Is It Safe to Eat Oranges, if You have Diabetes?

Being a low Glycemic food, Diabetics can safely eat Oranges without the risk of blood sugar spikes!

What is the Glycemic Index of Orange?

The Glycemic Index of Oranges varies from 31 to 48, based on its variety. Any GI score below 55 is safe to eat for a person with diabetes.

Food NameGlycemic IndexServe (g)Carb per Serve (g)Glycemic Load
Oranges, raw40120114
Oranges, raw- Sunkist33120103
Oranges, raw – Van Nuys, raw31120113
Oranges, raw – CA48120115
Oranges, raw- USA48120115

The moment a person is diagnosed with diabetes, health consciousness begins right there. People often get unsecured about what to eat, what to limit, and what to avoid to maintain good health completely. A lot of things will keep boggling in your mind, too, as you make your way through a thriving diabetes management routine. Remember, the sole motives of any diabetes control therapy include balancing the amount of carbohydrate intake by the body, so that blood sugar levels do not rise much and eliminating the chances of obesity as conditions become more adverse if either of the two is allowed to come into play.

As far as the diabetic diet menu is to be concerned, you need to acquire complete information on every type of food you can eat and vice versa as the results will be highly variable for each kind of food. There will be foods you can eat without any risk, as well as there will be several fruits and factors you need to limit in your diet, and some foods need to be completely removed from your plates.

Is it Safe to Eat Oranges, if you have Diabetes?

How good are oranges for diabetics

First, oranges being a member of the citrus fruits family is regarded as ideal food to be a part of the diabetic diet chart by American Diabetes Association (ADA). This gives the diabetic patients a green signal for eating oranges with no significant risk of shooting up blood sugar levels.

Oranges come in wide varieties – Valencia, Navel, Blood orange, Mandarin, Caracara, and Seville. All are loaded with powerful antioxidants and are nutritious enough to enhance your overall health management, causing no harm to your blood glucose levels. Oranges contain carbohydrates with a low GI, less than 55. This means that they will be digested, absorbed, and metabolized by the body, gradually stabilizing the blood sugar levels.

What are the Health benefits of eating oranges in Diabetes?

There is no doubt in the remarkable properties of oranges to boost up natural immunity of the body. Now, it’s time to recognize their plentiful positive contributions to diabetic care.

Oranges are the wholesome food nurtured with more than 80 nutrients enclosing thiamin, riboflavin, niacin folates, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, selenium vitamin B-6. The fascinating thing to emphasize is that this fantastic fruit satiates 100% of the vitamin C your body requires for a day. Whether it is about increasing innate immunity or skin protection from tanning as a result of sunlight, all of us are known to have essential requirements for vitamin C to be taken by our bodies.

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Moreover, powerful antioxidants present in its fight against free radicals, which reduce the threat of developing oxidative stress during diabetes. To elaborate more, every variety of orange is enveloped with about 170 different phytochemicals, which play a key role in lessening the increased blood sugar levels, and approximately 60 flavonoids with anti-inflammatory effects. Being low in calories and enormous in fibers, they safeguard your body against elevated blood sugar levels. All these factors are convincing enough to include oranges in your daily diet for a healthier lifestyle.

How many oranges can a diabetic eat per day?

A medium-sized orange confers a minimal amount of carbohydrates to your body, ranging from 15 to 18 grams. Besides this, a single 15 gram orange provides you with 250 milligrams of potassium and 1 gram of protein. Not to forget, you are going to obtain fairly adequate amounts of fibers too.

According to the counting system laid down by National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, 15 grams are equivalent to one serving; this, in turn, corresponds to a single orange as one orange also weighs 15 grams on an average. So, plan your calorie intake, keeping the same in mind. If your permissible levels are up to 2000 calories per day, you can eat 2 to 3 servings of fruit daily, but you need to balance this along with the measurements of other meals you take. To give a basic idea, a single chapati made with all-purpose flour contains 200 calories. 2000 calories account for 500 grams of carbohydrates, which means 45 to 60 grams per meal.

You need to be careful with this amount and ensure that the total calorie intake level does not exceed your allowable calories per day. You will considerably receive a guide from your doctor regarding your permitted calorie levels, or you can yourself consult your doctor about this.

People with type 2 diabetes are advised to limit their calorie intake from 1500-1800 grams per day for women and 1400-2000 grams per day for men.

What is the ideal time to eat fruits like Oranges, if you have Diabetes?


Is there really any best time to eat fruits? Have you heard about some lame assertions like “best time to eat fruits is during afternoons” or “fruits should be eaten only during the morning hours when the stomach is empty? Otherwise, they will make digestion difficult if taken along with regular meals“? Surprisingly, if you infer properly, then all such myths contrast each other because neither of them makes any logical sense or any scientific basis; hence, we termed them as lame. In fact, when fruit with high fiber content coupled with food rich in proteins is eaten in the form of regular basic meals, it will cause your stomach to release food in the small intestine more slowly, thereby preventing postprandial diabetes and subsequent rise of blood sugar levels.

Fibers are excellent at speeding down the absorption of food. The sugars will enter the blood at retarded rates having no negative impact on blood glucose levels. The only exception is the case of gestational diabetes, as a person undergoing this problem must avoid eating fruits in the morning hours to get rid of any possible complications. This is because some specific hormones are secreted during pregnancy, which attains their peak levels during the morning and is probably linked with causing a hike in blood sugar levels.

Hence, there is no such preferred time which can be considered best or ideal for eating fruits, all the popular sayings you heard till date are merely a myth. There is no evidence to support the fact that you should avoid taking fruits with meals or consider taking them in the afternoon.

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What kind of fruits you must consider eating during diabetes?

Any fruit is considered beneficial for diabetes if it fulfills two basic checkpoints –

  1. Being abundant in fibers
  2. Having a low glycemic index

The reason that citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits (not grapes), lemon, and pomelo are considered superfoods for diabetes perfectly suits the above-mentioned factors. Not only this, they are immensely rich in vitamin C, folates, potassium, along with excellent amounts of calcium and vitamin D.

Glycemic Index (GI) is a rating allotted to various foods in a range of 1 to 100 based on how fast the carbohydrates from the particular food causes a spike in blood sugar levels. Accordingly, the fruits are judged, and the beneficial ones are chosen out of a crowd, mainly if they are low in glycemic index and high in fibers.

Although some naturally sweet fruits are loaded with carbohydrates, they might still be low in glycemic index. In most fruits that are considered diabetes-friendly, high amounts of fibers compensate for the high amounts of carbohydrates, making it healthy and desirable for people with diabetes. Therefore, you must never judge the fruit just by its sweetness; it may still help you cope with your healthcare enrichment during increased blood sugar.

Have a look at the list of fruits with low GI value you should definitely consume during diabetes with no risk at all


  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Strawberry
  • Peach
  • Pear
  • Grapes

These are assigned a glycemic index score between 40-43, making them a healthy choice for diabetics.

Also, know about fruits with medium GI value you can eat during diabetes but in fewer amounts.

  • Honeydew melon
  • Figs
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Mangoes

These fruits are assigned the glycemic index score in the range of 59-69; therefore, consume them in lesser amounts keeping in mind the target for safe blood sugar levels.

The fruits which have very high GI value and need to be ceased from consumption during diabetes are 

  • Dates
  • Watermelon
  • Dry fruits

These fruits are assigned the glycemic index score of 70-92 and are dangerous to eat in case of hyperglycemia.

Tips for adding more Ornages to your Diet

  • Remember, you have to eat oranges as a whole and not in the form of juice. If you buy ready-made orange juice or any other packaged fruit juice from the market, they will contain added preservatives and high sugar content for sure. Hereafter, all the nutritional perks are lost, and you are left with just a harmful drink, which will be heightening the diabetes-related health problems.
  • If you still crave juice, choose to make your own juice without adding table sugar; go naturally by squeezing the juicy orange liquid after alienating the seeds and stir with water.
  • Make a healthy fruit salad containing nourishing fresh fruits. Agglomerate the oranges, apples, pears, grapes, strawberries, and other similar worthwhile fruits together, cut them into pieces, and sprinkle black salt over them. Enjoy your healthy snack with no stress and burden of securing your blood glucose levels.
  • There are innumerable refreshing recipes you can try out with oranges. If you explore the internet, you will find a vast collection of mouth-watering recipes specifically created for diabetes. Nutty orange cakes made with Splenda brown sugar (a low-calorie artificial sweetener) are worth mentioning here. Cakes are a source of delight for everyone, and they make up your day amusing. From orange muffins to creamy orange smoothies, there is a lot more to try your hands on. If you are a non-veg lover, you must try out the grilled orange – mustard chicken recipe to cheer up your cravings without any guilt. You will be free from the tension of inflation in blood sugar as all of them are entirely complying with diabetes. These wonderful recipes have no definite end!
  • Buy a suitable guide or book containing all the necessary authentic information one needs to know for governing the disease with ease.
  • If you are a novice at diabetes management, then having a courteous diet planner app, “Beat Diabetes,” is a high recommendation for you. This best-rated app comprises a perfect menu chart for diabetic patients giving a complete array of foods to eat and foods to avoid.
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Concluding words

At the beginning of the article, the question that was put forward was, “can diabetics eat oranges?”. We made persistent efforts to elaborate it most comprehensively throughout the article, making you familiar with the top-notch information at our best.

Well, the crystal clear answer to this question is yes, you can definitely eat about 3 to 4 oranges a day despite being diabetic, causing no additional harm to your health irrespective of the type of diabetes you are diagnosed with. Citrus fruits are no less than an angel food for someone fighting with diabetes and feeling the lack of natural refreshment addons for the body. You can eat oranges at any time of the day, either solitary or tie them up with your other meals. Obviously, you need to eat fruits within limits to monitor your blood sugar levels and keep them to a safe extent, and so is the condition in the case of oranges as well.

To be sure regarding other fruits and foods, reading standard books and diabetes guides is a favorable method. Surf the internet or take the help of apps available for Android as well as iPhones. Please don’t be anxious to eat any food without being aware of its nutritious composition; instead, avoid unnecessary complications and dilemmas.

A well maintained and balanced diet is the most important strategy to follow for successful monitoring of diabetes. If you really want to grab control over this ever-increasing disease and want to defeat it triumphantly, you have to switch on to a strictly disciplined lifestyle consisting only of a healthy diet and health-enhancing habits. There can be no room for careless unhealthy activities and stuff.


Dr Sharon Baisil MD

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