This week I received the following question from

I am worried because I was just diagnosed with diabetes.  I drink freshly squeezed orange juice three times a week.  Does orange juice contain too much sugar and is it advisable for a diabetic to drink juice?

Juice, especially orange juice, can raise your blood sugar.  It contains about 21 grams of sugar and 26 grams of carbohydrate per 8 oz., or 1 cup.  Because of orange juice’s carbohydrate content, it is often recommended to drink during hypoglycemic episodes, to bring your blood sugar back up to normal ranges.

Does this mean you can’t have any ever? Not necessarily. A serving size of orange juice is 4 oz, or 1/2 a cup. This equals 15 grams, and can be budgeted in your daily carbohydrate allowance.  In my opinion, however, this isn’t very much to drink. I often recommend having a serving of the fruit instead. You can have an entire medium orange instead for the same amount of carbohydrates, half the calories, and almost half the sugar. It is also tends to be more satisfying and has about 3 grams of fiber, which you do not get from the juice.

So if you love fresh squeezed orange juice and don’t want to give it up, you don’t have to. Just be conscious of the serving size, and count it as a carbohydrate with the rest of your breakfast.  Try to alternate it with fresh fruit to get in that fiber, very important for diabetes and for preventing heart disease.


    4 oz. cup vs. 1 medium orange!