Carbs in Oranges: Are They Keto?

Medically reviewed article

Oranges | Carbs | Keto | Alternatives | Conclusion | FAQ

Sweet and refreshing oranges are available almost in every corner of the world. It is also a citrus fruit.

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Are oranges, therefore, suitable for low-carb and keto diets? In conclusion, there must be some carbohydrates hiding in the sweet fruit.

Are Oranges Keto?

Oranges have a long history and have been consumed for centuries for their sweet taste. Orange trees are considered native to the tropical regions of Asia and later spread to India, Africa, and the Mediterranean.

Oranges, like most citrus fruits, are good sources of vitamin C.

But can oranges suit keto and other low-carb diets because of their carbohydrates?

To find out, we need to look closer at their nutritional values.

Carbs in Oranges

Oranges are citrus fruits. This type of fruit is known to be poorer in carbohydrates. Therefore, do oranges fit into a ketogenic diet in rough quantities?

The nutritional information will tell us if so.

How Many Carbohydrates Are in Oranges?

100 grams of orange provides the following average nutritional values (*):

  • Energy: 49 calories
  • Protein: 0.91 grams
  • Fat: 0.15 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 12.5 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 2.2 grams
  • Net carbs: 10.3 grams

The nutritional information is clear: carbohydrates dominate in oranges. They are also virtually free of fat and protein.

In short, oranges are a high-carbohydrate, low-fat food. Although they are citrus fruits, oranges are not what we want on keto. They have a fat-to-net carbohydrate ratio of less than 0.015.

Oranges contain a lot of carbohydrates

Are Oranges Keto-Friendly?

Oranges are of limited use on the ketogenic diet.

Two average oranges can already throw you out of ketosis, as it contains about 29 grams of net carbohydrates.

One orange contains about 6 grams of sucrose and 3 grams each of glucose and fructose (*).

Sucrose is what we think of as table sugar. Ordinary sugar consists of 50% glucose and 50% fructose.

Therefore, one orange provides about 12 grams of table sugar. About 91% of the calories in oranges come from sugar.

Especially when oranges are enjoyed as juice, they promote blood sugar, insulin levels, and fat gain (Teff et al. 20041Meijssen et al. 20012Chandalia et al. 20003).

Are Oranges Healthy?

According to nutritional information, oranges are high in sugar. Therefore, is it perhaps the vitamins that make oranges healthy?

Oranges are first-class vitamin C donors. Just one orange can provide the entire daily requirement of vitamin C. In addition, it can cover 10% of the daily need for folates (vitamin B9). Otherwise, oranges do not contain significant amounts of vitamins or minerals (*).

Hence, oranges are healthier than apples, which contain no significant vitamins. Nevertheless, they are by no means natural multivitamins. This title is instead deserved by offal, such as liver in particular and selected vegetables.

In the case of most fruits, their marketing has been the healthiest thing over the last decades.

Keto Alternatives to Oranges

If you don’t want to miss the sweet refreshment of orange on keto, you’re better off with limes in moderation. They perform about as well as lemons (*,*).

An even better keto alternative is raspberries. They contain fewer net carbs and are richer in fiber, vitamins, and minerals (*).

Due to Carbs, Oranges Are Not Keto

Among citrus fruits, oranges are the worst choice for low-carb diets. Especially when separated from their fiber, i. e. juicing, they can stop ketosis immediately.

Oranges are not suitable for keto or any other low-carb diet. One orange a day is fine if you don’t eat many other carbs. Berries are better low-carb alternatives.

Berries are better low-carb alternatives for keto than oranges

Carbs in Oranges: Keto FAQ

Will an orange kick me out of ketosis?

One medium orange will not kick you out of ketosis, but two can.

Are oranges OK on low-carb diets?

Oranges can only be enjoyed in minimal amounts on low-carb diets.

How many carbs and sugars are in one orange?

An average orange has 17.5 grams of carbohydrates, of which 12 grams is conventional sugar.

Can I drink orange juice on keto?

Orange juice is not suitable for ketogenic diets.

Studies

1Teff KL, Elliott SS, Tschöp M, Kieffer TJ, Rader D, Heiman M, Townsend RR, Keim NL, D’Alessio D, Havel PJ. Dietary fructose reduces circulating insulin and leptin, attenuates postprandial suppression of ghrelin, and increases triglycerides in women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Jun;89(6):2963-72. doi: 10.1210/jc.2003-031855. PubMed PMID: 15181085.

2Meijssen S, Cabezas MC, Ballieux CG, Derksen RJ, Bilecen S, Erkelens DW. Insulin mediated inhibition of hormone sensitive lipase activity in vivo in relation to endogenous catecholamines in healthy subjects. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Sep;86(9):4193-7. doi: 10.1210/jcem.86.9.7794. PubMed PMID: 11549649.

3Chandalia M, Garg A, Lutjohann D, von Bergmann K, Grundy SM, Brinkley LJ. Beneficial effects of high dietary fiber intake in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. N Engl J Med. 2000 May 11;342(19):1392-8. doi: 10.1056/NEJM200005113421903. PubMed PMID: 10805824.

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