Diabetics are often told to avoid fruit. But is this true? Is it possible that eating oranges can benefit someone with diabetes? The answer is yes! This article will discuss how oranges can help a diabetic, including the many benefits.

In this Diabetic & Me article you will learn about:

  • Can diabetics eat oranges?
  • How many grams of carbohydrates does an orange contain?
  • What are the benefits of eating oranges?

Can Diabetics Eat Oranges?

Diabetes is a chronic condition that can be managed with diet and exercise. Eating oranges as a diabetic is one of the most common questions, but it's also one of the toughest to answer because there are so many conflicting opinions on this topic. On some forums, people say that diabetics should avoid eating oranges because they contain too much sugar and carbohydrates, while on others they say that oranges are safe for diabetics to eat in moderation. In this article, I will look at both sides of the argument and then provide you with my own opinion about whether or not oranges are good for diabetics.

To answer the question: Yes, people with diabetes can eat oranges! Oranges are a healthy fruit that can be eaten by diabetics. While oranges are high in sugar which should be avoided for those with diabetes, they also contain many nutrients and have significant benefits to someone who is diabetic.

Whole oranges include a wide range of critical nutrients required for blood sugar levels control, so they should be your first choice over 100% orange juice.

Importantly, doctors have documented the ability of the orange’s chemistry to help control blood sugar levels. This makes it vital for someone with diabetes to pay close attention to their intake of oranges, limiting it only when necessary - but not being afraid of them either!

How Much Sugar Is in 100g of Oranges?

The sugar content of an orange depends on its size, but one average orange weighs about 120 grams or 2/3 cup. That translates to 9g to 11g of sugar. For diabetics, that means eating 1-2 oranges a day is likely safe in moderation while 3-4 may make more of an impact on blood glucose levels. Diabetics should always monitor their intake of oranges to ensure they are not leading to any problems with diabetes management or creates complications. If you are unsure, test your blood glucose levels after eating an orange to be sure how one orange effects your levels.

Another delicious way to satisfy your sweet tooth without the additional fat and sugar while still increasing your Vitamin C intake is to eat oranges.

The average sugar content in a navel orange is around 12 to 15 grams per 100 grams, with under 70 calories.

What Are The Benefits of Eating Oranges?

The benefits of eating oranges can be broken up into various key categories like; weight control, cardiovascular health, diet and digestion, eye health, and more.

Oranges are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them a great source of nutrition. This citrus fruit is healthy for people with diabetes when eaten in moderation.

What Are The Benefits Of Eating Oranges?

Low On The Glycemic Index

Oranges are low on the glycemic index (GI), so they are more friendly to those with diabetes since they cause a gradual increase in blood sugar levels.

Weight Control

Oranges are a good choice for someone who is looking to lose weight. For diabetics specifically, this is important for many different reasons. First off, diabetics must always be in control of their weight or it can become very dangerous. Weight gain, in general, poses a significant danger for people with diabetes and they already have an increased risk of obesity. There are three areas that should be paid close attention to when considering gaining weight as a diabetic - heart disease risk markers (HbA1C), BMI (body mass index), and blood sugar management.

Prevents Cardiovascular Disease

Oranges help with cardiovascular disease, which can lead to heart attacks in diabetics. It has been shown that the antioxidants found in oranges help prevent plaque formation and atherosclerosis.

Diet Control

If diabetic patients are not careful about their diets they could be at risk of developing gastrointestinal issues such as constipation or diarrhea and even worse conditions like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

For those who want a healthy diet but don’t have time to prepare all of their meals from scratch - having an orange is a perfect solution!

Great for Eye Health

Oranges are good for eye health. This is because oranges increase the level of lutein in your body which protects against cataracts and macular degeneration. Additionally, this benefit does not stop with just adding more oranges to your diet - cooking them actually increases their antioxidant levels even further!

This means that whether you eat an orange by itself or cook it into a dish like making marmalade, both options will help keep diabetics' eyes healthy! 


Fiber does not get digested in your stomach and has a variety of health advantages, including disease prevention and management. Fiber-rich meals, for example, could help you manage your blood sugar levels.

The fiber content of an average orange is 4 grams.

Vitamins and minerals

Oranges are high in numerous vitamins and minerals, some of which may be particularly beneficial for individuals with diabetes.

A medium orange has about 91 percent of the recommended daily intake (RDIs) for vitamin C. Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant in this case.


Flavonoids, which are a type of antioxidant, have been shown to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, as well as improve insulin sensitivity in people with diabetes. Flavonoids can also be found in Papayas

Orange Juice

How Does Fruit Affect Blood Sugar?

Fruit is sugar and like any sugar, it will cause blood sugars to rise after the carbohydrates in the fruit are converted into glucose.

This smooth burst of energy can often help break through unstable highs or lows. Fruit that contains less fiber may also be desirable for people with hypoglycemia. If someone experiencing unstable highs and lows chooses to eat fruit during these periods, they should make sure to monitor their blood glucose carefully for several hours afterward to make sure it doesn't drop too low or get too high.

Can Oranges Lower Blood Sugar?

Oranges can help lower blood sugar levels because they contain high amounts of vitamin C. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant that helps to fight against free radicals. When you have high blood sugar levels, the glucose reacts with the protein in your body. With this heightened oxidation, cells may be damaged which leads to various complications of diabetes such as cardiovascular or kidney diseases. As an antioxidant, vitamin C can protect against these effects of elevated blood sugar, thereby lowering your risk of developing free radical damage. 


The benefits of eating oranges are vast. Not only can they help keep your eyes healthy, but they also provide a host of vitamins and minerals that may be particularly helpful for people with diabetes. In addition to lowering blood glucose levels, vitamin C from oranges has been shown to protect against the oxidative stress caused by elevated blood sugars in diabetics.

About the Author

Ely Fornoville

Hi, I'm Ely Fornoville, and I am the founder of Diabetic Me. Being a type 1 diabetic since 1996, I developed a passion to help people learn more about diabetes. I write about diabetes and share stories from other diabetics around the world. I currently use a Medtronic Guardian 4 CGM and a MiniMed 780G insulin pump with Humalog insulin.

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