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Is Orange Good For Diabetes?

January 9, 2023
7 min read
Is Orange Good For Diabetes?

TLDR

  • Oranges are a great source of vitamin C and dietary fiber.
  • Oranges are a good source of several minerals, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper. 
  • Oranges have a low glycemic index, which can help manage blood sugar levels.
  • Avoid, orange flavored soft drinks, sodas, jams, or marmalades as they contain extra added sugar and preservatives.

 

Oranges are a popular and nutritious fruit enjoyed in many parts of the world, including India. Oranges are often hailed as a healthy choice for people with diabetes but are oranges really good for diabetes? Let's take a closer look.

One small cup or 100 grams of orange contains 36 kcal. Orange contains 89% carbohydrates, 8% protein, and 3% fat. Download the HINT app and track your calories.

Orange nutritional facts

One small cup or 100 grams of orange contains 36 kcal. Orange contains 89% carbohydrates, 8% protein, and 3% fat. Oranges are a good source of biotin and an excellent source of vitamin C. They are low in calories and fats.

NutrientAmount per 100 grams
Energy ( kcal)36
Protein (g)0.7
Carbohydrates (g)8
Fat (g)0.1
Sugar (g)7
Dietary fiber (g)1.3
Sodium (mg)1
Potassium (mg)164
Vitamin C (mg)43
Calcium (mg)20

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Glycemic index (GI) of orange

The glycemic index (GI) measures how quickly a food raises blood glucose levels. And Oranges have a lower GI of 31, meaning they are absorbed and digested more slowly, leading to a slower and more sustained increase in blood sugar1.

Health benefits of oranges

If you're looking for a tasty treat that packs a powerful nutritional punch, look no further than oranges! Not only are oranges delicious and nutritious, but they can also benefit health in many ways

1. Boosts immunity

Oranges are packed with antioxidants and nutrients, including Vitamin C, which helps support the immune system

2. Rich in antioxidants

Oranges are also packed with antioxidants which can help protect the body from free radical damage.

3. Improves heart health

Eating oranges can help reduce cholesterol levels and stroke risk.

4. Provides satiety

Oranges are a good source of fiber, which can help keep you feeling full for longer.

5. Maintains blood pressure

Oranges are a good source of potassium, which helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels. 

6. Other benefits

Oranges contain a good amount of vitamin A which helps improve vision. They also contain folate which helps manage diabetes-related nerve damage. Apart from this, the flavonoids in oranges have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation.

Is there adequate scientific evidence to conclude if orange is good for diabetes or not?

Let's take a closer look at what research suggests.

Is orange good for diabetes?

In addition to their low GI, oranges also have many other benefits for people with diabetes. 

They are a good source of fiber which can help slow down digestion and the absorption of sugar in the blood and helps manage blood sugar levels2.

Oranges are also low in calories and fat, making them a good choice for people with diabetes who are trying to manage their weight.

Oranges are also high in many nutrients and antioxidants that are important for people with diabetes, including vitamin C, which is important for immune function and also helps to improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin, which is important for managing diabetes3.

A study published in the journal of Trends in Food Science & Technology found that longer consumption of citrus fruits, rich in bioactive phenolic flavonoids and vitamin C favorably modulates postprandial glycaemic response. But this direct effect on the postprandial glycaemic response was found to be very small4.

The majority of the data on orange consumption and type 2 diabetes is from in vitro and animal studies, with less conclusive data from human clinical studies. 

It's important to note that the benefits of oranges for diabetes depend on how much you eat and how they are prepared. 

Oranges can be a high-calorie food when they are juiced or cooked with added sugar or fat, and consuming too much of them can contribute to weight gain, which can worsen diabetes. 

It's also important to consider the other foods you are eating with your oranges, as well as the portion size.

What about other orange products?

Limit your intake of other orange products such as orange juice, canned oranges, dried oranges, orange-flavored soft drinks, sodas, jams, jellies, and marmalades as they increase your risk of high blood sugar levels because they are loaded with added sugars, sodium, preservatives and have a high glycemic index.

The below image clearly shows the difference in nutrients between an orange and orange juice. Orange juice contains high amounts of sugars, and carbohydrates compared to the whole orange. 

Orange juice contains high amounts of sugars, and carbohydrates compared to the whole orange. Download the HINT app and track your calories.

How can oranges be included in a diabetes meal plan?

If you are interested in adding oranges to your diabetes meal plan, do remember the following points

  • Make sure you have fresh whole oranges in your diet because of their fiber content.
  • Do not consume orange juice. As juices are stripped of the fiber, and also have a higher GI of 46 compared to a whole orange.
  • Avoid, orange flavored soft drinks, sodas, jams, or marmalades as they contain extra added sugar and preservatives. 
  • One can add oranges into oatmeal or yogurt smoothies or salads for a burst of natural sweetness.
  • Eat oranges as an occasional treat. Choose oranges that are in season and eat them in moderation.

In conclusion, while oranges may be beneficial to some individuals with diabetes, it is essential to note that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to diabetes management. 

Eating oranges in moderation, and in combination with a balanced diet and regular physical activity, may help to lower blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of complications associated with diabetes. 

If you are looking to change your lifestyle and manage diabetes, we recommend you get some help in this process by subscribing to our diabetic diet plan. 

Download the Hint app and go to the Hint store to get a personalized diabetic diet plan created for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How many oranges can a diabetic eat?

Diabetics can safely consume 1 serving (100 grams) of whole oranges.

2. Why can't diabetics drink orange juice?

Diabetics cannot drink orange juice because it is high in natural sugar, and has no fiber. It is not recommended for people with diabetes to drink sugary drinks, as it can raise their blood sugar levels and can cause a spike in insulin. Also, orange juice has a higher glycemic index.

References

  1. Atkinson FS, Brand-Miller JC, Foster-Powell K, Buyken AE, Goletzke J. International tables of glycemic index and glycemic load values 2021: a systematic review. Am J Clin Nutr. 2021 Nov 8;114(5):1625-1632. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqab233. PMID: 34258626.
  2. Post RE, Mainous AG 3rd, King DE, Simpson KN. Dietary fiber for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus: a meta-analysis. J Am Board Fam Med. 2012 Jan-Feb;25(1):16-23. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2012.01.110148. PMID: 22218620.
  3. Zhou C, Na L, Shan R, Cheng Y, Li Y, Wu X, et al. Dietary vitamin C intake reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes in Chinese adults: HOMA-IR and T-AOC as potential mediators. PLoS ONE. (2016) 11:e0163571. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0163571.
  4. Rizliya Visvanathan, Gary Williamson, Effect of citrus fruit and juice consumption on risk of developing type 2 diabetes: Evidence on polyphenols from epidemiological and intervention studies, Trends in Food Science & Technology, Volume 115, 2021, Pages 133-146.

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