Can I eat cranberries on keto?
This article will discuss the question “Can I eat cranberries on keto?” The article will provide relevant information such as the fundamentals of the keto diet, the nutritional components of cranberries, and some health benefits cranberries possess.
Can I eat cranberries on keto?
Yes, you can eat cranberries on the keto diet in moderation. 100 grams of fresh cranberries have less than 13 grams of carbohydrates (1).
This fruit is considered low in carbs. It has a lot of health benefits. Other than that, it has been known for the prevention of urinary tract infections. But you should eat it in moderation. Choose fresh cranberries over dried or the juice form of it to cut down sugars and carbs from your diet (1,2).
What is the keto diet?
The keto diet is a nutritional approach where you must deprive your body of carbohydrates. The ultimate goal of a keto diet is to induce your body to use fat as an energy source instead of carbohydrates; the keto diet can be helpful for (3,4,5):
- Regulate glucose and insulin.
- Reduce body fat mass and weight control.
- Regulate blood lipids, resulting in a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- Deprive cancer cells from nutrients, therefore it can be advantageous in preventing or treating cancer. Note that you always have to ask for your physician and nutritionist advice.
The mechanism of the keto diet is the following; after a few days of eating no more than 50 g of carbohydrates a day, your carbs stores will be empty. Then, your body will use adipose tissue (fat mass) to break down and produce energy (3,4,5).
This is known as ketosis, and this is the metabolic reason for the reduction in body fat mass, weight, and regulation of glucose and insulin (3,4,5).
Nevertheless, it is important to maintain ketosis to reach the keto diet goals, therefore, you must avoid carbohydrate rich foods (3,4,5).
What are the nutritional components of fresh and dried cranberries?
Natural unsweetened cranberries are nutritious and low in calories. However, the nutritional value of fresh and dried cranberries is very different, and the dried fruits are not very good for your keto diet. A 100 grams serving is composed of the following (1,2):
|Per 100 grams||Fresh cranberries||Dried cranberries|
|Fat||0 grams||1.1 grams|
|Carbs||13 grams||83 grams|
|Sugar||5.5 grams||73 grams|
|Fibers||3.6 grams||5.3 grams|
|Protein||0 grams||0.2 grams|
|Vitamin C||32.7 milligrams||0.2 milligrams|
|Iron||0.6 grams||0.4 grams|
As you can see from the table above, there is a big difference between the dried form and the fresh form of cranberries.
When cranberries are dried the carbs are more concentrated and most manufacturers add sugars to sweeten them. It increased to almost 6 times the amount of carbs when cranberries were dried (6).
Therefore, it is better to eat cranberries in their fresh form, rather than dried. Moreover, you should also eat cranberries in moderation as well.
What is the problem with dried cranberries in a keto diet?
The problem with dried cranberries and other packed cranberries (gummies or juices), is that they are packed with sweeteners like sugar. Sugars are carbohydrates that will put your body out of ketosis and will make it difficult to reach your goals (3-6).
If you must take a packed cranberry option, make sure you read the label and opt for sugar-free cranberries.
What are the risks of eating too much cranberries on a keto diet?
The main risk of earring too much cranberries on a keto diet is interrupting the ketosis state. The interruption of ketosis will restart the carbohydrate metabolism, this could impact on the results of your diet, for example (3,4,5):
- Stop weight reduction or even increase in body weight
- Reduce fat burn and increase body-fat mass
- Stimulate insulin and increase blood levels of glucose
The risk of ketosis interruption by eating too many cranberries is higher if you eat dried, sweetened, or juice from cranberries (1,2). Remember that the beneficial effects of keto diet, especially for weight loss, are achieved with a sustained ketosis state (3,4,5).
What are the health benefits of cranberries?
Cranberries can provide health benefits because they contain antioxidants (polyphenols, anthocyanins), vitamin C, and minerals. Some of the health benefits of cranberries are the following (1,2,7,8,910):
- Prevention of UTI (urinary tract infection) prevention: drinking cranberry juice reduces the chance of a urinary tract infection, but it does not treat the infection. Because cranberry drink contains sugar, you can use cranberry pills instead to reduce sugar in your keto diet.
- Prevention of stomach cancer and ulcers: cranberries contain A-type proanthocyanidins that cut down the risk for stomach ulcers by preventing H.pylori bacteria from attaching to the stomach wall.
- The antioxidants in cranberries help improve heart health by lowering LDL cholesterol and its oxidation known as bad cholesterol; on the other hand, cranberries increase the HDL cholesterol known as good cholesterol.
- The antiinflammatory properties of polyphenols and anthocyanins in cranberries can protect you from cardiovascular diseases.
- Lowering inflammation in the body
- The dietary fiber of cranberries can help produce satiety (weight control), regulate glucose, and prevent constipation.
This article discussed the question “Can I eat cranberries on keto?” The article provided relevant information such as the fundamentals of the keto diet, the nutritional components of cranberries, and some health benefits cranberries possess.
- FoodData central [Internet]. Usda.gov. [cited 26 June 2023]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171722/nutrients
- FoodData central [Internet]. Usda.gov. [cited 26 June 2023]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1102630/nutrients
- Dowis K, Banga S. The potential health benefits of the ketogenic diet: A narrative review. Nutrients, 2021;13(5):1654.
- Oliveira NC de, Sousa GK de, Ribas Filho D. Therapeutic Indications of the Ketogenic Diet: A Integrative Review. MedNEXT, 2021 15;2(3):63–68.
- Basolo A, Magno S, Santini F, Ceccarini G. Ketogenic diet and weight loss: Is there an effect on energy expenditure? Nutrients, 2022;14(9):1814.
- Mohammed S, Edna M, Siraj K. The effect of traditional and improved solar drying methods on the sensory quality and nutritional composition of fruits: A case of mangoes and pineapples. Heliyon, 2020;6(6):e04163.
- Li L, Pan M, Pan S, Li W, Zhong Y, Hu J, et al. Effects of insoluble and soluble fibers isolated from barley on blood glucose, serum lipids, liver function and caecal short-chain fatty acids in type 2 diabetic and normal rats. Food Chem Toxicol, 2020;135(110937):110937.
- Snauwaert E, Paglialonga F, Vande Walle J, Wan M, Desloovere A, Polderman N, et al. The benefits of dietary fiber: the gastrointestinal tract and beyond. Pediatr Nephrol, 2022.
- Godswill AG, Somtochukwu IV, Ikechukwu AO, Kate EC. Health benefits of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and their associated deficiency diseases: A systematic review. International Journal of Food Sciences, 2020;3(1):1–32
- Pappas E, Schaich KM. Phytochemicals of cranberries and cranberry products: characterization, potential health effects, and processing stability. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr, 2009;49(9):741–81.