Drinking 100% Orange Juice Results in Lower Daily Blood Glucose Compared With Other Orange Beverages

A new study published by Nutrients reports that consuming 100% orange juice prior to a meal, when compared to sugar-sweetened, orange-flavored drinks, suppresses food intake at the next meal and results in lower daily blood glucose concentrations in healthy, normal-weight adults.1

The study, conducted at the School of Nutrition at Toronto Metropolitan University and funded by the Florida Department of Citrus, supports that 100% orange juice and sugar-sweetened beverages are not equivalent when looking at the impact on food intake and glycemic response, and they should not be grouped in the same category when making beverage decisions. Additional studies in this area will need to be conducted to further explore these results.

"Our findings emphasize the importance of considering the source of sugars when looking at overall health effects," said Dr. Nick Bellissimo, Associate Professor and Director of Nutrition Discovery Labs at Toronto Metropolitan University.

The randomized, repeated measure study included 36 male and female adults with body mass index at normal levels who consumed 1 cup of 100% orange juice, orange flavored sugar-sweetened beverage and water two hours following a breakfast consisting of cereal, 2% milk and a breakfast bar. Glycemic response, average appetite, and subjective emotions were measured every 15 minutes for 60 minutes in 34 participants. Rest-of-day glycemic response and energy intake were determined using a continuous glucose monitor and food record in 31 participants. Subjective sweetness and pleasantness were determined immediately after test beverage consumption. Glycemic response, average appetite, and subjective emotions were measured every 15 minutes for 60 minutes. Food intake was determined at a pizza lunch 60 minutes later.

Blood glucose was lower after 100% orange juice compared to the orange drink at 15, 30, and 45 minutes, but not after 60 minutes. Rest-of-day blood glucose concentrations were lower after 100% orange juice compared with orange drink and water. The findings also showed that food intake both at lunch and throughout the day were lower after consuming 100% orange juice compared with the orange drink. Participants also enjoyed 100% orange juice more with a higher subjective pleasantness measure compared to the orange drink and water.2

Substituting 100% orange juice for a sugar-sweetened beverage may decrease total caloric intake throughout the day and help mediate blood glucose levels. 100% orange juice includes flavonoids like hesperidin which may impact sugar absorption by delaying glucose transport resulting in a delayed glycemic response.3 100% orange juice intake has been associated with higher intake of flavonoids, lower added sugars and higher-quality diets. 4,5

The World Health Organization recommends reducing free sugars to less than 10% of daily energy intake, but it does not differentiate between the natural sugar, which is present in honey, syrup and fruit juice 2, or those which are any sugar added to a food or drink, leading to the need for deeper study of the different sources of sugars and their impacts on overall health. 100% juice contains natural sugars coupled with nutrients and flavonoids that are similar to whole fruit.

According to the U.S. 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans6, one 8-ounce glass of 100% orange juice counts as one cup of fruit in its recommendation of 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit consumption daily. Just one-in-ten Americans meet their daily fruit intake as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines, missing out on important nutrients. 7 100% orange juice contributes important and beneficial vitamins, minerals and bioactive plant compounds to your diet, and has no added sugar.

1. Roboyo et al. Effect of 100% orange juice and a volume-matched sugar-sweetened beverage on subjective appetite, food intake, and glycemic response in normal weight adults. Nutrients.2023, 16(2), 242, doi: 10.3390/nu16020242.
2. World Health Organization. Guideline: Sugars intake for adults and children. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2015, 1-65.
3. Florida Department of Citrus. Hesperidin. Accessed 12 Jan 2024.
4. Maillot et al. Consumption of 100% Orange Juice in Relation to Flavonoid Intakes and Diet Quality Among US Children and Adults: Analyses of NHANES 2013-16 Data. Front Nutr.2020, 7, 63, doi:10.3389/fnut.2020.00063.
5. O'Neil et al. 100% orange juice consumption is associated with better diet quality, improved nutrient adequacy, decreased risk for obesity, and improved biomarkers of health in adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2003-2006. Nutr J. 2012, 11, 107, doi:10.1186/1475-2891-11-107.
6. USDA/DHHS. 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
7. CDC. Disparities in State-Specific Adult Fruit and Vegetable Consumption. 2015.

— Source: Florida Department of Citrus