What's healthier? Oranges or orange juice?


Anthea Simms

Q: If I have to choose between drinking a glass of orange juice, or eating an orange, what’s healthier?
A: “There is room for both in your diet,” says Toronto-based registered dietitian Lydia Knorr. Both offer antioxidants, including beta-carotene, carotonoids and phytonutrients (which is why OJ and oranges are great at boosting your immunity).

In terms of individual benefits of each, in a fresh orange, “there is more fibre from the membrane and pith,” says Knorr. On the other hand, for an 8-oz glass of orange juice, two to three oranges are used to make that quantity of juice, which means it contains that many more nutrients (such as folate, vitamin C and potassium). Plus, if your beverage is fortified, then you’re also getting calcium.

If you’re counting calories, though, a fresh orange is the way to go—it has approximately half the calories of a glass of juice. And in terms of glycemic index, “between fruit and juice the GI is marginally different, so that is not a point worth making if you are looking to compare the two,” adds Knorr.