Juices (cranberry Juice)

By Toma Latest Reply 2008-07-13 16:54:48 -0500
Started 2008-07-13 07:39:27 -0500

In a private message I was asked about cranberry juice and thought the reply might better be added to the discussion section since juicing is so popular and the hidden dangers for a diabetic are not so clear.

The question was:

I have a very important question. I noticed that, A diabetic shouldn't drink Cranberry Cocktail. I drink 4 oz. of Cranberry Cocktail with Splenda along with my breakfast each morning. I do this to keep my kidneys and urinary tract clear. Is this a good or bad idea?

My Answer:

That one is controversial. There are many health claims for cranberries and they are very acidic which is a plus. Cranberries also are loaded with phytonutrients and anti-oxidants.

When searching for nutrient values for cranberry juice all I find is an average of 30 grams of sugar per cup for unsweetened cranberry juice and the same for 1 cup of cranberry juice cocktail which leads me to believe there are hidden sugars. The Cranberry industry was the biggest opponent of having sugar content on the nutrition labels because they thought it would hurt their sales and sugar values for cranberry juice and cranberry juice cocktail even in the USDA database have a conspicuous absence of the breakdown of the sugars into the sub categories.

Compare the juice data to 1 cup of chopped cranberries.

Carbohydrates (g): 13.42
Starch (g): 0.0
Sugars (g): 4.444
Glucose (g): 3.608
Fructose (g): 0.693
Galactose (g): 0.0
Sucrose (g): 0.143
Lactose (g): 0.0
Maltose (g): 0.0
Dietary Fiber (g): 5.06
Est. Net Carbs (g): 8.36

Even if the cranberries are juiced from raw cranberries the sugar is converted to liquid sugar and the fiber is removed. The bulk of the sugar in raw cranberries is glucose which is the highest GI sugar.

I do not use juice of any kind because the juice is higher glycemic than the whole fruit. This is true even for juices that you would nor suspect to be high in sugar such as tomato juice or carrot juice. (See below)I think a better strategy would be to either eat the whole cranberries or add some cranberry extract to water. The whole cranberries can be puréed and sweetened with a good alternative sweetener. I would use a mix of stevia and xylitol. The stevia helps control blood glucose and cholesterol as well as being very sweet but has an aftertaste that some people find unpleasant. The xylitol makes it a more pleasant taste.

Tomato juice: 1 Cup (canned)

Carbohydrates (g): 10.303
Starch (g):
Sugars (g): 8.651
Glucose (g): 3.281
Fructose (g): 3.742
Galactose (g):
Sucrose (g): 0.608
Lactose (g):
Maltose (g):
Dietary Fiber (g): 0.972

Carrot Juice: 1 Cup (canned)

Carbohydrates (g): 21.924
Starch (g):
Sugars (g): 9.228

2 replies

GabbyPA 2008-07-13 11:48:01 -0500 Report

Thanks for that information. I avoid juices now and stick to my unsweetened Soy Milk in the mornings. I am bummed about the cranberries though. I love them and believe they are great for us. I do like the whole chopped up ones with some stevia, that sounds good. Add some cinnimon and you are in heaven.

Toma 2008-07-13 16:54:48 -0500 Report

exactly Gabby

My strategies are to try to optimize my diet. As you say. cranberries are a good food with lots of advantages. We can find better ways to prepare and use them without the downside. In American we have pretty much lost the art of preparing healthy delicious foods and that is what I think we have to relearn. Granted, I had an advantage since I was trained to cook by a 5 star gourmet shef when I was a teen. What i was taught was all wrong for healthy eating but at least i had skills to be able to figure out how to take what is healthy and make it taste good without turning it into something unhealthy.