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Oranges vs. Orange Juice

For those baby boomers out there, I am certain you can relate to the experience we all had as children:  the breakfast table our mothers (yep, in those days the fathers were not really involved in meals other than eating them) prepared included that tall glass of orange juice.  Probably similar to most children, I did not enjoy drinking down the pulp.  Additionally, those cans of frozen concentrated orange juice that were mixed with water were not nearly as tasty (although much less expensive) than freshly squeezed orange juice.

Fast forward from the 1960s to the present day:  Orange juice consumption and sales are down well over 70% from the peak of orange juice sales.  Americans have simply fallen out of love with that daily staple of a glass of orange juice in the mornings.  However, during the pandemic, the sales of orange juice went up dramatically as the public was seeking immune boosting products and the Vitamin C content of orange juice has been well chronicled.

During a weight control journey, is it better to drink orange juice or take the time to peel and eat an orange?  

Here is the nutritional content of an 8 ounce glass of orange juice:

Calories 102, total fat 0.45 grams, total carb 23.59 grams, Dietary fiber 0.5 grams, sugars 19.05 grams, Vitamin C 189% of the US Daily Requirement

Here is the nutritional content of one whole orange:

Calories 62, total fat.0.16 grams, total carbs 15.4 grams, Dietary fiber 3.1 grams, sugars 12.2 grams, Vitamin C 110% US Daily Requirement

So, comparing the nutritional contents of orange juice vs a whole orange, clearly, we seem better off avoiding the juice and including the whole orange as a fruit option.  The whole orange provided lots more fiber and almost ½ the caloric content.

Another issue:  Downing an 8-ounce glass of orange juice takes less than 30 seconds whereas peeling an orange, eating parts at a time and savoring the taste as well as the good smell lingering on your fingers provide a better eating experience.

The bottom line:  During your weight control efforts for those orange tasting lovers out there, stick with the fruit and avoid the juice.

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