Orange diets are popular fad diets. There are several different types of orange diets, and while some are based on sound principles, others raise some concerns about their safety and effectiveness. With a little information, you can make the best choice for yourself and your goals. As always, before starting any weight-loss program, speak to a licensed health care professional.
Orange diets come in several forms. One version, the orange juice diet, recommends drinking 1-1/2 liters of orange juice daily. Another popular diet recommends eating fruits, such as oranges, before meals. Yet another diet recommends oranges as part of cleansing diets, which supposedly work by purging the body of toxins, while still other diets go so far as to recommend eating nothing but oranges, a form of fasting, for a period of time.
Some of the more severe orange diets present certain dangers. Long-term fasting robs your body of important nutrients and can cause your muscles to break down, according to registered dietitian Lona Sandon, as quoted by MSNBC. Cleansing diets, whether they include oranges are not, are based on flawed science. A normal person's body is perfectly capable of removing toxins on its own, reports Dr. Nasir Moloo, a gastroenterologist with Capitol Gastroenterology Consultants Medical Group in California, also quoted by MSNBC.
Though the more extreme forms of orange diets pose some safety concerns, milder forms, such as those that encourage you to eat an orange before your normal meal, are based on sound principles. Whole oranges are good sources of fiber, and fiber and they help you feel full on fewer calories. Also, eating low-calorie foods, such as fruits, before meals provides an extra course and helps you keep your intake under control, according to Barbara Rolls, a professor of nutritional sciences at Pennsylvania State University, quoted by USA Today.
Oranges are not miracle diet foods. One cup of oranges contain 81 calories, and 1 cup of orange juice contains 112 calories, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. Even though oranges are healthy foods, you can gain weight by eating too much fruit a day. Stick to the USDA recommendation of 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit each day.
Though oranges are healthful foods, they can cause problems for those with certain digestive conditions. Those who suffer from frequent heartburn or acid reflux disease can react poorly to acidic foods, reports the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, a service of the National Institute of Health.