Cranberries have the lowest amount of sugar as compared to other berries and fruits! They have only 4.3 grams of sugar per 100g. Even cranberry juice and dried cranberries have a medium glycemic index!
Too much sugar is bad for health
Sugar consumption has dramatically increased in last decades. It’s everywhere. Most processed and packaged foods contain some type of sugar. Excessive sugar intake has been linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory diseases, and cardiovascular disease.
Furthermore, excess sugar consumption may lead to fat accumulation in the liver, decreased insulin sensitivity, and increased uric acid and cholesterol levels.
How much sugar can we eat a day?
It’s highly recommended to consume only 5% of total calories from sugar. Therefore, we shouldn’t consume more than 25 grams of added sugar a day.[2,3]
If you want to cut down sugar, you should avoid sodas, sweets, and processed products. But, cutting down sugar is difficult. Sugar interferes with the reward system of the brain, affecting eating behavior. In other words, sugar causes overeating.
Additionally, too much sugar causes weight gain because it prevents leptin production. This hormone helps regulate energy balance by inhibiting hunger.
Cranberries are low in sugar
Raw cranberries are among the fruits with the lowest sugar content. Raw cranberries contain only 4.3 grams of sugar per 100g. A whole cup of chopped raw cranberries contains only 4.7 grams of sugar.
Hence, fresh cranberries have a pretty low glycemic index. It’s lower than 45. After all, they’re high in fiber, vitamins, polyphenols, and water! These compounds control postprandial glucose response, and prevent blood sugar spikes.
However, only raw cranberries are low in sugar. Other favorite cranberry products are considered sugar-rich foods. They contain too much added sugar.
For instance, dried cranberries contain 73 grams of sugar per 100g! Just a handful of dried cranberries contains 29 grams of sugar.
Even so, dried cranberries have a medium glycemic index of 62. Small doses of dried cranberries, as part of a well-balanced diet, won’t spike blood sugar levels.
How much sugar in cranberry juice?
Cranberry juice contains moderate amounts of sugar. It contains 11 grams of sugar per 100g. Moreover, a cup of cranberry juice contains about 27 grams of sugar.
Actually, almost all calories of cranberry juice come from sugars.
Cranberry juice is good for hydration. Besides high-quality water, it also provides precious electrolytes.
The best time of the day to drink a small amount of cranberry juice is at dinner. Cranberry juice may help you sleep better at night, as it’s one of the richest foods in melatonin, known as “the sleep hormone”. But, you better drink only a small dose of cranberry juice at dinner. Too much sugar before bed may affect sleep quality.
You can buy organic cranberry juices and dried cranberries on iHerb.
What’s the sugar content of other cranberry products?
Other cranberry products are packed with sugar. For instance, cranberry sauce contains 32 grams of sugar per 100g. All cranberry sweets, such as cranberry muffins and pies, are high in sugar as well. The sugar content depends on the recipe.
Cranberries have less sugar than other berries!
Actually, raw cranberries have the least amount of sugar as compared to other favorite berries. Just a handful of raw cranberries contain only 1.1 grams of sugar!
All berries are considered low-sugar fruits, though. Other favorite fruits have much higher amounts of sugar.
Can people with diabetes eat cranberries?
All raw and unsweetened frozen berries are suitable for people with diabetes. As they’re low in sugar, but high in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, they don’t spike blood sugar levels. They’re great for satisfying your sweet tooth.[5,6,7]
Hence, people with diabetes can eat reasonable amounts of cranberries, blueberries, strawberries etc.
It’s recommended to eat up to 1 cup of raw or unsweetened frozen cranberries a day, as part of a well-balanced, healthy diet. In fact, cranberry consumption may lower postprandial glycemic response.
Also, people with diabetes could probably drink a small amount of cranberry juice per day. Cranberry juice has a medium glycemic index of 56. Thus, small amounts don’t spike blood sugar.
Furthermore, cranberry juice is pretty rich in antioxidants like vitamin C. Thus, it seems to have a beneficial effect on glucose control in people with diabetes. Further research is needed, though.[9,10]
On the other hand, people with diabetes should avoid dried cranberries or any other cranberry product with added sugar, such as cranberry syrups, sauces, jams, pies or muffins.
Certainly, people with diabetes should consult their physician before changing their diet.