Dried Cranberries

Are Dried Cranberries Good for You?

  These sweet little convenient snacks are growing in popularity. These quick good-on-the-go fruits may not be the best thing to grab.  The big question is, are they good for you?  

 

Calories and Fat:

A serving of dried cranberries show to be 1/3 cup.  In this serving, it adds up to 123 calories and 0.55 grams of fat, mostly unsaturated fat.  Unsaturated fat is the good fat; it can regulate your blood sugar levels and lower your cholesterol.  A serving of dried cranberries is great, but the calories would add up quickly if eaten in excess.  

Sugar: 

Remember that serving size of 1/3 cup? That serving contains 26 grams of sugar.  This number is more than the daily limit recommended for women, and almost the daily limit recommended for men.  Based off of this, I would really limit the amount allotted.  Too much sugar can increase your risk for weight gain, tooth decay, and heart disease.  

Cranberries are a naturally bitter fruit, the sweetness you taste in dried cranberries is actually from sugar that has been added to the fruit! Not the natural sugar you would expect from a given fruit. As stated, limit your allotted intake. As processed sugar should be a no-no in your diet.

Nutrients: 

That 1/3 cup serving of dried cranberries holds some nutrients.  It contains 0.43 milligrams of Vitamin E.  That is less than 3% of the recommended daily limit of 15 milligrams.  Vitamin E is an important antioxidant in our diet because it destroys free radicals.  Free radicals can cause cell damage and increase our risk of cancer. In addition to Vitamin E, dried cranberries contain very insignificant amounts of iron, potassium and Vitamin C. 

Health Benefits:

Dried cranberries do have the potential to reduce inflammation. To gain more of the benefits of dried cranberries, it’s best for them to be freeze-dried, hot air-dried or vacuum-microwave dried.  Low-sugar dried cranberries have been shown to regulate blood sugar levels in individuals with Type 2 diabetes. 

Dried cranberries may not be the best snack, but it can be a great topping on salads or yogurt. Just remember, low-sugar dried cranberries will be much better for you!