It depends on if you’re talking about fresh or dried cranberries.
Yes fresh cranberries are excellent for weight loss for a whole bunch of reasons. The first is that they are a lower glycemic food which means that the sugar or carbohydrate contained in this berry doesn’t really do much to spike your insulin, which is key when trying to lose weight.
You want your insulin to be low as long as possible, as often as possible. Let’s look at the nutritional information on fresh cranberries:
1 cup (100 grams) of raw, unsweetened cranberries contains:
Protein: 1/2 gram
Carbs: 12 grams
Sugar: 4 grams
Fiber: 5 grams (20% of your DV)
Fat: 0 grams
What would make cranberries a not-so-ideal choice for weight loss is the presence of lots of carbohydrates, especially sugar. Fresh cranberries do have some but not in any significant quantity. Not enough to have a large effect on your insulin levels by themselves or even in combination with the rest of your daily diet.
So you can eat, or drink, an entire cup full of fresh cranberries – whether raw or mixed in with other low carbohydrate foods – and not worry about your plan to lose weight.
Most people when they talk about eating cranberries usually refer to this kind. Raw, unsweetened cranberries that you can find in the produce section of your local grocery store are very tart or sour which is why 95% of the cranberry harvest usually goes to juices, sauces or other products like these dried cranberries.
Most people like to snack on these as they are a bit like raisins and have a much sweeter taste to them. The reason they are sweeter is because dried cranberries generally have lots of added sugar as you’ll see below:
A serving (1 cup) of dried cranberries has the following carbohydrate profile:
Overall Carbs: 132 grams
From Sugar: 116 grams
From Fiber: 12 grams
At this point I’m not even sure we could consider dried cranberries a fruit anymore. They are so far removed from what they originally started as that I’d say they are closer to candy or some kind of sweet treat than they are anything that resembles a healthy food.
That being said, the answer to whether or not dried cranberries are good for weight loss is an obvious “no” unless you can find some that have no added sugar.
So if you’re into dried cranberries then this isn’t exactly welcome news, but if you enjoy the taste of cranberries and you want to include them in some form in your diet then see the post on enjoying pure cranberry juice here, and a the post on a delicious cranberry smoothie that’s great for weight loss.
Hope this helps.