Orange Juice vs. Sunny D: What’s the Health Difference?

Orange Juice vs Sunny-D

Orange Juice vs. Sunny D: What’s the Health Difference?

Orange Juice vs. Sunny D: What's the difference? While you may think both are orange juice, Sunny D is not technically orange juice. It's a mixture of water, syrup, and high fructose corn syrup. There are also other unique differences that you should know about orange juice.

Sunny D originally came out in 1963, while orange juice dates back to the 17th century. There are also countless flavors of Sunny D and different pulp levels and brands of orange juice. While they are made different, they are also wildly different regarding health. For starters, Sunny D is banned in the United Kingdom because of its poor nutritional value.

Looking more at the nutritional value of separating orange juice and Sunny D can give you insight into which is healthier and which you should drink. More importantly, you'll better understand why these juices have become popular. This guide explores the history and the health differences between these juices.

Orange Juice vs. Sunny D: Uncovering the Key Differences

Orange Juice vs Sunny-D

When Sunny Delight came out in 1963, it was originally considered another kind of orange juice. Doric Foods was the original brand with Sunny Delight until Sundor Brands bought the company in 1983. In the early 2000s, Sunny Delight shortened its name to SunnyD. Although Sunny D has existed for years as an orange juice, it doesn't compare to the original orange juice found in grocery stores.

Looking more at the history of orange juice and Sunny D can give you more insight into their origins.

The History of Extra Orange Juice vs. Sunny D:

Although orange juice dates back to the 17th century, it wasn't popularized in the United States until the 1900s. One of the orange producers in California, California Fruit Growers Exchange, was trying to get people to eat more oranges, so they hired Albert Lasker to help them do that. One of the first things he did was rename the company Sunkist and start a company called “Drink an Orange.”

That campaign skyrocketed sales in the United States. Orange consumption in the early 1900s reached an all-time high. Eventually, canned orange juice became popular to replace hand-squeezing an orange. Then, there was frozen canned orange juice to preserve it for special occasions.

Sunny D's origin started in 1963. It continues to grow in popularity over the years. In 1998, Sunny D was the third best-selling drink behind Pepsi and Coca-Cola. However, Sunny D also has a famous story behind it. In 1999, a four-year-old girl turned a yellow-orange color after drinking 1.5 liters of Sunny Day daily. Since then, the popularity of Sunny D has slowly diminished.

The Unique Health Differences

Orange juice and Sunny D are wildly different in nutrition and slightly different in flavor.

When it comes to flavor, orange juice is made from the concentrate of oranges. If you make orange juice at home, you can cut the oranges in half and squeeze the juice into a cup. Making the orange juice found in grocery stores is a bit more complicated. Brands like Tropicana make orange juice through pasteurization or flash pasteurization, which exposes the juice to extreme heat. The oranges from Tropicana are sourced from Florida and are always 100% freshly squeezed.

One of the best benefits of orange juice is that it contains antioxidants and Vitamin C, folate, and potassium. As a result, this is how your body benefits from orange juice:

  • Improved cardiovascular function
  • Decreased inflammation
  • Improved heart health
  • Reduced risk of kidney stones

In contrast, Sunny D isn't healthy at all for you. 98% of it is made from water and corn syrup. While you may think you're tasting the flavor of oranges, it's citric acid and fruit flavor coloring that makes it appear like orange juice. The only nutrition you get from Sunny D is Vitamin C, which helps improve your overall skin health. However, the high sugar content does not make this the most nutritional “orange juice.”

What's the Healthier Choice?

Orange Juice vs Sunny-D Nutritional Facts


Infographic comparing orange juice and Sunny D.
Orange juice is fairly easy to make at home.
  • Orange juice has been around for a lot longer than Sunny D, dating back to the 17th century. However, it didn't become popular until the 1900s.
  • Sunny D is mostly water and corn syrup, with artificial flavor to make it taste like orange juice. This makes it less healthy than orange juice.
  • Although orange juice is higher in calories than Sunny D, those looking to live a health-conscious life should still stick with orange juice.

There's no question that orange juice and Sunny D are both delicious. However, knowing the history and nutritional benefits may make you reconsider the benefits of either one. While orange juice is packed with nutrition that improves your overall health, Sunny D lacks the nutrition you need to improve your health. It may offer Vitamin C, but the amount of sugar in this drink might make you question if the Vitamin C is worth it.

Overall, orange juice is the better and healthier drink. It comes squeezed from oranges. Next time you're wondering what to choose at the grocery store, you should go with orange juice.

Looking for a recipe that uses orange juice? This pork recipe is for you:

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Orange Cinnamon Boneless Pork

  • Author: Moms Who Think



6 Tablespoons butter
4 boneless pork chops, about 2 pounds
1 cup pineapple juice
2 cups orange juice
1 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons flour


1. Heat butter in large skillet, and brown pork.

2. Remove pork cutlets to slow cooker after they brown.

3. Combine juices, raisins, salt, pepper, and cinnamon. Mix well.

4. Pour mixture over pork.

5.  Cover pot, turn on low and cook 4−6 hours, or until pork is tender.

6. Remove 1 cup of sauce from the pot and combine with the flour, mixing well.

7. Return sauce−flour mixture to pot. Turn pot on high and cook additional half hour.

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