Cranberries are an excellent source of fiber, Vitamin C and manganese (which helps build bones). The bad side of their nutrition is that although cranberries themselves have only 51 calories per cup, they need sweetening to be palatable to most people.
Cranberry juice has shown benefits against urinary tract infections, but cranberry juice cocktails have added sugar, corn syrup or other fruit juice, and so may have as much as 30 grams of sugar in one cup. Use pure cranberry juice that you sweeten with a small amount of sugar or sugar substitute.
Sweetened dried cranberries (“Craisins”) contain 31 grams of sugar in 1/3 of a cup. Use them sparingly, or look in bulk foods for unsweetened.
Canned cranberry sauce (1/2” thick slice, 1/8 of a can) contains 22 grams of sugar. Better to make your own relish (see recipe) and use less sugar or a sugar substitute like Splenda.
Adding cranberries to your diet:
Use cranberry relish with chicken, pork or chicken as well as turkey, and add some to sandwiches made with these meats.
Stir cranberries into hot cereal while it cooks.
Mix dried cranberries and sunflower seeds into yogurt for breakfast or a snack.
Add chopped walnuts and dried cranberries to a green salad.
Add whole or halved cranberries to baked apple, muffins, cookies, fruit pies or crumbles.