Are Oranges Good for People with Diabetes


sliced orange fruit on white surface

Fresh and seasonal fruits are an intrinsic part of a healthy diet. They are rich in a variety of antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients that are essential to carry out various body functions. Health experts often emphasize the need of including fruits of all types and colors in one’s diet. But if you happen to be a diabetic, you need to be a little cautious of what you have on your plate, even when it comes to fruits. Fruits that have high sugar content or glycaemic indexes like watermelon and pineapples are not very advisable for diabetics. Whereas, consuming fruits like guavas and tomatoes has been linked to lowered blood sugar levels. Oranges too are said to be beneficial for diabetics. Read on to know why.

Diabetes Management: Why Should You Add Oranges To Diabetes Diet 

The American Diabetes Association has listed citrus fruits among Diabetes superfoods. According to the association, citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and lemons are full of fiber, vitamin C, folate, and potassium, which would help benefit a healthy diabetic eating plan.
Oranges are full of fiber. Fiber takes the longest to break down and digest. This enables the slow release of sugar into the bloodstream, which would further ensure that your blood glucose levels are stable for a long period of time. Moreover, the glycaemic index of raw oranges is just about 40-43. The Glycaemic Index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrates in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Carbs with a low GI value (55 or less) are digested, absorbed, and metabolized slowly and cause a gradual rise in blood glucose. Diabetics are advised to include more low GI foods in their diets.



Are there downsides to people with diabetes?

There are no downsides to eating whole oranges if you have diabetes.

In fact, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) encourages people with diabetes to eat citrus fruits like oranges.

What about other orange products?

All the same, you may need to limit your intake of other orange products if you have diabetes.

Orange juice

Although 100% orange juice provides several vitamins and minerals, it’s lacking fiber — which is essential for blood sugar regulation.

Plus, orange juice has a high GI and is usually paired with other carb-rich foods, which may increase your risk of high blood sugar levels. Thus, people with diabetes should limit their intake.

All the same, if your blood sugars fall too low — a condition known as hypoglycemia — a 4-ounce (120-mL) serving of orange juice may bring them back to normal levels.

Canned mandarin oranges

The ADA recommends buying canned oranges in juice rather than syrup to limit your intake of added sugar.

You should also look for phrases on the can, such as “no added sugars” or “unsweetened,” to help you make the best choice.

How many oranges should you eat?

To keep your blood sugar level within a normal range, it’s recommended to limit your carb intake to 50–60% of your total calories. For a 2,000-calorie diet, that’s 1,000–1,200 calories from carbs — or 250–300 total grams of carbs per day.

Because of differences in body size and activity level, there’s no magic number for how many oranges you should have.

Still, you can safely eat several servings of oranges per day, bearing in mind that one serving of carbs is 15 grams.

A single serving of various orange products is:

  • 1/2 cup (123 grams) of canned mandarin oranges
  • a medium-sized (154-gram) orange
  • 4 ounces (120 mL) of 100% orange juice

The number of carbs needed at each meal and snack varies by body size and activity level. You should plan to eat around the same number of carbs at meals and snacks to keep your blood sugar levels steady.