Does Cranberry Juice Make You Lose Weight?

Fresh Cranberry Juice
Cranberries and glass of cranberry juice (Image: HandmadePictures/iStock/Getty Images)

Weight loss isn't always easy. You need to eat fewer calories than your body burns to lose those excess pounds. But the mere idea of cutting back on food is often thought to lead to an almost constant state of hunger. If you've ever skipped a meal, you're no doubt familiar with that gnawing sensation. To avoid this and many other pitfalls associated with losing weight, people often turn to alternatives for help, including the use of cranberry juice.

Weight Loss

The reason some people believe cranberry juice may help you lose weight involves a study reported by the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress. Researchers were interested in analyzing the effect cranberry juice had on cholesterol levels. Participants were asked to include this juice each day as part of their normal diets. An interesting outcome of the study was a significant decrease in both body weight and body mass index, showing some promise that cranberry juice could help people lose weight.

Dietary Changes

Upon further investigation, the decrease in body weight and body mass index couldn't be attributed to cranberry juice alone. The probable cause was fluid replacement. Instead of drinking a soft drink with their meals, participants likely drank the juice, which contained fewer calories. This lowered their caloric intake, creating the caloric deficit needed to promote weight loss.

Cranberry Juice

No scientific evidence exists that cranberry juice makes you lose weight. Even the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine fails to list weight loss as a potential benefit of this fruit. It does, however, contain many antioxidants beneficial to your health, so including cranberry juice in your diet can help in combating certain infections and diseases.

Benefits

Preventing urinary tract infections is by far the most common use of cranberry juice, explains the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. It may also be beneficial in combating ulcers associated to H. pylori infection as well as atherosclerosis as a result of high blood cholesterol. The University of Maryland Medical Center asserts that the antioxidants found in cranberries may inhibit the growth of cancer cells as well.

Recommendation

If you're currently trying to lose weight, your best option is a combination of diet and exercise. Reducing your caloric intake while increasing your level of physical activity can help encourage a healthy weight loss. Talk to your doctor before starting any type of weight-loss plan.

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