The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly the carbohydrates found in food provides the body with energy. Some foods release their energy quickly and are found on the high end of the glycemic index scale. Others release their energy slowly, over a longer period, and are found towards the lower end of the scale.
How the Glycemic Index Works
According to the Glycemic Index Database, foods with a GI value of 55 or less are classed as having a low GI. Low-GI foods release carbohydrate into the body at a steady rate and can help keep your blood sugar levels stable. Foods that fall between 56 and 69 on the scale are classed as medium GI and those over 70 are classed as high GI. High-GI foods release carbohydrate into the body very quickly and can result in disturbed blood sugar levels. Eat low-GI foods; too many high ones put you at risk of developing health problems.
GI of Oranges
According to the database, an orange has a glycemic index rating of 40. This puts it into the slow-release or low-GI category. You should be aware that different varieties of orange have slightly different GIs; however they all still fall within the low-GI group.
Orange juice has a GI value of 46 and is classed as having a low GI. Choose freshly squeezed orange juice over branded, unsweetened orange juices, because these have slightly higher GI values. Canned orange segments also fall within the low GI category. According to the database, canned orange and grapefruit segments in juice has a GI value of 53.
Oranges are easy to fit into your diet and eating just one will provide you with nearly your daily value of vitamin C. Avoid sticky fingers and take ready-peeled orange segments to work for a refreshing mid-afternoon snack or keep a jug of freshly squeezed orange juice in the refrigerator. Try spreading marmalade on your whole-grain toast in the morning.
Cooking with Oranges
Try to include oranges in your home cooking as much as possible. Try savory dishes such as carrot and orange soup, orange braised chicken breasts, citrus and cheese salads, beef with orange, beetroot and orange salad, roast goose with orange and cranberry, and orange rice. Oranges work well in sweet dishes, too. Try barbecuing or baking them, add them to crumbles and flans or make cakes, cookies and scones using the juice and zest.