Including oranges in your diet can potentially help you lose weight, but it's incorrect to think that eating this citrus fruit automatically causes your fat to begin melting off your body. Eating oranges doesn't directly burn fat because oranges contain calories. However, oranges have a relatively low number of calories, making them a healthy choice when weight loss is your goal.
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Calories and Fat Burning
To burn fat, your calorie expenditure must exceed your intake. When you eat an orange, it increases your daily caloric intake, albeit not hugely. A 5-ounce navel orange has 69 calories. The relatively low number of calories in an orange, however, make it a better choice than many other types of food if you wish to burn fat.
Fiber Helps Weight Control
A significant weight-loss benefit of oranges is the fruit's dietary fiber content. A 5-ounce navel orange contains 3.1 grams of total dietary fiber. Among a long list of health benefits, including improved digestive health and lower cholesterol, fiber helps fill you up. If you choose to eat an orange before a meal, the fiber content of the fruit might fill you enough that you eat a smaller meal, or you can eat an orange after your meal instead of higher-calorie dessert.
Low-Calorie Snack Choice
A single orange is lower in calories than a variety of other potential snacks. A 1-ounce serving of plain, salted potato chips, for example, contains 154 calories, which is more than double the calories in an orange. Chips are also low in fiber, which means you might not feel as full after eating them.
Oranges in Your Diet
No specific number of oranges in your diet automatically causes you to lose weight, but ensuring your diet is loaded with fruits such as oranges and vegetables is a healthy choice. Instead of suggesting a specific number of daily servings of fruits and vegetables, ChooseMyPlate.gov recommends covering half your plate with fruits and vegetables at mealtime. Opt for fresh oranges over orange juice to get the fiber benefits of the fruit.
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Oranges, Raw, Navels
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Balancing Calories
- American Council on Exercise: Do Negative Calorie Foods Really Exist?
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Snacks, Potato Chips, Plain, Salted
- ChooseMyPlate.gov: What Foods Are in the Fruit Group?