Oranges are a fantastic fruit that most people can enjoy without having to worry about anything. However, diabetics need to check all foods to ensure they’re safe and if there are limits on how often they should eat certain foods.
When you think about oranges, they’re delicious because they’re sweet and refreshing. It’s that sweetness that may give people with diabetes a little concern about whether they should even eat oranges at all.
In this article, we discuss, can diabetics eat oranges, and if so, how many oranges can a diabetic eat per day. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know.
Can Diabetics Eat Oranges?
Diabetics can and should include oranges in their diets, but you should eat oranges in moderation like anything else in life. 3-4 small to medium-sized oranges spread out over a single day won’t be a major cause for concern.
You may need to consider lowering your daily orange intake if you want to eat them every single day. Measuring your glucose levels while trying to incorporate any new food or modify how much of something you’re eating will be essential.
Make sure that you accurately record your consumption and include it into your daily allowance of sugar and carbs. You may or may not have room for the sugar and carb content of 3-4 oranges every day without missing out on other crucial foods.
Nutritional Value Of Oranges
Oranges are reasonably low in calories, they have almost no fat, minimal protein, and the carbs are on the low end for a good filling snack. The sugar in oranges is still very low overall compared to many other options out there.
Your biggest nutritional advantages on the surface of Oranges are high potassium which can help alleviate high blood pressure by helping push salt out of your system.
They are packed with fiber which helps lower your cholesterol, which is helpful for your heart health, and the fiber helps to keep your digestion moving effectively and slows the absorption of sugar and carbs in the orange.
You also get a massive hit of Vitamin C, which can help lower blood glucose and lipids in patients with type-2 diabetes.
Oranges also have about 12% of your daily folate needs, which may assist with lowering your insulin levels and improving your insulin resistance, which is a key factor in helping and improving your diabetes.
The flavonoid antioxidants in oranges can help fight inflammation, oxidative stress on your body, and improve your insulin resistance and insulin sensitivity.
|Amount Per 1 Medium Orange (131 g)|
|% Daily Value|
|Total Fat 0.2 g||0%|
|Saturated fat 0 g||0%|
|Cholesterol 0 mg||0%|
|Sodium 0 mg||0%|
|Potassium 237.1 mg||6%|
|Total Carbohydrate 15 g||5%|
|Dietary fiber 3.1 g||12%|
|Sugar 12 g|
|Protein 1.2 g||2%|
Overall, the simple orange is a fantastic option to include into your daily diet, if you were to have 1 per day that would not be a problem at all. If you wanted to push the limits and go for 3-4 per day, that should be ok, but you need to keep an eye on your glucose levels at that point and spread the oranges across your day.
Just remember that nothing is going to be amazing for you if you overconsume it, and the best diabetic diet is one with a varied supply of healthy foods.
What Is the Glycemic Index Of An Orange?
One of the important questions for most diabetics when looking at foods is what is the glycemic index? Will this food make my blood sugar spike? With 15g of carbs, and 12g of those sugar, it’s possible, but the glycemic index of a medium orange is around 42, which makes it a low GI food.
While some websites may put Oranges at a GI of 52, that still puts them in the low-GI food category; anything under 55 is considered low.
Combining four oranges all together could certainly bump that up, but the GI load of oranges is also considered very low at 4.4-5, depending on which website you’re looking at.
Overall, a reasonable amount of oranges in your diet is not going to spike your blood glucose, and they are an exceptionally good snack to include in your diabetic diet.
Are Oranges Doctor-Approved For Diabetes?
Don’t always believe what you read on the Internet; there are lies and scams all the time that may be providing false information. However, the American Diabetes Association calls oranges one of the diabetes superfoods due to all of the benefits the fruit provides to diabetics.
The ADA has actually included most citrus fruits into that category, which can include oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and a range of others that all provide great levels of fiber, vitamin C, folate, and potassium. All of which we discussed above on why they benefit diabetics so much.
You can mix and match most citrus fruits, but the orange may be the top pick for diabetes when you compare them all together. While the sugar may be slightly higher in oranges than other citrus fruits, the fiber can be much higher in them.
Should You Drink Orange Juice?
Orange juice takes oranges and strips out all the bad parts from the good parts and gives you enhanced effects. Unfortunately, the enhanced effects are all bad, so you should not drink orange juice as a diabetic and should, in fact, exclude juices or any types of drinks with sugar or carbs.
By juicing your oranges or buying orange juice, you remove almost all the fiber content, which was one of the big benefits of your orange and why the GI was low, and your blood sugar didn’t spike. However, with no fiber, the GI starts to go up higher, and there is nothing to slow absorption into your system, so you could be looking at a spike.
You may also find that buying orange juice at the store could mean there is added sugar included in your orange juice. Even if there’s not, a standard orange isn’t going to give you a glass of juice, so you’re now consuming multiple oranges in a quick few gulps.
Orange juice and other juices are simply fast ways to get sugar into your system, and as a diabetic, that is going to spike your glucose levels, and it’s not going to be worth it for you.
Are Canned Mandarin Oranges Good For Diabetics?
Canned mandarin oranges provide a unique soft and sweet taste that many people enjoy out of the can or even included in salads or anything else they feel like eating. But canned foods are not often consider ideal with diabetics; how do canned mandarin oranges do?
Overall canned mandarin oranges are perfect; when you compare a standard amount of 125g of canned mandarin oranges, they’re only 62 calories, 0g fat, 12g with 0.9g fiber, and 11g sugar.
You don’t get a huge increase in anything, but you do drop down the fiber content when compared to an orange, so they’re certainly not going to be an ideal replacement snack if you’re considering both.
Something else to consider is that most canned anything will have included sodium in the preparation process, so you will be adding extra salt to your diet with canned food of any kind. Salt is not going to help your diabetes, and it’s certainly not going to help any heart disease issues that may be coming. You should be watching sodium when you have diabetes.
You also need to be aware that canned mandarin oranges can come in syrup, which will increase the sugar content, especially if you drink all of the liquid. That sugar will be straight white processed sugar as well, so that is something you should be checking the label for on any kind of canned fruit.
Are Oranges Good For Diabetics?
Diabetics who want to eat an orange a day will have no problems and may even find they benefit from including oranges or other citrus fruits into their diet. If you want to include more than 3-4 would be the maximum, but that shouldn’t be done for long periods of time.
Eating a balanced and varied diet of healthy, fresh, and natural foods is your food option when fighting diabetes and looking to live a regular life. So overconsuming any single food is not ideal; find a variety of sweet fruits that have varying nutritional benefits to add into the mix if that is what you’re looking for.
Fruits to consider in your diabetic diet could include grapefruits, bananas, berries, cherries, plums, apples, pears, kiwi fruit, and many others.
Some bad fruits to avoid include mango, papaya, pineapple, and watermelon.
Do your own research and do some testing with your glucose meter to see how many fruits react to your body as we’re all individuals, and you never really know until you check and make sure.