Pomelo Nutrition Facts

Pomelo
Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman
In This Article

Pomelo—also called "pummelo" or "pommelo" is the largest member of the citrus (Rutaceae) family. This large, pale, green or yellow fruit has a pink, white or red inside that tastes like a slightly sweeter alternative to grapefruit. For that reason, some call people also call it a Chinese grapefruit.

The fruit is native to Southeast Asia. and is less commonly consumed in the United States. But adding pomelo to your diet can boost nutrition and provide certain health benefits

Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for one whole fruit (609g) without refuse.

  • Calories: 231
  • Fat: 0.2g
  • Sodium: 6.1mg
  • Carbohydrates: 59g
  • Fiber: 6.1g
  • Sugars: 12.5g
  • Protein: 4.6g

Carbs in Pomelo

Pomelo is a relatively low-calorie food, although it is higher in calories than some other types of fruit. Most of the calories in pomelo come from carbohydrate, according to USDA data.

There are two types of carbohydrate in pomelo. You'll get 12.5 grams of naturally-occurring sugar if you consume one cup of the fruit. If you're trying to improve your diet, a sugar that occurs naturally in foods (such as fruit) is generally less of a concern than sugars that are added to food as part of the processing (called "added sugars"). The sugar in fruit comes bundled with fiber and vitamins that help to boost your health. 

The other carbohydrate in pomelo is fiber. You'll get just over 6 grams of fiber—or about 24 percent of your recommended daily intake of fiber in a single pomelo. Fiber boosts your health in many different ways. Not only does it improve digestion and regularity, but according to the USDA, fiber also provides many other health benefits, including decreased risk of some types of cancer, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

The exact glycemic index (GI) of pomelo has not been recorded, although because it is high in sugar and does not provide a lot of fiber, it is likely a high glycemic food. One study that investigated the glycemic impact of a specific type of pomelo (Majia pomelo) estimated the glycemic index to be 72-78 and the glycemic load to be around 4-5.  As a reference, foods with a GI of 55 or more are considered high glycemic foods.

Fats in Pomelo

There is a very small amount of fat in pomelo. One pomelo provides just only 0.2 grams of fat.

Protein in Pomelo

An entire pomelo is a decent source of protein, providing 4.6 grams.

Micronutrients in Pomelo

Pomelo is an excellent source of vitamin C, providing a whopping 619 percent of your daily recommended needs in one fruit. You'll also benefit from small amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B6 when you consume this citrus fruit.

Minerals in pomelo include potassium (38 percent of your daily recommended needs) and smaller amounts of phosphorus, copper, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and zinc.

Health Benefits

Like most citrus fruits, pomelo health benefits come primarily from the vitamin C it provides. Vitamin C must be consumed in the diet because our bodies are unable to make it naturally.

Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) is essential for good bone structure, cartilage, muscle, and blood vessels. It aids in the absorption of iron, promotes wound-healing, and it may also help to prevent disease. In fact, studies investigating the role of citrus in cancer prevention are showing that these fruits may provide a positive benefit. However, research is ongoing. 

You'll also get a small boost of fiber when you pomelo. Most of us don't get enough fiber in our diets. Fiber helps to boost satiety, improves digestive health, and may help to lower blood cholesterol. Current guidelines suggest that you consume 20 to 35 grams of fiber each day.

Common Questions

How Should I Select the Best Pomelo?

The hardest part about buying pomelo may be finding it in your local market. Not all American grocery stores carry the fruit. But many Asian markets sell the fruit and some online grocers may have them as well. Keep in mind that they may be labeled as "pummelo" or "shaddock" (a traditional name for the fruit).

Pomelos are very large, certainly bigger than a grapefruit. You may see pomelos that are pear-shaped. They also have thicker skin than their fruit cousins. The flesh of a pomelo should yield slightly when pressed. 

Can I Eat All of the Pomelo? 

You'll want to remove the thick skin and also the whitish membrane before consuming pomelo.

When and Where Is Pomelo in Season?

The United States, particularly California, has become the largest producer of pomelo. You may be able to find it year-round in some markets. But you'll find it in farmer's markets in California in the winter.

Cooking and Preparation Tips

Many people eat pomelo sliced or cubed. You can throw it into a green or fruit salad, or toss it in the blender when you're making a fruit smoothie. Pomelo also pairs well with other tropical fruits like banana, cantaloupe, and pineapple.

Many people make marmalade with pomelo, some people add it to fish dishes (think about pairing it with swordfish or shrimp), or you can make a marinade or salad dressing with the juice.

If you are using a recipe that calls for grapefruit, you can use pomelo instead.

Allergies and Interactions

Many people who take certain cholesterol-lowering medications (such as Lipitor) avoid grapefruit because it interferes with the effectiveness of the drug. Medical experts at Harvard note that there have only been a few studies on pomelo interactions, but based on that limited information, it is safe to assume that pomelo and pomelo juice act the same as grapefruit and grapefruit juice. For that reason, you may want to avoid this fruit if you are on one of those medications. 

In addition, people with known citrus allergies should avoid pomelo

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Article Sources

Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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