Choosing the right foods when trying to lose weight can be confusing. What about cranberries, are they good for weight loss or fattening?
Cranberries are a type of shrub berry and thus fruit. You can eat them raw on their own but most people consume them in other ways like as juice, dried, jam, or as cranberry sauce.
Like most fruits, many people will benefit in terms of weight loss by eating more whole cranberries. Find out just how good they are, how healthy the other ways to eat them are, and how they compare to other popular fruits for weight loss.
Micronutrients in cranberries
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in cranberries.
Micronutrients are a group of nutrients your body absolutely needs to survive and thrive. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. These are involved in basically every aspect of your health, including weight loss.
100 grams of cranberries provides you with approximately (1):
- Vitamin C: 22% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Manganese: 18% of the DV
- Vitamin E: 6% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 6% of the DV
And a few other vitamins and minerals in less significant amounts. These are not very large amounts of vitamins and minerals compared to many whole foods.
Cranberries do contain certain kinds of antioxidants, substances that help your body deal with oxidative damage. It is not entirely clear if and to what extent antioxidants help weight loss.
Fiber in cranberries for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
Cranberries contain around 4.6 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
That’s a very good amount of fiber per 100 grams compared to many whole foods.
Fiber has multiple benefits for weight loss. First of all, it feeds your microbiome, the microbes that live in your intestines. The health of your microbiome influences your body’s health and weight. Feeding it well is usually not a bad idea.
Fiber also helps you feel less hungry without adding a lot of calories to your diet. Hunger and cravings can be a big pitfall for people trying to lose weight, so avoiding this is a big plus.
With the amount of fiber in cranberries you can reduce the time you spend craving for food a very good amount.
Do cranberries help you lose weight?
You still need a final piece of the puzzle. The number of calories in cranberries.
Cranberries contain 46 calories per 100 grams. 43.6 of these calories come from the carbohydrates (12.2 g per 100 grams of which 4.6 g fiber).
You can fit in a small amount of cranberries in low-carb diets like the keto diet but you will have to exercise some portion control.
The amount of calories in cranberries is not that high in general. There are both lower-calorie fruits and higher-calorie fruits. Compared to many vegetables cranberries are slightly higher in calories.
That being said, cranberries are still generally a very low-calorie food that can help you feel fuller with its fiber content. This can help you avoid higher-calorie foods. For most people that, and thus eating more cranberries, is enough to help them lose weight.
If you don’t like cranberries you don’t have to go out of your way to force it into your daily eating habits, cranberries are not a unique weight loss food. Other foods can be better for weight loss.
If you are gaining weight while eating cranberries, the first place to look at is the rest of your diet and other lifestyle habits. Cranberries are generally not fattening.
What is the healthiest way to eat cranberries?
Cranberries make for a great snack, raw on their own, but this fruit also combines great with other healthy foods. Here are some healthy dishes you can combine with cranberries:
If you are looking to lose weight you want to avoid most dessert recipes with cranberries.
Is cranberry juice good for weight loss
Keep in mind that this is unsweetened cranberry juice. The cranberry juice you buy at the store usually contains added sugar and sweeteners which are not great for weight loss.
Cranberry juice does contain a lot less fiber. Cranberries contain around 4.6 grams of fiber per 100 grams, cranberry juice 0.1 grams.
The main problem with cranberry juice for weight loss is that it is a liquid. Only a single glass of cranberry juice is already 200 grams. Just imagine the difference in fulness between 100 grams of potato vs half a glass of water.
Calorie rich drinks like juices are almost never a good idea if you’re looking to lose weight. By juicing you remove the fiber from food which is arguably the most useful nutrient for weight loss.
In general, it’s a lot easier to overconsume calories with drinks than with whole foods. This also applies to cranberries vs cranberry juice.
Are dried cranberries good for weight loss?
Another popular way to eat cranberries is dried. The story is similar to cranberry juice but with a different aspect. Drying fruit basically involves removing its water content and keeping all the other nutrients.
This does increase the amount of vitamins, minerals, and fiber per 100 grams but also the number of calories. Dried cranberries can contain up to 308 calories per 100 grams (3). On top of that many brands add additional sugar and sweeteners.
Water is also very helpful for losing weight. It helps you feel fuller and increases the number of calories you burn.
Cranberries vs other popular fruits for weight loss
You now know how good cranberries are for weight loss but how do they compare to certain other fruits? Find out how good cranberries are for weight loss vs blueberries, raisins, strawberries, and grapes.
Cranberries vs blueberries
Blueberries are one of the most popular berries there are. If you’re only looking at calories blueberries contain more. Cranberries contain around 46 calories per 100 grams vs the 57 calories per 100 grams of blueberries (4).
Cranberries contain around 4.6 grams of fiber per 100 grams, blueberries 2.4 grams. Blueberries contain slightly higher amounts of vitamins and minerals than cranberries.
All in all, cranberries will likely be slightly better for weight loss than blueberries.
Cranberries vs raisins
Next there is cranberries vs raisins. Raisins are dried grapes and thus a lot higher in calories than regular cranberries, 296 calories per 100 grams vs the 46 calories per 100 grams of cranberries (5).
Raisins contain around 6.8 grams of fiber per 100 grams so a good amount higher than cranberries. Raisins contain more vitamins and minerals than cranberries.
The higher amount of fiber in raisins likely doesn’t make up for the calorie difference. That means that cranberries are likely better for weight loss than raisins.
Cranberries vs strawberries
There is a reasonable difference in the amount of fiber in these fruits. Cranberries have about 4.6 grams of fiber per 100 grams vs strawberries with 2 grams. Strawberries contain a good amount of vitamin C but besides that, these two fruits contain similar amounts of vitamins and minerals.
The difference when it comes to weight loss is difficult to predict. Cranberries are slightly higher in calories than strawberries but also a good amount higher in the important weight loss nutrient fiber.
Cranberries vs grapes
Grapes contain around 0.9 grams of fiber per 100 grams so a lot lower than cranberries. In terms of vitamins and minerals these two foods are similar.
Cranberries will likely be a lot better for weight loss than grapes.
Chart of cranberries vs other popular fruits
There are some interesting nutritional differences between these foods that matter when it comes to weight loss.
The amount of vitamins and minerals in the foods does matter for weight loss and health but you can’t simplify that in one number. You can check out the numbers for cranberries (1), blueberries (4), raisins (5), strawberries (6), and grapes (7) to compare.
|Values Per 100g||Cranberries||Blueberries||Raisins||Strawberries||Grapes|
|Calories||46 calories||57 calories||296 calories||32 calories||69 calories|
|Fiber||4.6 g||2.4 g||6.8 g||2 g||0.9 g|