When it comes to oranges and diabetes, many experts believe limiting consumption is best. Although oranges are a healthy food, they contain natural sugars that can increase blood sugar levels. Therefore, it is essential for people with diabetes to keep track of their orange consumption. They should also combine oranges with other healthy foods to maintain a balanced diet. Following a healthy lifestyle, along with regular medication and exercise, is the best way for people with diabetes to manage their condition.
Nutritionists recommend that those with diabetes consume foods with either zero or low sugar content. Foods with a glycemic index of 55 or lower have a low glycemic index. So, does an orange have a low sugar content? Is it safe for people with diabetes? This article answers all such questions.
Nutritional Values of Orange
Orange is an excellent source of nutrients. It can be a perfect addition to your diet. It does everything from boosting immunity to keeping sugar levels in check.
As per USDA, one hundred grams of orange provides the following nutrients.
- Energy: 52 kCal
- Water: 86.7g
- Carbohydrates: 11.8g
- Fibre: 2g
- Calcium: 43mg
- Potassium: 166mg
- Vitamin C: 59.1mg
- Magnesium: 10.7mg
- Sodium: 9mg
- Folate: 25µg
- Manganese: 0.029mg
- Phosphorus: 23mg
Orange and Diabetes: The Connection
Fruits can be a great way to kickstart your day and benefit those with diabetes who may have frequent cravings.
As per research, oranges are among the best fruits to enjoy due to their low position on the glycemic index table (GI 43). It means they have lower sugar levels that take longer to digest, resulting in no sudden blood sugar spikes. But oranges are not only preferable because of their glycemic index. They are full of health benefits for anyone to enjoy.
Are Oranges Good for Diabetes?
Orange is an excellent choice for people with diabetes, as it contains low sugar and is rich in fibre, minerals and vitamins. Eating this citrus fruit can help to lower blood sugar levels, as well as provide other benefits. Here are some of the advantages associated with eating oranges for those with diabetes:
Fibre-rich Fruit for Good Digestion
According to a study, tropical fruits have higher levels of fibre than other fruits. For example, orange, a topical fruit, contains a good amount of fibre. This fibre helps digestion by slowing down the process, allowing the body to absorb sugars and carbohydrates slowly. Consequently, one experiences fewer sugar spikes and unhealthy cravings after eating oranges.
Packed with Potassium to Regulate Blood Pressure
Oranges are a good source of potassium, which can help reduce the amount of salt in your body. Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure and an increased risk for cardiovascular and kidney diseases. Eating oranges can help keep your blood pressure in check and even stimulate insulin production, making them an ideal snack for people with diabetes, primarily type 2 diabetes.
Low Glycemic Index for Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Low GI foods are ideal for managing diabetes because they help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. An example is oranges – the sugar in them is slowly released into the bloodstream, meaning there is no sudden spike in blood sugar. Eating oranges can therefore provide sustained energy whilst reducing the risk of cravings.
An Abundance of Vitamin C for Low Sugar & Cholesterol
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, has been shown to lower blood sugar levels. It makes it beneficial for people with diabetes who have insufficient insulin levels. Furthermore, the same study suggests that oranges, a great source of ascorbic acid, can reduce the risk of heart disease. Consequently, oranges can help to regulate cholesterol and sugar levels.
Loaded with Folate to Keep Insulin Production in Check
Diabetes is a condition where the body cannot produce or absorb insulin. Insulin resistance occurs when cells are unable to absorb insulin. Eating foods that promote insulin production and help cells absorb it can help reduce insulin resistance.
As per research, one such food is folate, which can reduce insulin resistance and increase insulin production. Orange is an excellent source of folate, so it is a great way to ensure your body is getting enough of it.
Poor Calories Levels for Lowering Bad Cholesterol
Eating high-calorie food increases the amount of cholesterol in the body and can cause cholesterol to build up in the blood vessels. Over time, this can lead to cardiovascular diseases, doubling the risk for those with diabetes. To reduce the risk, people with diabetes should opt for foods with fewer calories, and oranges are a great choice as they are low in calories and help to lower cholesterol.
Low-Medium Carbohydrates for Decreased Chances of Cardiovascular Issues
Eating oranges can help reduce your risk of heart-related issues, as they are low in carbohydrates. People with diabetes are more likely to experience a stroke, high blood pressure, and other problems related to the heart, so reducing the number of carbohydrates they consume is essential. Incorporating oranges into your diet is the best way to do this, as they are low in carbs.
The HealthifyMe Note
Eating oranges is excellent for your health, but knowing which form is best is important. Whole oranges are the most beneficial, providing essential vitamins and minerals. However, if you have diabetes, it’s best to avoid commercially packaged orange juice, as it can contain added sugars, which can be unhealthy. Therefore, it’s essential to stick to whole oranges for diabetes.
Glycemic Index of Orange
For people with diabetes, it is vital to be aware of their food’s sugar, protein, carbohydrate and fibre content. The Glycemic Index (GI) of a food can provide a helpful guide to its sugar and carbohydrate levels. Foods with a low GI are preferable for everyone, especially those with diabetes. Therefore, when it comes to oranges and diabetes, it is crucial to assess the GI.
Oranges have a low glycemic index (GI) of 43and thus diabetics can include oranges in their diet without any worry.
Orange Benefits for Diabetes Patients
Those who prefer oranges can enjoy many benefits. The sweet and tangy citrus flavour of oranges provides a refreshing punch and plenty of nutrition. In addition, people with diabetes can lower their risk of chronic illness by including oranges in their diets.
Some of the specific benefits of oranges for those with diabetes include the following.
- No threats for blood sugar levels to spike with low GI
- Limited cravings and more extended periods of feeling full by a high content of fibre
- Less sugar for keeping weight gain in check
- Rich with antioxidants for enhancing insulin production and lowering insulin resistance
- Packed with vitamins to keep diseases associated with diabetes at bay
- Immunity booster with loaded vitamin C levels
The HealthifyMe Note
Some might wonder how many oranges to include in your daily food intake. For example, one with diabetes must eat one orange daily. Orange is rich in fibre and helps you stay immune to cardiovascular issues. Also, please consume oranges in the daytime rather than at night. It is because the acidic levels in orange may cause digestive issues.
If you have a sweet tooth and suffer from diabetes, oranges are the perfect solution. With only a few calories, this juicy fruit is packed full of nutrients, such as vitamin C, and its fibre content helps to keep you full and your blood glucose levels stable. In addition, eating one or two oranges daily between meals can satisfy your sweet cravings while keeping your weight in check. So the next time you look for a delicious and healthy snack, reach for an orange!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Do oranges raise your blood sugar?
A: Eating oranges can cause an increase in one’s blood sugar, as they contain carbohydrates that break down into glucose in the body. However, the effect on blood sugar varies based on the person, the size of the serving, and the overall diet. But, if you have diabetes or are worried about the impact of oranges on your blood sugar, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional. They can advise you on the correct serving size and offer tips to help manage your blood sugar.
Q. How many oranges can a diabetic eat per day?
A: If you have diabetes and want to add oranges to your diet, it’s best to speak with a healthcare professional. Factors such as age, gender, weight, physical activity level, and overall health will play a part in deciding the same. Furthermore, your blood sugar levels, medications, and other factors that affect blood sugar control will affect how many oranges you can safely eat daily. Your healthcare professional can help you decide on an appropriate serving size and provide other tips to help you manage your diabetes.
Q. Can a diabetic eat 2 oranges a day?
A: A person with diabetes can eat two oranges daily, but the effect on blood sugar levels will depend on various factors, including age, gender, weight, physical activity level, and overall health. It will also depend on the individual’s blood sugar levels, medications, and other factors affecting blood sugar control. Hence, it is best to consult a nutritionist to determine the permissible quantity.
Q. Do oranges lower blood sugar?
A: In some instances, oranges may be beneficial for lowering blood sugar levels. Factors that determine the effect on blood sugar include age, gender, weight, physical activity level, and overall health of the individual. Other factors are their current blood sugar levels, medications, and other factors that can influence glucose control. Although oranges contain carbohydrates which can raise blood sugar, they also contain fibre which can moderate the effect on blood sugar by slowing glucose absorption into the bloodstream.
The Research Sources
1. The U S Department of Agriculture
2. Glycemic Index was written by Jacqueline Redmer, MD, MPH, and updated by Vincent Minichiello, MD (2014, updated 2020). In addition, sections were adapted from Index & Glycemic Load written by David Rakel, MD, for the University of Wisconsin Integrative Health website.
3. Romero-Lopez MR, Osorio-Diaz P, Bello-Perez LA, Tovar J, Bernardino-Nicanor A. Fiber concentrate from orange (Citrus sinensis L.) bagasse: characterisation and application as a bakery product ingredient. Int J Mol Sci. 2011;12(4):2174-86. doi: 10.3390/ijms12042174. Epub 2011 Mar 29. PMID: 21731434; PMCID: PMC3127110.
4. Shi L, Du X, Guo P, Huang L, Qi P, Gong Q. Ascorbic acid supplementation in type 2 diabetes mellitus: A systematic review and meta-analysis protocol. Medicine (Baltimore). 2020 Nov 6;99(45):e23125. Doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000023125. PMID: 33157992; PMCID: PMC7647560.
5. Zhao JV, Schooling CM, Zhao JX. The effects of folate supplementation on glucose metabolism and risk of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Ann Epidemiol. 2018 Apr;28(4):249-257.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2018.02.001. Epub 2018 Feb 10. PMID: 29501221.