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What orange juice is lowest in sugar?

Orange juice is a popular breakfast drink that many people enjoy for its delicious citrusy flavor and dose of vitamin C. However, not all orange juices are created equal when it comes to sugar content. With rising rates of obesity and diabetes, more consumers are paying attention to the amount of added sugars in their diets. For those looking to cut back on sugar, choosing an orange juice low in sugar is one easy way to do so.

Sugar Content in Popular Orange Juice Brands

To determine which orange juices are lowest in sugar, we’ll look at the sugar content per serving for some of the top-selling national brands.

Orange Juice Brand Sugar per Serving
Tropicana Pure Premium 21g
Simply Orange 22g
Florida’s Natural 20g
Minute Maid 21g
Clementine Sunrise by Minute Maid 12g

As the table shows, most major orange juice brands contain between 20-22 grams of sugar per 8 ounce serving. However, Minute Maid’s Clementine Sunrise stands out with just 12 grams of sugar per serving, making it one of the lowest sugar options among top brands.

Why Clementine Sunrise is Lower in Sugar

What makes Clementine Sunrise different than regular orange juice? It contains a blend of juices – including clementine, orange, peach, and pineapple. The clementine juice (which is sweeter than regular oranges) allows for less added sugar. Additionally, Clementine Sunrise is made from fruit juice concentrate, while some other brands use a blend of concentrate and fresh-squeezed juice. The concentrate process removes some natural sugars, lowering the total sugar amount compared to fresh-squeezed juice.

Other Low Sugar Orange Juice Options

In addition to Minute Maid’s Clementine Sunrise, there are other low sugar orange juice options on the market. Here are a few more brands and products to consider:

Orange Juice Product Sugar per Serving
365 Everyday Value Organic Orange Juice 9g
Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company Orange Juice 9g
Trader Joe’s Low Acid Orange Juice 12g
Coca-Cola Simply Orange With Mango 13g

Generic and small batch brands like 365 Everyday Value and Natalie’s Orchid Island contain only 9 grams of sugar per serving. Trader Joe’s and Simply Orange Mango also have moderately low sugar contents at 12-13 grams. Checking your grocery store’s own brand of orange juice can uncover other low sugar varieties as well.

Comparing Sugar to Other Caloric Sweeteners

Why does sugar content matter when it comes to orange juice? Sugar provides empty calories without beneficial nutrients. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day for women and 36 grams for men. Just one serving of many regular orange juice brands already exceeds a quarter or third of this daily amount.

To put the sugar content of orange juice into context, here’s how it compares to other popular caloric sweeteners:

Sweetener Sugar per Serving
Orange juice (12 oz) 20-22g
Cola (12 oz) 39g
Gatorade (12 oz) 21g
Granola bar (1 bar) 12-15g
Yogurt (6 oz) 24-30g

Orange juice has a similar amount of sugar as other sweetened beverages like soda and sports drinks. And a single serving may contain as much sugar as a candy bar or sweet snack. Choosing low sugar varieties of orange juice can help limit excess sugar intake compared to other high-sugar products.

Potential Health Benefits of Orange Juice

Despite the high sugar content of many commercial orange juices, 100% orange juice does provide some key nutrients. These include:

  • Vitamin C – One 8 oz serving of orange juice has over 100% of your daily vitamin C needs. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and supports immune function.
  • Potassium – Each serving also contains around 450 mg potassium. This mineral is important for heart health and muscle function.
  • Folate – Orange juice provides 15% of the RDI for folate per serving. Folate is especially critical for pregnant women to support healthy fetal development.
  • Hesperidin – This antioxidant is found naturally in citrus fruits and may help lower inflammation and blood pressure.

So while limiting sugar intake is important, orange juice in moderation can provide vitamin C, potassium, and other nutrients as part of a balanced diet.

Tips for Choosing a Low Sugar Orange Juice

Here are some tips when shopping for an orange juice low in sugar:

  • Read nutrition labels – Compare sugar content per serving between different brands and types of orange juice.
  • Look for “light” or “reduced sugar” – These varieties often have less sugar, but check labels for specifics.
  • Choose calcium-fortified orange juice – The added calcium binds to some natural sugars, decreasing the amount your body absorbs.
  • Opt for fresh-squeezed – Not from concentrate orange juice tends to be lower in sugar than concentrated juices.
  • Try diluting with water – Cutting orange juice with water reduces the sugar concentration.

Being an educated shopper and taking the time to read nutrition facts makes it easier to find low sugar orange juice options while still enjoying the refreshing flavor.

Making Your Own Low Sugar Orange Juice

For full control over sugar content, you can also make fresh squeezed orange juice at home. Here is a simple recipe to try:

Ingredients

  • 10 oranges
  • 1 grapefruit (optional for tartness)
  • 1 lemon (optional for tartness)
  • Ice cubes
  • Water

Instructions

  1. Wash oranges, grapefruit, and lemon thoroughly. Cut in half.
  2. Squeeze juice from fruit into a large measuring cup or pitcher. You should have around 3 cups juice.
  3. Add 3 cups cold water and stir to mix. This dilutes the juice for less sugar per serving.
  4. Pour juice mixture over ice and enjoy! Add more water to taste if desired.

Making your own fresh orange juice allows you to control the amount of sugar by diluting to taste with water. Adding lemon or grapefruit provides nice flavor complexity while cutting down the sugar concentration compared to orange juice alone.

Conclusion

When it comes to orange juice, not all brands and types are equal in sugar content. For the lowest sugar options, look for Clementine Sunrise by Minute Maid, which contains only 12 grams of sugar per serving. Other good low sugar choices include 365 Everyday Value Orange Juice, Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice, and Trader Joe’s Low Acid variety. Or dilute regular orange juice with water to reduce sugar content. While limiting excess sugar is important, drinking orange juice in moderation can still provide beneficial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants as part of a healthy diet.