When I meet with a new client, many times they have visited the internet and have been taking advice from family and friends. Frequently, they fall victim to placing foods and beverages into one of two categories, ”good” and “bad.” Fruit juice is a common “bad” one, including cranberry juice, but is it?
People with diabetes can drink diet cranberry juice. A one cup serving of diet cranberry juice is made with real cranberries, contains antioxidants including vitamin C, and has only 5 calories and 2 grams of carbohydrate. This is a low calorie beverage, and will not affect blood sugar on diabetics.
One cup (8 fluid ounces or 237 mL) of regular cranberry juice will provide 116 cal and 31 g carbohydrates (2 carb choices if you are counting your carbs), which is more calories and will likely have an effect on blood sugar.
Continue reading to see my comparison of diet cranberry juice to regular cranberry juice, a nutrient breakdown and analysis, and pros and cons for a person with diabetes.
Diabetics can drink a wide variety of drinks; however, it is beneficial to use sparingly the sugary and alcoholic beverages. Water is your best bet, but you can choose plain black tea and other low caloric beverages, like diet cranberry juice.
Cranberry Juice vs. Diet Cranberry Juice
Drinking both types of cranberry juice offers you vitamin C. Depending on the brand of cranberry juice you buy, diet cranberry juice will offer up to 100% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C. Regular cranberry juice will be nominally lower, offering around 30%.
Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and helps protect the body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals. If free radicals overwhelm our bodies, it can adversely affect us and trigger a number of diseases.
Vitamin C may lower your risk for heart disease, help manage blood pressure, boost your immunity, and may reduce your risk of chronic diseases.
A 1 cup (8 ounce or 237 mL) serving of regular cranberry juice provides about 110 calories. Diet cranberry juice, however, has approximately 5 calories per serving. A calorie is the unit of energy defined by the amount of heat needed to raise a specific amount of water by one degree.
Both regular and diet cranberry juice offer incredible health benefits; however, if you are on a low-calorie diet, diet cranberry juice is your better option. If you have type 2 diabetes, reducing your caloric intake is recommended to promote weight loss.
When someone with diabetes is overweight, the fat in their body can hinder glucose absorption in the bloodstream, stopping insulin from performing its function correctly.
Hence, if you are overweight and have diabetes, diet cranberry juice is a much better option for you. Supplemented with water, diet cranberry juice can be a healthful part of your daily fluid requirements.
Carbohydrates are the primary source of fuel for the body. They get turned into glucose, which feeds all of our cells. Although carbs are a very important source of energy, they will also have the greatest impact on blood sugars, so it is important to consider the carbohydrate content in what you are consuming.
Regular cranberry juice contains much more carbohydrates than diet cranberry juice, which is about 30 grams, while diet cranberry juice contains as little as 2 grams.
So, diet cranberry juice is great for low-carb diets and for people with diabetes. This is not to say that regular cranberry juice is “bad” for people with diabetes because both regular and diet cranberry juice have many health benefits. If you are consciously watching your calorie or carb intake because of your diabetes, then diet cranberry juice is the better option.
Sucralose in Diet Cranberry Juice
Sucralose is one artificial sweetener that companies put in their diet drinks as an alternative to regular cane sugar . Diet drinks, including diet cranberry juice, may add sucralose to make it sweeter and taste more pleasant.
Sucralose is 320 to 1000 times sweeter than regular cane sugar, three times as sweet as aspartame and acesulfame potassium, and twice as sweet as sodium saccharin.
Sucralose is not broken down by the human body, so it has no effect on blood sugars. This makes it a safer choice for the person who has diabetes, as regular cranberry juice is flavored with 31 grams sugar.
There are a number of people who are intolerant to artificial sweeteners. For this population, I recommend diluting regular cranberry juice. Dilute 1 ounce (30 mL) regular cranberry juice in 8 ounces (237 mL) of water. In other words, you can take a shot of cranberry juice.
Nutrition table comparing diet cranberry juice to regular cranberry juice, based on a serving size of 8 fluid oz (237 mL):
|Diet Cranberry Juice||Regular Cranberry Juice|
|Calories from Fat||0||0|
|Vitamin C||Up to 100%||Up to 40%|
What Other Health Benefits Does Diet Cranberry Juice Offer?
There are many more benefits that you can obtain from diet cranberry juice because it is rich in antioxidants. As mentioned, it is rich in vitamin C. Both diet and regular cranberry juice have health benefits, including fighting disease, preventing urinary tract infections, treating upset stomach, and helping major organs, including the heart and liver.
Remember that if the body can’t process blood sugar correctly, as with someone who has diabetes, the kidneys overcompensate by excreting sugar in the urine. In some cases, this causes urinary tract infections. Diet cranberry juice can aid in the prevention of this.
Other benefits of diet cranberry juice can include helping the digestive system with the aid of phytochemicals. Studies have shown that cranberry juice can help fight against cancer and, in some instances, help with age-related oxidative damage.
Fun Cranberry Fact
Did you know that Wisconsin leads the nation in the production of cranberries? More than 60% of the countries crop is harvested here. It is said that cranberries were first harvested in Berlin, Wisconsin around 1860 by Edward Sacket.
Diet cranberry juice is a perfectly acceptable beverage for someone with diabetes. It is rich in antioxidants, serves as a protection from various diseases and conditions, and it is delicious, as well.
Comparing diet cranberry juice to regular cranberry juice, you can see the difference in both calories and carbohydrates. If you have diabetes, feel free to enjoy this low calorie, low carbohydrate beverage and know that you are consuming a healthful beverage.