a good source of potassium and vitamin C. They make an excellent addition to seasonal salads. Just slice one up and toss it with fresh greens and a strong, flavorful cheese such as Gorgonzola, then add a light dressing such as a raspberry vinaigrette.

Traditionally the pear was reserved as a popular fruit in the autumn and winter, with peak season being August to December. Now thanks to varieties such as Green Anjou and Red Anjou, which are plentiful into the early summer months of May and June, this satisfying fruit can be enjoyed year-round. Pears grow in many areas of the United States, including Washington, Oregon, California, New York, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Some of the more common varieties available are the Anjou, Bartlett and Bosc. Other varieties also available in the United States include Comice, Forelle, Seckel, Asian, Stark Crimson and Taylor's Gold.

What to Look for

Pears are known for ripening quickly once they are harvested from the tree, so it is fine to choose one that is brighter green in color or firm to the touch. The fruit will ripen on its own in a few days when left at room temperature, or you can place it in a sealed paper bag to speed up the process.

The skin of a ripe pear will indent under the pressure of a light press of the finger, especially at the stem or neck area. Once pears are ripened, they can be stored in the refrigerator. At this stage, they should stay fresh for about 3 more days.

The skin of the pear may exhibit what is called "russeting." This is simply a brown speckling that occurs on the surface and is normal in small amounts on certain types, specifically the Bosc. It should not be confused with dark bruises or deep blemishes that should be avoided when picking out quality pears.

Common Pitfalls

Canned pears are a tempting option for variety or when the fresh fruit is not available. While a fresh pear is nutritionally superior due to the extra fiber that exists in the skin, the canned variety can still be a healthy option. Avoid canned pears that state, "Packed in heavy syrup." This can indicate that the product has excess sugar and calories.

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