Is Orange Juice Actually Healthy?

STACK Expert Michael Roddey takes at look at the health benefits (and the downside) of orange juice.

Orange juice is a staple breakfast beverage. It's delicious and you're drinking fruit, so it has to be healthy. But is orange juice actually good for you?

Let's look at the nutrition of orange juice according to caloriecount.com.

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Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice

Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice

Pros:

  • No cholesterol
  • Low in saturated fat & sodium
  • High in iron, potassium & thiamin
  • Very high vitamin B6 & vitamin C (345% dv)

Con:

  • 20g of sugar

Tropicana Frozen 100% Orange Juice Concentrate

Tropicana Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate

Pros:

  • No cholesterol
  • Low in saturated fat & sodium
  • High in potassium
  • Very high in vitamin C (200% dv)

Con:

  • 23g of sugar

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Minute Maid 100% Pure Orange Juice

Minute Maid 100% Pure Orange Juice

Pros:

  • No cholesterol
  • No saturated fat & sodium
  • High in potassium
  • Very high in vitamin C (180% dv)

Con:

  • 22g of sugar

Simply Orange Orange Juice - Original

Simply Orange Orange Juice

Pros:

  • No cholesterol
  • Low in saturated fat & sodium
  • High in potassium & thiamin
  • Very high in vitamin C (140% dv)

Con:

  • 22g of sugar

At first glance, it looks pretty good! There are lots of nutritional benefits in one glass of orange juice. It's extremely high in vitamin C, contains no  fat and is typically is low in sodium. However, there is a cost—orange juice is relatively high in sugar. And this is based on an 8-ounce glass, not a massive mug of orange juice like many people enjoy.

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If you're a healthy individual who is not conerned about weight loss, drinking a glass of orange juice is no big deal. But if you're trying to improve your body composition, the extra sugar could set you back in your progress. A healthier approach is to peel and blend a whole orange. You might need to add a little cold water or ice to help the consistency. The whole orange provides higher fiber content and is thus more filling.

Concerning my own orange juice consumption, I might have a glass from time to time; however, I steer away from high-sugar beverages. I take daily vitamins and supplements, and I'm providing my body with the proper amount, if not more than the recommended daily value, of vitamin C, as well as other vitamins and minerals.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: DIET | NUTRITION | CHOLESTEROL | JUICE | ORANGE JUICE | SATURATED FAT