How many calories are in fresh squeezed lime juice?

Freshly squeezed lime juice is a low-calorie way to add bright, citrusy flavor to foods and beverages. But how many calories are actually in lime juice? Here’s a quick overview:

– One fluid ounce (30ml) of fresh lime juice contains approximately 8 calories.

– The calories come entirely from carbohydrates (natural sugars). There is minimal fat or protein.

– Lime juice is very low in calories compared to other juices. For example, orange juice contains around 110 calories per cup.

– The exact calorie count can vary slightly depending on the size and ripeness of the lime. But in general, lime juice is an extremely low-calorie ingredient.

Now let’s explore this topic in more detail.

Nutritional Profile of Lime Juice

Lime juice is extracted from limes, which are a type of small, green citrus fruit. Here is the nutritional profile per 1-ounce (30ml) serving of raw lime juice (1):

Nutrient Amount
Calories 8
Carbohydrates 2g
Sugars 1g
Dietary fiber 0g
Protein 0g
Fat 0g
Vitamin C 4mg
Calcium 1mg
Iron 0.1mg
Potassium 12mg

As you can see, lime juice is very low in calories, fat, protein, and fiber. The calories come almost entirely from carbohydrates in the form of natural sugars. Lime juice also provides small amounts of vitamin C, calcium, iron, and potassium.

Calories from Carbohydrates

The calories in lime juice come specifically from carbohydrates. There are 2 grams of total carbohydrates in 1 ounce of juice, which includes 1 gram of natural sugars (2).

Carbohydrates provide 4 calories per gram. So the 2 grams of carbs in lime juice, when multiplied by 4 calories per gram, equals 8 total calories.

This explains why such a small serving of lime juice contains 8 calories – those calories come exclusively from the naturally-occurring sugars (carbohydrates) found in limes.

Negligible Calories from Fat and Protein

Lime juice contains no measurable amounts of fat or protein.

Fat provides 9 calories per gram, while protein provides 4 calories per gram. But since lime juice contains no fat or protein, these macronutrients do not contribute any calories.

The 8 calories in lime juice come entirely from carbohydrates.

Calorie Count in Different Serving Sizes

Now that we know there are 8 calories per ounce of lime juice, we can easily calculate how many calories are in larger serving sizes:

– 2 ounces (60ml) lime juice = 16 calories

– 1 cup (8 ounces) lime juice = 64 calories

– 16 ounces (1 pint) lime juice = 128 calories

So a typical 1-cup serving of fresh lime juice contains about 64 calories. This is far fewer calories than you would get from drinking 1 cup of orange juice (112 calories) or apple juice (114 calories) (3).

Again, the exact calorie count can vary slightly depending on the specific limes used. But these figures give a good general idea of the very low calorie content of lime juice.

Calories in Bottled Lime Juice

What about commercially bottled lime juice? Here are the nutrition facts for some popular brands (4, 5):

Brand (Serving Size) Calories
RealLime 100% Lime Juice (1 tbsp/15ml) 5
Santa Cruz Organic Lime Juice (1 tbsp/15ml) 5
RealLime (1 fl oz/30ml) 8
ReaLime (1 cup) 64

As you can see, the calorie content of bottled lime juice is very similar to fresh-squeezed juice. Going by the bottle’s nutrition label is an easy way to understand how many calories you’re consuming.

Comparing Calories in Limes vs. Lime Juice

What about whole limes themselves? Here are some comparisons:

– 1 medium lime (2″ diameter) = 17 calories (6)
– 1 fluid ounce lime juice = 8 calories

So gram for gram, lime juice contains slightly fewer calories than whole limes. This is because juicing removes the fibers found in the pulp and peel.

But overall, limes and lime juice are both very low in calories and can be enjoyed freely on a weight loss diet.

Does Lime Juice Have Calories from Alcohol?

Lime juice does not naturally contain any alcohol or calories from alcohol. However, some mixed drinks are made with lime juice and distilled spirits.

For example, a margarita containing lime juice, triple sec, and tequila would also derive calories from the alcohol content.

Here are the approximate calories in one shot (1.5oz) of different distilled spirits (7):

– Vodka: 97 calories
– Gin: 97 calories
– Rum: 97 calories
– Tequila: 97 calories
– Whiskey: 105 calories

So if drinking a margarita, the lime juice itself provides minimal calories, but the tequila and triple sec add to the total calorie count.

That said, freshly squeezed lime juice on its own does not naturally contain meaningful calories from alcohol.

Non-Alcoholic Lime Juice Beverages

There are many refreshing low-calorie beverages you can make using lime juice:

– Add lime juice to sparkling water or seltzer. Try different combinations like lime-lemon or lime-cucumber.

– Make lime water by squeezing fresh lime juice into cold water. Can also add mint.

– Blend lime juice into smoothies along with fruit, yogurt, and ice.

– Mix lime juice with other citrus juices like orange and grapefruit.

– Use lime juice in place of vinegar when making dressings and marinades.

So you have lots of options for enjoying the tangy flavor of lime juice in non-alcoholic, low-calorie beverages.

Health Benefits of Lime Juice

Beyond being low in calories, lime juice offers several potential health benefits:

– **Vitamin C**: Lime juice contains vitamin C, an essential nutrient that acts as an antioxidant and supports immune function. Just 1 ounce of juice provides 4mg of vitamin C (8).

– **Antioxidants**: Lime juice contains plant compounds like flavonoids, limonoids, and coumarins that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (9).

– **Anti-cancer effects**: Research shows citrus flavonoids in lime juice may help inhibit the growth and spread of certain types of cancer cells (10).

– **Heart health**: Studies link flavonoid-rich citrus juice to improvements in blood pressure, blood lipids, and other heart disease risk factors (11).

– **Hydration**: Lime juice adds flavor to water, which can help you drink more fluids and stay hydrated. Proper hydration is vital for overall health.

So not only is lime juice very low in calories, but it also delivers important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and plant compounds that benefit your health.

Downsides of Lime Juice

Lime juice is highly acidic, with a pH around 2. This acid can erode tooth enamel over time, especially if you sip on citrus juice throughout the day (12).

Drinking large amounts of lime juice on an empty stomach may also cause gastrointestinal upset for some people.

Additionally, lime peel contains citrus limonoids that can interact with certain medications (13).

So enjoy lime juice in moderation, ideally with food, and avoid excessive consumption. Pregnant women may also want to be cautious.

How to Juice Fresh Limes

Here are some tips for juicing fresh limes at home:

– **Roll the lime** on the counter while pressing down firmly to soften it before juicing. This helps maximize the yield.

– **Use a citrus juicer** or reamer tool to squeeze out the juice. Citrus juicers have ridged domes designed to extract juice from lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits.

– **Avoid the bitter white pith** (the fibrous material directly under the skin) which can get squeezed out along with the juice. Try to just extract the liquid.

– **Strain the juice** through a fine mesh sieve to remove any pulp or seeds. This is optional but results in a smoother textured juice.

– **Juice limes when fresh and ripe**. They tend to produce the highest juice yield and best flavor. Discard any limes that feel dry or light.

– **Store leftover juice** in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. You can also freeze lime juice in ice cube trays for longer storage.

Lime Juice Recipes

Here are a few tasty ways to use fresh lime juice:

– **Key lime pie** – Made with fresh key lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, and a graham cracker crust.

– **Ceviche** – Raw fish or seafood marinated in citrus juices like lime, lemon, and orange.

– **Guacamole** – Mash avocado with lime juice, salt, onions, tomatoes, and cilantro for a classic dip.

– **Lime chicken tacos** – Marinate chicken in lime juice, cilantro, garlic, and chili powder then grill.

– **Lime vinaigrette** – Whisk together lime juice, olive oil, mustard, and herbs for an easy salad dressing.

Bottom Line

To summarize key points:

– One fluid ounce (30ml) of freshly squeezed lime juice contains about 8 calories.

– The calories come entirely from carbohydrates (natural sugars). Lime juice is very low in fat and protein.

– A typical 1-cup serving of lime juice has around 64 calories – far less than other juices.

– Whole limes contain slightly more calories per gram compared to lime juice alone.

– Pure lime juice does not naturally contain calories from alcohol, though mixed lime drinks can.

– Enjoy lime juice in smoothies, dressings, ceviche, guacamole, and many other recipes.

So lime juice is an extremely low-calorie ingredient that can provide vibrant flavor. When enjoying it in moderation, lime juice delivers health benefits with minimal impact on your daily calorie intake.

Leave a Comment