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Are Oranges Keto?

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  Published on November 2nd, 2023
  Reading time: 3 minutes
  Last modified October 30th, 2023
Oranges don't fit well into keto macros

With a delicious, juicy, unique flavor and a bright orange color throughout, it’s easy to see how oranges have become one of the most popular fruits for consumption year-round. Think orange-flavored chocolate, desserts, fruit salads, marmalades, marinades, and beyond! Oranges are native to China, and when they were first imported to countries like England, people treasured them so much that they were often placed as gifts in children’s Christmas stockings. By the 17th century, people in colder countries like England began to grow these tropical fruits in orangeries to protect them from the colder weather. [1]

However, because they are sweet, keto dieters might hesitate before grabbing an orange for a snack and wonder: are oranges keto? 

The Nutrition Profile of Oranges

Oranges don’t just provide a memorable flavor burst; they also contain nutrients like potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. One raw navel orange provides 232 mg of potassium, which is a powerful mineral known to protect against stroke, osteoporosis, and more. The same tasty raw navel orange also provides 32 mg of phosphorus, 60 mg of calcium, and over 82 mg of vitamin C. Vitamin C is among the most protective immune-boosting vitamins. [2]

Are Oranges Keto?

Unfortunately, the short answer is no; oranges aren’t considered a keto-friendly food because the carb count is too high. One navel orange (140 grams) has over 13 grams of net carbs. One cup of oranges provides over 16 grams of net carbs, which is way too high for keto dieters in one sitting. [3] This much sugar is likely to push you out of ketosis. For some people, 16 grams of net carbs is close to their total net carb allowance for the entire day.

Mandarin oranges are smaller in size, but they still aren’t keto-approved because one medium mandarin orange (88 grams) has around 10 grams of net carbs. That’s a lot of carbs for just one orange. [4] 

Mandarin oranges on keto

However, depending on your carb limit and how keto-adapted your body is, you may be able to fit some orange slices into your macros. If you do, consume this fruit sparingly to avoid derailing your progress on keto.

Is Orange Juice Keto?

Orange juice is also a no-go on the keto diet. Fiber slows down a rise in blood sugar. When you juice a higher-sugar fruit, you lose much of the fiber but retain all the sugar, resulting in a higher blood sugar spike. Just one single juice box of orange juice (6.75 fl oz) has a surprising 23 grams of net carbs. Drinking this many carbs in one sitting will leave ketosis in the past. [5]

Orange Substitutes and Orange-Flavored Recipes

While you may not be eating oranges on keto, you can use substitutes in a keto recipe to keep it low carb while still offering the same orangey, citrusy flavor. With the right ingredients and a keto sweetener, you may not even realize you’re not eating a recipe made with whole oranges.

Try the following keto-friendly orange substitutes:

  • orange zest
  • dried orange peel
  • orange extract
  • citric acid
  • other sweet-tasting keto-friendly fruits like blueberries and raspberries

Treat yourself to an orange-inspired keto recipe from Ketogenic.com:

Steph Green is a content writer specializing in and passionate about healthcare, wellness, and nutrition. Steph has worked with marketing agencies, written medical books for doctors like ‘Untangling the Web of Dysfunction,’ and her poetry book ‘Words that Might Mean Something.’ In 2016, after four years of struggling with her own health problems and painful autoimmune disease, Steph developed a life-changing and extensive knowledge of keto, nutrition, and natural medicine. She continues on her healing journey and enjoys helping others along the way.



Local Histories. Tim’s History of British Towns. A History of Fruits. A History of Fruits - Local Histories


United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Database. Oranges, Raw, Navel. FoodData Central (usda.gov)


United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Database. Orange, Raw. FoodData Central (usda.gov)


United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Database. Tangerines, (Mandarin Oranges), Raw. FoodData Central (usda.gov)


United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Database. Orange Juice 100%, NFS. FoodData Central (usda.gov)

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