Are Oranges Keto-Friendly? (& Better Substitutes)

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Fruits are often not that keto-friendly but there are exceptions. Find out whether oranges are low-carb enough to stay in ketosis.

Oranges are a popular citrus fruit you typically consume in its raw version or as juice. Additionally, oranges play a role in certain recipes and dishes.

100 grams of raw oranges contains around 9.3 grams of net carbohydrates which comes down to total carbs minus fiber.

Whether or not this is too much to stay in ketosis depends on details like your portion, your body, and the other foods in your diet.

That being said, oranges are not very keto-friendly for most people. You likely have to exercise some portion control with this food or avoid it completely.

If you still want to eat something sweet on keto, certain alternatives like blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries tend to be better choices (but potentially still contain too many carbs).

Carbs in oranges

With the guidelines above, the carbohydrates in the rest of your diet, and the carbs in oranges, you can get a rough idea of how much you can eat of this fruit.

100 grams of oranges contains the following amounts of carbs (1):

  • Total carbs: 11.7 grams
  • Of which fiber: 2.4 grams
  • Net carbs: 9.3 grams

It is true that there are worse food options to stay in ketosis.

However, in combination with the other foods in your diet, the 9.3 grams of net carbs in 100 grams of oranges could be too much.

One ounce of oranges is about 28 grams and contains the following amounts of carbs:

  • Total carbs: 3.3 grams
  • Of which fiber: 0.7 grams
  • Net carbs: 2.6 grams

By making your portions smaller, it becomes easier to fit oranges into your diet while still staying in ketosis.

Whether or not oranges are ultimately keto-friendly for you depends on many details.

Other nutrition information oranges

Carbohydrates get most of the attention in ketogenic diets but other nutrients like fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals also still influence ketosis and your health.

100 grams of raw oranges contains the following nutrients (1):

  • Calories: 47
  • Protein: 0.9 grams
  • Carbs: 11.7 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 2.4 grams
  • Fat: 0.1 grams
  • Vitamin C: 89% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Folate: 8% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 6% of the DV
  • Potassium: 5% of the DV
  • Vitamin A: 4% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Oranges contain nice amounts of vitamin C but besides that, they are not that impressive when it comes to vitamins and minerals per 100 grams.

There are definitely more keto-friendly foods that are better in this area too.

Carbs in orange juice

It is possible to consume oranges in different ways. Orange juice is a popular example.

You can see how the regular raw version and orange juice compare in amounts of carbohydrates in the table below (1, 2).

Values Per 100gRaw OrangesOrange Juice
Total Carbohydrates11.7 g10.4 g
Of Which Fiber2.4 g0.2 g
Net Carbs9.3 g10.2 g
Chart of carbs in raw oranges vs orange juice

Something important to note is that this example orange juice does not contain added sugars. Many brands do add extra carbohydrates which makes this drink even less keto-friendly.

Additionally, it is a lot easier to drink half a glass of orange juice than to eat 100 grams of oranges.

In short, if you want to consume oranges on a ketogenic diet, the raw version will be more helpful than the juice for staying in ketosis.

Why an orange will almost always kick you out of ketosis

You may find it confusing that there is not a clear yes or no answer to whether oranges are keto-friendly or not.

Quickly going over the fundamentals of the ketogenic diet can help you understand why this is the case and this info to your advantage.

This diet comes down to putting and keeping your body in the state of ketosis. You can describe this state as using fat as your main fuel source (3).

To do this, you need to carbohydrate intake low enough. Just how low depends on details like your body weight, body composition, and activity levels.

Bigger people with a lot of muscle mass and high activity levels tend to be able to consume more carbohydrates before getting kicked out of ketosis.

That being said, there are some rough general guidelines that can steer you in the right direction.

It is often recommended to get about 55%-60% of your calories from fat, 30%-35% from protein, and 5%-10% from carbohydrates to stay in ketosis.

This will generally come down to eating around 20g – 50g of carbohydrates a day.

Something to note is that fiber is typically not included in these amounts. Your body processes this category of carbohydrates differently.

Is orange juice keto-friendly?

As mentioned above, orange juice contains around 10.4 grams of carbohydrates including 0.2 grams of fiber (2). This results in 10.2 grams of net carbs per 100 grams.

Especially if you consider how easy it is to drink 100 grams of orange juice, it should become clear that this juice is not keto-friendly.

How to avoid eating too many oranges on keto

From the keto guidelines and carbohydrate amounts above it becomes clear that you will likely have to control your orange consumption on this diet.

Just preparing a big bowl of oranges and hoping that you don’t eat too much will likely not help with this. Some of the following tips can help you approach this fruit in a more keto-friendly way:

  • Estimate in advance how many oranges you can and want to eat.
  • Prepare this amount, put it somewhere separately, and move the other oranges out of sight
  • Don’t mindlessly snack on big amounts of oranges while doing other activities
  • If you crave oranges too much it can be helpful to not buy them (in big amounts)

If you get kicked out of ketosis while eating oranges on a ketogenic diet, you may need to make your portions of this fruit even smaller.

Substitutes for oranges on keto

Luckily, oranges are not the only food option if you want to eat something sweeter. Oranges are not the worst when it comes to low-carb fruits but there are definitely alternatives that are better in this area.

Some of the fruits below may suit your taste too while being lower in carbs. The values are the amounts of net carbs per 100 grams (4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9):

  • Blackberries: 4.9 grams of net carbs
  • Raspberries: 5.4 grams of net carbs
  • Strawberries: 5.7 grams of net carbs
  • Watermelon: 7.1 grams of net carbs
  • Cranberries: 7.6 grams of net carbs
  • Cantaloupe: 7.9 grams of net carbs

While these substitutes are lower in carbs than oranges, it should be clear that you may need to implement some portion control with these too.

Why do you follow a keto diet?

In combination with certain diets, it is possible that even a few pieces of oranges cause you to get out of ketosis.

Whether or not this is a big problem depends on your goals with the ketogenic diet.

Some people need/want to stay in strict ketosis every hour of the day. These individuals need to be careful about their carb intake and potentially want to stay away from oranges.

On the flip side, oranges can still be good for weight loss and decent for general health even if they kick you out of ketosis.

Staying in ketosis is not the only way to lose weight and it currently looks like other ways of eating can be good for longevity and health too.

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FAQ

Are oranges low-carb?

100 grams of raw oranges contain around 11.7 grams of carbohydrates. While there are worse foods, it is fair to say that oranges are not low-carb.

Can you have halo oranges on keto?

Raw halo oranges aka clementines contain around 11.5 grams of net carbs. That means you could have small amounts of halo oranges on keto but you generally want to avoid them.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.