Which ones? Fresh, dried, candied, juice or in a sauce?
Some High and some Low Cranberry Sugar Levels
Let’s go through the list.
FRESH – 1 cup (100 grams) of raw, unsweetened cranberries contains:
Protein: 1/2 gram
Carbs: 12 grams
Sugar: 4 grams
Fiber: 5 grams
Fat: 0 grams
As you can see fresh cranberries have some sugar in them but not in any significant quantity. Not enough to have a large effect on your insulin levels by themselves, so if you like raw cranberries then eat to your heart’s delight.
DRIED – A serving (1 cup) of dried cranberries has the following carbohydrate profile:
Overall Carbs: 132 grams
From Sugar: 116 grams
From Fiber: 12 grams
Damn! Dried cranberries can now safely be renamed, “diabetes-in-a-bag”. If you are concerned about sugar then stay away at all costs.
CANDIED – Yeah, lots here too.
JUICE – They sell juice with and without added sugar.
100% Juice – Total Carbohydrate 29g
– Total Sugars 23g
Twenty-three grams of sugar sounds like a lot but this is all natural fruit sugar which is not the same as sugar that we find in desserts and candy.
Juice with Added Juice Concentrate (from another fruit like grape) –
– Total Carbohydrate 31g
– Sugars 31g
This type of cranberry juice uses grape juice concentrate as a sweetening agent. It’s not as bad as adding pure sugar but is still like sugar nonetheless.
Juice Cocktail – Total Carbohydrate 28g
– Total Sugars 25g
This is the original cranberry juice that we are used to in the stores. It has filtered water, cranberries and added sugar in it. Even though there are only two more grams of sugar in this sugary drink then in the pure cranberry juice, it doesn’t feel the same in terms of my blood sugar and insulin level after drinking it.
Everyone makes their cranberry sauce in a different way so depends entirely on the recipe one uses. Many people are starting to adopt low carbohydrate, and low sugar diets and so they are making their cranberry sauce with a sweetener instead of sugar, and then adding that fresh cranberry sauce to their oatmeal or granola etc.
This is the healthiest way in my opinion to enjoy cranberry sauce.
To sum things up and give you a quick answer, I can safely say that fresh, raw cranberries are not high in sugar while the dried ones are the exact opposite. Through the roof actually.
Most people eat the dried version because raw cranberries are very sour which is obviously not very healthy, and so I invite you to look at some of the cranberry smoothie recipes on this site which generally are low-to-no sugar recipes, and so you can enjoy all the benefits of cranberries without all that added sugar which usually accompany cranberry products.
Hope this helps.