Can Type 2 Diabetics Eat Oranges?

Girl in pool with oranges

Does Eating an Orange Increase Blood Sugar?

Can diabetics eat an orange? Like all fruit, oranges can be a part of a healthy diet for people with diabetes—however, a diabetic needs to monitor their blood sugar levels when eating natural oranges.

A person with diabetes must eat foods with low glycemic index (GI.) Oranges are low-GI foods, typically being about 40 out of 100. Some breakfast foods, such as dried fruits, certain breads, and breakfast cereals, can cause your blood sugar to spike. However, a medium-sized orange will only raise your blood sugar slowly. As part of a healthy diet and exercise regimen, oranges can benefit people with diabetes. Oranges and the fresh juices that come from them may work as part of a healthy breakfast.

One reason for this is that they are high in fiber, which helps to keep you full for longer and controls your blood sugar levels. A medium-sized orange contains four grams of fiber and is high in other nutrients, such as vitamin C. So buy some medium-sized orange packs and enjoy!

Of course, there are many ways to consume a medium orange. Many people drink orange juice for breakfast, which begs the question: is orange juice good for a diabetes diet?

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Eating an Orange vs. Drinking Orange Juice

Orange juice can be good for non-diabetics, containing plenty of essential nutrients. These nutrients can help your body fight against heart disease, anemia, and other conditions. However, people with diabetes should avoid or save orange juice as an occasional treat. Orange juice lacks the fiber that natural oranges have. Since fiber prevents blood sugar spikes, orange juice may increase your body's blood sugar response.

While fruit juice is often healthier than sodas, the high sugar content and lack of fiber can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes. One reason for this is because juices have concentrated fructose, which may increase your diabetes risk.

This is not to say having a glass of orange juice on occasion will give you diabetes, but be sure you keep your blood sugar levels steady and do not consume too much sugar. Also, if you drink juice, drink unsweetened orange juice instead of juices with sugar added.

That said, oranges may contain traces of pesticides, which can be toxic to some people. Be sure that you purchase oranges that have been cultivated through pesticide-free methods. You also should ensure that you don't have any preexisting conditions that can be affected by oranges' high acid content. And, of course, you should keep track of how many oranges you consume and be sure that they will not spike your blood sugar levels.

Also, whole-fruit oranges are the best. Canned fruit oranges may contain added sugars. With that said, if you purchase canned mandarin oranges that only contain their own juices, it can be a good alternative. The American Diabetes Association recommends canned oranges with no added sugar.

Benefits of Citrus Fruits for Diabetic Patients

Citrus fruit is considered to be candy that comes straight from nature. But unlike high GI foods like candy, oranges can come with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. They may help with high blood pressure and have cardiovascular nutrients.

One orange that is worth trying is the blood orange. Oranges of this kind are filled with antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins. These can improve your cognition levels and insulin sensitivity and reduce your risk of certain diseases, including cancer, inflammation, and cardiovascular disease. In some ways, blood oranges are among the diabetes superfoods.

Another fruit to try with plenty of health benefits is lemon. Lemon juice can reduce spikes, blocking enzymes that break starches down too quickly. Lemon juice also contains vitamin C and regulates blood pressure.

Kumquat is another fruit that works well as part of a diabetes-friendly diet. It comes with 6.5 grams of fiber per five fruits, and it can help you manage your weight, blood sugar, and bowel functions.

Top Reasons Why Oranges Are Good for Diabetes

Among the sweet fruits, oranges are loaded with fiber and citrus polyphenols, both of which can help you manage your diabetes levels. Let's look at some reasons why you should eat oranges.

Rich in Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamin C may help to reduce inflammation and keep your immunity functioning. Diabetics tend to have issues with both immunity and inflammation; if you eat oranges as part of a balanced diet, they can help prevent these issues. Vitamin C can help regulate your blood glucose and lipid levels as well.

Besides vitamin C, oranges also contain calcium, which helps build strong bones and muscles, folic acid and B vitamins, which can benefit insulin resistance. Folate, in particular, can prevent heart disease, cancer, and blood diseases.

Low Glycemic Index

The glycemic index measures how foods affect your blood sugar. A food with a GI of 20-49 is considered a low GI. A medium-sized orange is 40-43 on the GI scale, putting it in this camp.

High Fiber Content

Fiber-rich foods can manage your diabetes by slowing the absorption of sugar. Oranges contain about 3 grams of fiber, which may reduce fasting blood sugar levels for people with type 2 diabetes. In addition, whole fruits that contain fiber can make you feel fuller longer, which preventing overeating.

Rich in Antioxidants

Oranges and other citrus fruits are said to be high in antioxidants, but many people have no idea what these are. In short, antioxidants prevent damage from free radicals, which can lead to oxidative stress in your body. Oxidative stress can age you because it damages cells, increasing your risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

Eating nutritious fruits such as oranges may help to prevent the damage caused by free radicals, making it a must that you add oranges to your diet.

Lowers Blood Sugar Levels

Seasonal fruits such as oranges may reduce your blood sugar from spiking as the fiber slowly absorbs it. If you have diabetes, you should know that not all sugars are equal. Added sugar, especially in candy, white bread, or other carb-rich foods, can spike your blood sugar, but fructose found in oranges can be safer to consume. With that said, avoid sugary fruit juices if you want to lower blood sugar levels.

Healthy Foods That Help Control Blood Glucose Levels

Besides eating one medium-sized orange a day, you should be mindful when eating foods of all kinds. Some foods work great for diabetes management and your overall health.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are high in vitamins, fiber, and minerals. Oranges and grapefruits also contain naringenin, which has antidiabetic properties and can improve insulin sensitivity. You can combine oranges with other citrus fruits or blue fruits as part of a healthy diet.

Broccoli and Broccoli Sprouts

If you have high blood sugar levels, broccoli can help wit this. It contains sulforaphane, which is produced when you chop or chew broccoli. This can reduce your blood sugar. In addition, broccoli contains other properties that can improve insulin sensitivity.


Seafood contains protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These work together to regulate blood glucose levels and make you feel fuller longer.

Pumpkin and Pumpkin Seeds

When eating fruit, don't forget the pumpkin! It contains polysaccharides, which can lower blood glucose levels, particularly in a pumpkin extract form. Its seeds also come with healthy fats and proteins.

Nuts and Nut Butter

Besides being packed with protein, they contain properties that may help with insulin resistance and sugar levels. Also, please don't eat nut butter with any added sugars.


Okra contains polysaccharides and flavonoid antioxidants, which can lower your blood glucose levels.


Regarding healthy foods, flaxseeds are a powerhouse of fiber and healthy fats. Eat them to feel fuller for much longer.

Beans and Lentils

People with diabetes should go for beans and lentils, high in soluble fiber and resistant starch. In addition, they contain magnesium, fiber, and protein. These work together to lower your sugar levels and are low-GI food overall.

Kimchi and Sauerkraut

These are part of the fermented foods category, packed with antioxidants, probiotics, vitamins, and minerals. All of these work together to lower your blood sugars and improve insulin sensitivity.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds can make you feel fuller longer and contain properties that are good for blood sugar regulation.


Kale is considered a superfood for a reason. It contains a cocktail of compounds, such as fiber and flavonoid antioxidants, that can lower blood glucose and keep you full longer. Specifically, the flavonoid antioxidants quercetin and kaempferol can help you.


Berries are among the whole fruits that can help people with diabetes. Strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries may improve insulin resistance and glucose clearance, making diabetes management much easier.


Another superfood for a good reason, avocados are packed with healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. This low-GI food can regulate blood sugar and metabolism, keeping you at a healthy weight and preventing further complications.

Oats and Oat Bran

Oats are packed with fiber and soluble fiber, which can keep you fuller longer and promote blood sugar management. When eating oats, sweeten it with natural foods such as berries, and don't go for processed oatmeal with too much added sugar.

Kefir and Yogurt

Kefir and yogurt contain protein and properties that can help with blood sugar regulation. People with diabetes should eat Greek yogurt and avoid yogurts with added sugars and artificial flavors.


Eggs are a protein, vitamin, and mineral powerhouse. There's a reason why they're part of a healthy breakfast.


An apple a day does keep the doctor away, as apples are packed with soluble fibers and unique plant compounds like gallic acids, which can help a diabetic with much-added blood sugar levels.