Why You Should Think Twice Before Drinking Orange Juice

Nothing is quite as refreshing as a cold glass of orange juice with breakfast. Whether you squeeze it yourself or buy a carton from the grocery store, this drink is often seen as a nutritious beverage. But is it actually as good as you think it is? Here's what you should know before you have your next glass.

The main concern with orange juice is its sugar content. According to Healthline, 100% fruit juice contains about 100 calories and over 20 grams of sugar per cup. That's the same as the average serving of soda. Research has found many links between consuming sugary drinks and having a higher risk of developing conditions like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Orange juice is also low in fiber, which means you probably won't feel full after drinking a single glass. This can cause you to drink large portions, which will translate to a large amount of calories and sugar in one sitting. Eating a whole orange will be more satisfying because the fruit's fiber content will help your body feel full and stay full for longer than just the juice.

Orange juice in moderation can be a great addition to your diet

That all being said, orange juice contains many vitamins and minerals. If you only drink small portions at a time, you can enjoy many health benefits from this drink without compromising your diet. Just make sure you're drinking 100% pure orange juice with no added sugar.

So what are those health benefits? Andres Ayesta (MS, RD, LD, CSCS, CSSD), told Eat This, Not That!, that orange juice contains many of the same nutrients that a whole orange does. "Orange juice is rich in vitamin C (1 cup or 8 ounces contains about 67% of the recommended dietary allowance for adults daily), folate, potassium, and a small amount of magnesium," Ayesta said.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that boosts the immune system, keeps your skin healthy, and can help decrease inflammation in the body. It can also help your body absorb iron found in plants that can be difficult to absorb otherwise. In short? Go ahead and drink orange juice, just don't go overboard with your serving sizes.