United States: Toranmtonto Metropolitan University made an investigation on the impact of intake of 100 percent orange juice versus sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB), or orange drink by adults. 

The research received funding from the Florida Department of Citrus. It was published in the journal Nutrients. 

More about the study 

Thirty-six “normal weight” adults were instructed to drink either an orange drink, a single-ingredient 100 percent orange juice, or water before eating their meals. 

Such an amount of food and energy was consumed by study subjects who drank 100 percent pure orange juice, which was less than in those who drank orange drinks. 

No major difference in mean appetite was noticed between the beverages. However, blood glucose levels were lower in people after drinking 100 percent orange juice. 

What do the study findings state? 

The study stated, “Rest-of-day blood glucose concentrations were lower after 100% orange juice compared with the orange drink and water control,” as Fox News reported. 

Further stated, “In conclusion, consumption of 100% orange juice as a preload resulted in higher caloric compensation, lower total daily EI [energy intake], and lower blood glucose concentrations compared to the orange drink.” 

Nick Bellissimo, the study co-author and an associate professor of nutritional physiology at Toronto Metropolitan University, reacted to the findings of the study. 

He said, there a “number of dietary guidelines” recommend reducing sugar intake from “all sources,” and the findings have suggested 100 percent of orange juice could be beneficial. 

He further explained, “Orange juice is similar to a sugar-sweetened beverage in that it contains free sugars, but it also contains sucrose (fructose and glucose bound together) while also containing vitamin C and flavonoids.” 

“Thus, you are not seeing the same spike in blood glucose as you see with the SSB,” Bellissimo said. 

Orange juice compensated the next meal - Study 

As Bellissimo stated, “Interestingly, the energy in the orange juice was compensated for at the next meal – i.e., participants decreased their food intake at lunch by an amount similar to the energy in the orange juice – whereas participants ate more calories at lunch after consuming the SSB.” 

The experts also confirmed that such an effect on energy intake and glycemic response “persisted for the rest of the day.” 

Bellissimo stated, “And participants consuming the orange juice actually consumed fewer calories, primarily by decreasing their carbohydrate intake,” and, “A little bit of orange seems to go a long way.” 

Ilana Muhlstein, a registered dietitian and nutritionist in Los Angeles who was not involved in the study, reacted and stated, “The most important finding of the entire study is that the blood glucose concentrations were lower after 100% orange juice compared with an orange drink of the same calories, which shows that the body can recognize a difference between natural sugars and added sugars,” as Fox News reported. 

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