The Florida Department of Citrus saw their sales of orange juice decrease by 44 million gallons in 2004, and blames the decline on the popularity of low carb diets.
It wasn't that long ago that oranges were a symbol of wealth. Children would be thrilled to find oranges under their Christmas Tree, a sweet, nutritious delicacy. But in the more recent years, those craving sweets have turned to chocolate and candy. Those wanting their Vitamin C just drank it in liquid form, in orange juice.
However, the change from oranges to orange juice did not bring "all the goodness of oranges" into the juice form. As the Atkins and South Beach diet programs explain, while oranges do have fructose in relatively high levels (a plant sugar), they also have great fiber content and Vitamin C.
However, when that orange is squashed and the liquid extracted, most of the fiber is left behind. So in that sense, the juice is less healthy for you when compared to the original orange. And to be honest, oranges really don't have much fiber in them to start with.
This information has led many to trade their orange juice for the natural raw ingredient, the orange. Others have turned to vitamin pills for their Vitamin C and ignored the fructose-rich oranges all together. Recent studies have shown that Vitamin C taken in 500mg/day doses can help greatly with diseases such as Alzheimer's. An orange only gives you about 1/10th of that amount.
Brazil produces the most oranges in the world. Florida comes in second.
Raw Orange Stats (per 1 medium orange):
70mg Vitamin C
Orange Juice Stats (per 1 glass):
0g fiber (depending on style)
20mg Vitamin C (in box style)
If your choice is drinking soda or orange juice, I would definitely recommend going with orange juice. However, if your choice is to drink something HEALTHY, I would stay away from all fruit juices and go either with a vegetable juice or a flavored water. Fruit juice is notorious for having all the fruit sugars - but none of the fiber.
Carb Countdown Orange Pineapple Juice
Fruit Juice Carb Chart
Lisa Shea's Library of Low Carb Books