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Are Pears Keto-Friendly? (& Substitutes)

On the ketogenic diet the goal is to keep your carbohydrate intake low enough. What about pears, are they keto-friendly?

Pears are a type of fruit that is typically green to yellow and in a shape with a wide bottom and a narrow top. This fruit is mostly consumed on its own, as a snack or dessert but it can play a role in salads and dessert recipes too.

The net amount of carbs, which comes down to total carbs minus carbs from fiber, in raw pears is around 12.4 grams per 100 grams.

While it depends on the rest of your diet, for most people pears are not very keto-friendly. This fruit is not completely off-limits but you will have to exercise some serious portion control.

In any case, there are many substitutes for pears that are better for staying in ketosis.

When is a food keto-friendly

The goal of the ketogenic diet is to put your body into ketosis, a state where it starts mainly burning fat as a fuel (1). This comes down to more or less getting 55%-60% of your macronutrients from fat, 30%-35% from protein, and 5%-10% from carbohydrates.

For most people this comes down to eating around 20g – 50g of carbohydrates a day.

In reality, this number is different depending on a lot of factors. For example, people who exercise a lot may be able to consume more carbohydrates before getting kicked out of ketosis.

That being said that daily amount can be a good general guideline.

It is also common to exclude fiber from this amount since it doesn’t get absorbed into your body the same way as regular carbohydrates.

Carbs in pears

100 grams of pear contains the following amounts of carbs (2):

  • Total carbs: 15.5 grams
  • Of which fiber: 3.1 grams
  • Net carbs: 12.4 grams

Combined with the other foods in your diet the 12.4 grams of net carbs in 100 grams of pear is likely enough to kick you out of ketosis.

One ounce of pear is about 28 grams and contains the following amounts of carbs:

  • Total carbs: 4.3 grams
  • Of which fiber: 0.9 grams
  • Net carbs: 3.4 grams

The number of net carbs in 1 ounce of pear, 3.4 grams, is a bit easier to fit into a keto diet. Whether or not pear is keto for you ultimately depends on the quantity, your individual situation, and the rest of your diet.

Other nutrients in pear

Other nutrients like fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals also still matter on the ketogenic diet.

100 grams of raw pear contains the following nutrients (2):

  • Calories: 58
  • Protein: 0.4 grams
  • Carbs: 15.5 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 3.1 grams
  • Fat: 0.1 grams
  • Vitamin C: 7% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Vitamin K: 6% of the DV
  • Copper: 4% of the DV
  • Potassium: 3% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 2% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

On top of being slightly higher in net carbs, pears do not contain that many valuable nutrients per 100 grams compared to many other foods.

How to avoid eating too much pear

By now it is clear that to be able to fit pear in your keto diet, you will have to exercise some portion control. Having a big bowl of eat-ready pear near you and hoping that you don’t eat too much is not the ideal way to do this.

You can avoid eating too much pear with some of the following tips:

  • Plan ahead, how much pear will you eat?
  • Put the planned amount in a bowl and leave the rest of the pears out of sight
  • Don’t eat during other activities like watching TV
  • Consider not buying it if you can’t control yourself

If you notice you get out of ketosis you may need to reduce the quantity of pear you eat.

Substitutes for pear on keto

Pears are not the only option when you want to eat fruit on the ketogenic diet. Pear is not the highest in net carbs but there are many fruits that are more keto-friendly.

Some of the following substitutes may be better on the keto diet. These are the net carb values per 100 grams (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8):

  • Blackberries: 4.9 grams of net carbs
  • Raspberries: 5.4 grams of net carbs
  • Strawberries: 5.7 grams of net carbs
  • Watermelon: 7.1 grams of net carbs
  • Cranberries: 7.6 grams of net carbs
  • Cantaloupe: 7.9 grams of net carbs

If you have trouble staying in ketosis but still have cravings for fruit, it may be smart to choose some of these substitutes over pear. However, even with these examples you will have to exercise portion control to stay in ketosis.

What is your goal with keto?

Even a small portion of pear added to certain daily diets can potentially put you just over the net carbs border, out of ketosis. Depending on the goal you have with keto this may or may not be a problem.

If your goal is to stay strictly in ketosis 24/7 you want to be careful about your carbohydrate intake.

If your goal is to lose weight and become healthier, pears can be a good food option even if they potentially put you at a carbohydrate level slightly above your ketosis level.