_image of oranges are not keto friendly!

Are Oranges Keto Friendly or Just Low Carb? (THE TRUTH)

Don’t compare apples to oranges, especially on the keto diet. 

If you’re grabbing for oranges in the produce aisle you may need to ask yourself first: are oranges keto friendly?

As fruits, oranges are sugary, pulpy, and tasty, so it’s no wonder why oranges are so popular around the world. 

The ketogenic diet, however, does not favor fruits all that well. Where does this leave oranges and does this mean you’ll have to skip orange juice for breakfast?

Keep reading to find out!

Are oranges healthy?

We all have that image of freshly squeezed orange juice for breakfast and how it relates to a healthy lifestyle.

1. Brief health overview of oranges

Oranges bring many components with them that may or may not be healthy. 

The truth is:

Oranges are indeed tightly packed with minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. 

Consuming oranges does help with:

  • lowering cholesterol levels (*)
  • reducing  DNA damage (*)
  • preventing stomach ulcers (*)
  • sustaining healthy eyesight (*)
  • promoting proper kidney function (*)

2. Source of antioxidants

Taking components from carotenoids and phenolic compounds, oranges bring many health benefits to the table. 

Some of these components include: 

  • Lycopene – primarily found in red navel oranges, these antioxidants offer sun protection, improve your heart’s health, and can reduce the risk of cancer. (*)
  • Anthocyanins – a great flavonoid that exhibits anti-cancer and anti-diabetic properties. (*,*)
  • Beta-cryptoxanthin – a carotenoid present in abundance in oranges that turns into Vitamin A in the body. (*)
  • Hesperidin – another flavonoid that is sourced from oranges that can offer many health benefits including protection against heart disease. (*)

3. Highly rich in nutrients

Antioxidants aside, oranges also come jammed packed with so many nutrients. 

Among these nutrients:

  • vitamin C
  • vitamin B-6 
  • folate
  • thiamine
  • selenium
  • potassium
  • copper 
  • pantothenic acid 
  • magnesium 
  • phosphorus 
  • manganese 
  • niacin 
  • riboflavin 

In many ways, oranges seem like superfoods with such rich contents. 

4. Maintains eye health

Oranges are often advertised to have positive effects on eye health, more specifically to reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration. (*)

5. Citric acid 

Citric acid has been discovered to be great at preventing kidney stones from forming. (*)

Oranges are great sources of natural citric acid and they can be highly useful in absorbing iron.

Are oranges keto friendly?

With so many health benefits, touting oranges as healthy comes naturally, but how healthy are they for the keto diet?

Let’s dig a little deeper:

To know if oranges fit into the keto diet we must look at their nutritional contents. 

Nutritional value for one orange (*):

  • carbs: 14.8 grams
  • sugar: 12 grams
  • fat: 0.2 grams
  • calories: 66
  • fiber: 2.8 grams
  • protein: 1.3 grams
  • water: 86% by weight
  • vitamin C: 92% of the Daily Value 
  • folate: 9% of the Daily Value
  • calcium: 5% of the Daily Value
  • potassium: 5% of the Daily Value

In essence:

Oranges seem to have high carbs intake and low fat contents.

Carb counting 

Oranges have high amounts of carbs, which makes them not exactly ideal for the keto. The keto diet there needs to have a limit of about 20 to 30 grams of carbs a day. 

Anything over this limit will bring you out of ketosis, so we don’t recommend oranges to keto followers. 

What’s more!

A serving calculator will be ideal in helping you fit orange in the keto diet if you still want to have it. 

Fat contents

Not only are oranges high in carbs but also low in fat, specifically the opposite of what the keto diet requires. 

The desired ratio for the keto diet is 70% fat content, which is not achievable with oranges. 

Food processing

The best part about oranges is that they are minimally processed, but even so, it’s hard to integrate them into the keto diet. 

What to use instead of orange on the keto diet?

A few ingredients can be used to substitute oranges, mainly if you want to have the scent and or taste of the fruit without actually having the orange. 

We recommend you use:

  • Orange zest – less than 1.5 grams of total carbs if you use a pinch 
  • Dried peel – 1 tbsp raw orange peel contains 1.5 grams of total carbs
  • Citric acid – 0 grams of carbs
  • Orange extract – o grams of carbs
  • Vinegar – 0.1 grams of carb per one tablespoon

What fruit can you eat on the keto diet?

You can pick and choose from other fruits that are easier to fit within the keto diet. 

  • Blueberries: Half a cup or 75 grams – 9 grams of carbs
  • Cherries: Half a cup 75 grams – 8 grams of carbs
  • Cantaloupe: One cup 160 grams – 11 grams of carbs
  • Peach: One medium-sized 150 grams – 13 grams of carbs
  • Clementine: One medium-sized 75 grams – 9 grams of carbs

Learn more:


In conclusion

Are oranges keto friendly? An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but oranges will kick your ketosis. We know it’s always hard to find a place for fruit in the keto diet. 

The same can be said about oranges. 

While it’s not the best fruit to have during keto, some work around it will at least bring the taste and flavor of oranges to the keto diet. 

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