Are Oranges Keto? Carbs and Calories in Oranges

is orange keto

Oranges are sweet, juicy and delicious…  No wonder they’re one of the world’s most popular fruits.  You can use oranges to flavor dishes and desserts, make them into fresh home-squeezed orange juice or grab one to take with you to work. Packed with fiber and vitamin C, oranges make a healthy and convenient snack to pack for the busy person on the go. 

Did you know that oranges, much like grapefruits, contain special properties that burn belly fat and can actually help you lose weight?  It’s true… I’ll tell you more about it later in this article.

This bright orange citrus fruit is an excellent addition to most diets.  But where do oranges fit in for those following the Keto diet? 

Keep reading to find out more about oranges, as well as some lower carb fruit alternatives.

Are Oranges Keto-Friendly?

It is recommended that those following a ketogenic diet should avoid certain fruits.  Unfortunately, oranges are one of those fruits.  Eating too many oranges can prevent ketosis as this fruit is relatively high in carbs.  

You may be able to get away with eating just one orange and remain in ketosis, as long as the other foods you consume that day are low carb.  Staying within your carb limit will be difficult to accomplish. However, as the carb limit for a strict Keto diet is around 20 grams per day while a large orange can contain up to 15 grams of carbs. 

Instead, choose low-carb fruits, like avocados, tomatoes, or strawberries.  (Keep reading for a long list of low carb fruits later in this article.)

Those following a more liberal low carb diet or a “Dirty Keto” diet may wish to incorporate orange into their meal plan occasionally or choose from one of their smaller, citrus cousins, the tangerine or the clementine

Individuals not on a low-carb diet should keep in mind that oranges (and other fruits like apple and bananas) are healthy foods that can definitely be part of a nutritious, balanced diet.

How Many Carbs are in Oranges?

One small 100 gram orange contains 12 grams of carbs.

How Many Calories in Oranges?

One small 100 gram orange contains only 47 calories.

Health Benefits

carbs in orange


Oranges are packed with a number of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Eating oranges may be associated with lower cholesterol levels, along with reduced DNA damage.  Oranges are even known to help prevent stomach ulcers.  This citrus fruit also supports healthy eyesight and kidney function. 

Packed with Nutrients

There are a number of vitamins and minerals naturally occurring in oranges, especially vitamin C, thiamine, folate, and potassium.  Oranges also contain copper, vitamin B-6, magnesium, manganese, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, and selenium.

Powerhouse of Antioxidants

Oranges contain a number of antioxidant plant compounds from both classes of carotenoids and phenolic compounds, including:

Beta-cryptoxanthin – One of the most abundant carotenoid antioxidants in oranges, which your body turns into vitamin A.

Lycopene – An antioxidant found abundantly in red-toned navel oranges.  Lycopene has many health benefits, including sun protection, improved heart health and decreased risk of certain cancers.

Hesperidin – A powerful flavonoid that offers many important health benefits, including its protective effects against heart disease.

Anthocyanins – Another type of flavonoid with anti-cancer and anti-diabetic and anti-cancer properties.

Good Source of Citric Acid

The citric acid in oranges helps prevent the formation of kidney stones, excess mineral deposits that are painfully passed through the urethra.

Oranges are good source of natural acids, like ascorbic acid and citric acid.  Both of these organic acids help your body absorb minerals like iron.

Promotes Eye Health

A study conducted at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research has shown that people who regularly eat oranges are less likely to develop macular degeneration than those who do not eat the citrus fruit.

Researchers studied the diets of more than 2,000 Australian adults aged over 50 over a long period for 15 years. The data concluded that people who ate one serving of oranges per day had a 60% less of a risk of developing late macular degeneration 15 years later.

Side Effects

Individuals who are allergic to other citrus fruits may also be allergic to oranges.  Their acidity may increase the symptoms of heartburn. Overall, oranges pose few health risks.

Eating too many oranges has some uncomfortable side effects.  When the fruit is eaten in excess, the greater fiber content may cause cramping and could lead to diarrhea.

Eating whole oranges is better for you than drinking orange juice. Fruit juices tend to be high in sugar and low in fiber as the pulp is often skimmed.  Also, drinking orange juice is not as filling as eating the whole fruit, therefore, drinking orange juice in excess could contribute to obesity.

Oranges may produce drug interactions similar to grapefruit in certain medications, so check the label on your prescription to be sure before consuming oranges while on medication.

Nutritional Facts

Amount:  1 small orange (96 grams)
Calories 45
Total Fat 0.1 grams 0%
Saturated fat 0 grams 0%
Polyunsaturated fat 0 grams
Monounsaturated fat 0 grams
Cholesterol 0 milligrams 0%
Sodium 0 milligrams 0%
Potassium 173.8 milligrams 4%
Total Carbohydrate 11 grams 3%
Dietary fiber 2.3 grams 9%
Sugar 9 grams
Protein 0.9 grams 1%
Vitamin A 4% Vitamin C 85%
Calcium 3% Iron 0%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 5%
Cobalamin 0% Magnesium 2%

Fun Facts About Oranges

calories in orange
  • Oranges grow from flower blossoms on the orange tree.
  • Oranges can grow all over the world, especially in warmer climates that receive a lot of sunshine.
  • Researchers believe oranges first came from China.
  • Spanish missionaries brought the crop to California and Florida, where orange orchards were planted.
  • Orange trees are evergreens, with leaves that stay green all year long.
  • Orange trees can reach highs of 30 feet and can survive for over 100 years.
  • Both the fruit and their flowers (orange blossoms) are a symbol of love.
  • Historically, only the very rich could afford to grow orange trees.
  • One large orange contains a full day’s requirement of vitamin C.
  • Eating an orange a day can prevent scurvy – a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency.

Top 10 Keto-Friendly Fruits

To remain in ketosis, choose from one of the following low to moderate carb fruits:

  1. Lemon – One typical sized lemon wedge contains only 0.5 grams of net carbs.
  2. Rhubarb – Contains only 1.7 grams of net carbs per half cup serving.
  3. Avocados – A half cup serving contains only 2.6 grams of net carbs.
  4. Tomatoes – Contain only 2.4 grams of net carbs per half cup.
  5. Starfruit – A half cup serving contains only 2.6 grams of net carbs.
  6. Blackberries – A half cup serving contains only 3.1 grams of net carbs.
  7. Raspberries – A half cup serving contains only 3.3 grams of net carbs.
  8. Strawberries – A half cup contains only 4.7 grams of net carbs.
  9. Cantaloupe – A half cup serving of sliced cantaloupe contains 5.8 grams of net carbs.
  10. Watermelon – A half cup of diced watermelon contains 5.4 grams of net carbs.

Related Questions:

Are Oranges Good for a Cold?

One of the best ways to prevent a cold is to consume your daily requirement of vitamin C.  Just one orange can provide almost your full day’s recommended amount of this vitamin to give the immune system a boost.  Consuming foods rich in vitamin C, especially during winter, can prevent the common cold. 

Orange juice is also a great remedy for a cold because of its high content of vitamin C, which can shorten the duration of a cold, bringing relief sooner.

Oranges are less expensive in the winter, when the cold and flu season rolls around, so be sure to stock up on nature’s medicine.

Are Oranges Good for Constipation?

One large orange packs around 18% of the daily recommended intake of fiber.

The main types of fiber naturally occurring in oranges are cellulose, hemicellulose, pectin, and lignin. 

Dietary fiber is instrumental for digestive health and also helps control cholesterol levels.  The skin (white pulp) around the fruit is loaded with pectin which also revs up digestion and elimination, to prevent constipation.

Are Oranges Safe For Diabetics?

According to the American Diabetes Association, oranges are safe for diabetics and can benefit a nutritious diabetic meal plan.  

Despite the natural fructose they contain, oranges have a low glycemic index (GI) of 31–51 and they’re chock full of fiber and polyphenols, which offer a more gradual, controlled rise in blood sugar. 

Additionally, oranges contain anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid that has anti-diabetic properties. 

Can Eating Oranges Help Me Lose Weight?

Oranges and grapefruit reduce hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (HSD), a hormone that causes your body to store belly fat. The HSD hormone activates a stress hormone called cortisol to send a fat storage signal. 

Oranges and other citrus fruits contain polyphenols that slow the growth of HSD, to burn off belly fat instead.  What’s more, oranges contain anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid with anti-obesity properties.

What’s the Best Way to Pick and Store Oranges?

Oranges should last about two weeks and can either be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Store them loose, rather than wrapped in a plastic bag to prevent moisture and mold.

Choose firm oranges with smoothly textured skin that are heavy for their size to ensure they’re nice and juicy.  Smaller oranges and those with thinner skins tend to be juicier.

Melissa Marshall

A litigation paralegal and writer. Her first novel debuts this fall. She lives with her kitten, Zoey overlooking the waterfront in beautiful Dartmouth, Nova Scotia - also known as the “City of Lakes”.

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