Calories in orange juice may be of little interest to you if you do hard physical work, or are a professional sportsman; you'll burn them off in no time.
This page was updated on 25th October, 2018.
It's never a bad thing to test whether your beer is the master, or the nave; periodically a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice is every bit as much evidence that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
But if you, like me, spend a good few hours every day at a computer, or behind the wheel of a motor car, then we need to be mindful of the energy content of our drinks.
It's easier to keep the pounds off than to remove them after the fact. Mind you, considering the proliferation of colas and energy drinks on the market, you probably really don't need to be anxious about your orange juice; citrus is a God given gem.
A glass of water at your side is one way to make sure you get plenty of fluid without too many calories from your tea, coffee, orange juice or beer.
Also be conscious of the fact that refined OJ out of a carton has substantially more calories, and less nutrients, than freshly squeezed orange juice. For example, it has one third of the vitamin C. That is very significant if you are having any sort of cartilage issues, like in a slipped disc, or knee pain.
All orange juice, particularly that with a reddish hue, has significant amounts of betaines which have an important function in the methylation of toxic homocysteine in the body, a breakdown product of protein metabolism.
There are also significant amounts of choline, a betaine precursor, particularly again in the reddish orange juice and especially mandarins.
Whilst the nutrients in a glass of orange juice, freshly squeezed, are of the highest calibre, the calories are reasonably high.
There are 10g of carbohydrate in a glass, about 80 percent of which are simple
sugars. That makes for 45 cal of energy, which you could burn off in about 12 minutes of walking; in short, not a lot. A can of Fanta contains 160 calories, nearly four times as much.
An average can of beer contains about 150 cals, by the way, just for comparison.
Obviously this needs to be considered in the context of your whole diet if you are diabetic, or seriously overweight. You can always dilute it by half with drinking water. It's the great taste that I love in orange juice; the vitamin C, bioflavonoids and folate, for example, and all the other ingredients are just a side benefit.
Or, as I often do, add half an orange, freshly squeezed to large mug of weak iced tea. Read more about that at this at our drinking water page.
There are numerous diets doing the rounds that severely limit carbohydrate, and that would include an orange in any form. Whilst I think the modified banting diet for example, has much merit, recognise that you are not only cutting calories; vital nutrients are being avoided too.
It makes no sense to lose weight, but make yourself sick in the process; the average Western diet for example has less than fifty percent of the recommended choline, for example; orange juice is a moderately good source.
It's the balance of the whole meal that counts; and the refined carbs like donuts, white rice and cookies are what really do the damage; in short, starches with a high glycemic index that induce an insulin surge; that's the fat storage hormone.
Are you convinced? Then think about planting a mandarin orange tree or a lemon in your garden; better still, both.
They are loaded with bioflavonoids, those so called functional foods that prevent disease and promote health.
Quite apart from the calories in orange juice, how does the glycemic index of the whole fruit shape up?
Glycemic index of an orange, the whole fruit, is 40, which is very low.
Freshly squeezed, and unstrained, it's around 45.
Unsweetened commercial orange juice in a carton is 50-55; that of Fanta is 68.
All the natural juices in fact are 55 and less so can be called low GI.
The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly carbohydrates release their sugars into the blood stream. High GI foods are fattening and stress the pancreas, leading to type II diabetes; and make us obese. All forms of unsweetened orange juice have a low GI; we need not be concerned.
Read the label; is there added sugar, corn syrup or fructose?
“However, greater consumption of orange juice has also been criticized because of its high intrinsic sugar level, being associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.”
I personally may be on the verge of being pre-diabetic, hence my interest. Today I pricked my finger four times after a glass of orange juice (one whole) plus grapefruit (one half) with all the pulp, followed by egg Florentine on a slice of toast made from 100% wholemeal bread.
There was no significant exercise after the meal. The results are of interest:
This is an entirely normal result.
However, and this is important, the following day, I ate exactly the same breakfast, but with an hour's break after the orange juice; my glucose shot up to 9.2 (165) at 60 minutes; that's high.
In short, this is a highly complex subject, and if you are obese or even pre-diabetic as I am, it behooves you to get a glucometer and start testing yourself; what foods, and combinations provoke the high blood glucose that is unquestionably harming our bodies? It causes inflammation of the cholesterol in your blood vessels.
That's assuming you want to reach a healthy eighty years old; I'm aiming for ninety, so the calories in orange juice are important to me. I'll only enjoy it with a meal; as a snack it produces a highly glycemic reaction and could knock years off my life if I drank it regularly.
Test yourself before accepting that freshly squeezed, unfiltered orange juice is fattening and will contribute to a higher risk of diabetes. I now have half the amount, diluted with water, and always with a meal, and take some form of exercise, usually a short walk after breakfast.
OJ from a carton remains highly questionable; I'm not inclined to test myself, but you may.
Bioflavonoids and vitamin C are what make citrus so special, apart from the taste, of course; this is indifferent to the calories in orange juice.
Have you any idea why British sailors were called limeys? The lime nutrition, of course; those sailors weren't concerned about the calories in orange juice. It was the vitamin C that supposedly saved their lives. But more likely, orange juice bioflavonoids played a huge part too. Okay, okay lime juice bioflavonoids! They're in all citrus.
Healthy choice foods must surely include all forms of freshly pressed citrus to include the pulp; that's where much of the goodness is to be found. OJ in my humble opinion is a fattening junk food, though the researchers seem to agree that even processed calories in orange juice are not excessively fattening owing to the moderate glycemic index.