The nutritional value of a pear depends on whether it is a European pear or an Asian pear. Asian pears are shaped more like apples, instead of being bottom-heavy like European pears, which include the Bosc and Bartlett pears commonly found in grocery stores. Both are nutritious fruit options that provide fiber, vitamins and minerals without containing a lot of calories or fat.
Calories and Macronutrients
A medium European pear has about 101 calories, 0.6 gram of protein, 0.3 gram of fat and 27.1 grams of carbohydrates. Choose a larger Asian pear that is 3 inches in diameter and you'll be consuming 116 calories, 1.4 grams of protein, 0.6 gram of fat and 29.3 grams of carbohydrates. Asian pears have a higher water content, which helps explain why they are lower in calories per gram.
Vitamins and Minerals
A medium European pear has about 13 percent of the daily value for vitamin C and 10 percent of the DV for vitamin K. The larger Asian pear contains 17 percent of the DV for vitamin C and 15 percent of the DV for vitamin K. It also contains more potassium, with 10 percent of the DV compared to 6 percent in a European pear. You need vitamin C for healing wounds and vitamin K for blood clotting. Potassium helps counteract the blood pressure-raising effects of sodium.
Fiber may help improve your digestion; make it easier to maintain a healthy weight and control your blood sugar level; and lower your risk for high cholesterol, constipation and some types of cancer. A medium European pear provides 5.5 grams of fiber, or 22 percent of the DV, and a large Asian pear has 9.9 grams of fiber, or 40 percent of the DV.
Canned Pear Considerations
Fresh pears are healthier than canned, as a cup of pears canned in heavy syrup has 149 calories, along with a significant amount of added sugar, which you should limit in your diet. The canning process also uses high heat, which can destroy some of the vitamins in pears. For example, a cup of canned pears only has 4 percent of the DV for vitamin C, which is a lot less than that found in fresh pears.
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