Tangelo Nutrition Facts

Calories, Carbs, and Health Benefits of Tangelos

The tangelo looks like a small orange, but it’s a citrus hybrid, a cross between an orange and pomelo or grapefruit. Various fruits from the Citrus reticulata and Citrus maxima families are typically used to produce tangelos. These mixed citrus fruits are also known as honeybells.

Tangelos date back to 1911. This fruit is often mistaken for being genetically modified, but it's the product of natural hybridization. Like other citrus fruits, tangelos have a tart and tangy flavor. Minneola is the most common type of tangelos, and they are an excellent source of many nutrients.

Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for one medium-sized tangelo.

  • Calories: 70
  • Fat: 1g
  • Sodium: 0mg
  • Carbohydrates: 13g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugars: 11g
  • Protein: 1g

Carbs in Tangelos

One medium-sized tangelo contains approximately 70 calories and 13 grams of carbohydrates. This breaks down further into 2 grams coming from fiber and 11 grams coming from the natural sugars in tangelos.

With the vast majority of the calories in tangelos coming from carbs, it may be daunting to incorporate them into a low-carb diet. However, the carbs in tangelos are not the carbs you should avoid.

Fruits like tangelos contain a mix of simple carbs and complex carbs. Tangelos have a glycemic index of 42 and a glycemic load of 5.5. They’re considered low glycemic foods, which are believed to be good for regulating blood sugar levels.

Fats in Tangelos

Tangelos only have 1 gram of fat per serving. Fruit tends to be very low in fat with no saturated or trans fat, and tangelos fit right in with the other most fruits. If you follow a low-fat diet, tangelos may make an excellent addition to your food list.

Protein in Tangelos

Tangelos are not a significant source of protein. With just 1 gram of protein per tangelo, you will need to get protein from other sources. Pair tangelos with other protein sources like nuts, seeds, oats, and quinoa.

Micronutrients in Tangelos

Tangelos stand out as an excellent source of certain vitamins and minerals. Like both of its parents—oranges and grapefruits—the tangelo is a potent source of vitamin C. Depending on the size of your tangelo, you can get more than 100% of your daily vitamin C requirements from one tangelo. You can also expect to get around 5% of your daily vitamin A and calcium.

Health Benefits

The health benefits of tangelos are mainly attributed to their nutritional content. The vitamin C in tangelos is a known antioxidant, which has been linked to a reduced risk of several chronic diseases. Antioxidants like vitamin C fight oxidative stress, which is caused by free radical molecules that damage cells. This damage has been linked to certain cancers.

In addition, research indicates that higher vitamin C levels, assessed by measuring circulating vitamin C, is associated with lower risks of hypertension, coronary heart disease, and stroke.

According to a 2006 study published in the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, tangelos also contain flavanones. Flavanones are a type of flavonoids, which are phytonutrients with proven health benefits. The flavanones in citrus fruits, such as tangelos, have been associated with reducing the risk of stroke, heart disease, and certain cancer. Flavonoids also act as antioxidants to reduce free radical damage.

Common Questions

Do tangelos have seeds?

Unlike oranges, most tangelos do not have seeds. However, there are several types of tangelos, and some may have a small number of seeds. Minneola tangelos, which are the most common, are mainly seedless.

What do tangelos taste like?

Tangelos have the sweet, tangy flavor of oranges mixed with the tartness of grapefruit. Tangelos look and taste closer to orange citrus fruits rather than pomelos or grapefruits, however.

Can you eat tangelos if you have high blood pressure?

Grapefruits can affect some statin medications for high blood pressure. Since tangelo is a cross between an orange and grapefruit, people who take high blood pressure medication should avoid tangelos.

Recipes and Preparation Tips

Tangelos are most nutritious and delicious when consumed raw. Add them to fruit salad or eat them on their own. Luckily, tangelos are easier to peel than oranges and grapefruits, so they make for a quick and tasty snack.

You can use tangelos in recipes that call for other citrus fruits. Instead of oranges or grapefruits, swap in tangelos in these recipes:

Allergies and Interactions

There have been some documented cases of severe citrus allergy. Since tangelos are in the citrus family, people allergic to citrus fruits should avoid tangelos.

Tangelos may also interact with statin drug medications for high blood pressure. Consult with your doctor if you’re concerned about tangelos reacting with any of your existing medications.

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