While it's true that Ocean Spray 100% Juice Cranberry has no added sugar, even the manufacturer admits that it's not a low-calorie food. So if you want to use this drink as part of a weight-loss plan, you'll have to consume it sparingly.
Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice has too much sugar and too little fiber to be the mainstay of a weight-loss diet. However, you can include it sparingly as part of a balanced diet to lose weight.
Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Nutrition
Did you notice that Ocean Spray's product isn't 100 percent cranberry juice — but instead "100% juice" cranberry? That word order should tell you what to expect when you flip over the bottle for a look at its nutrition label. Although cranberry juice from concentrate is the first ingredient, this is actually a juice cocktail that also includes grape, apple and pear juices, along with pectin, ascorbic acid and the vague "natural flavor."
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The sweetness of those other juices help offset the tartness of cranberry juice. But they also mean that, although Ocean Spray's 100% Juice Cranberry contains no added sugar, it still has 23 grams of sugar and 100 calories per 8-ounce serving. That's just 1 cup or a small glass, so it's easy to consume more than one serving at a time without realizing it.
Ocean Spray 100% Juice Cranberry also has 225 milligrams of potassium per serving, and 90 milligrams vitamin C — the latter being 100 percent of the recommended daily intake.
Were you interested in drinking cranberry juice to prevent urinary tract infections? As Harvard Health Publishing notes, test-tube experiments and a couple of clinical trials have shown that components in cranberry juice might help prevent urinary tract infections. However, if you're trying to lose weight, you'll save lots of calories — and maybe money too — by taking cranberry extract pills instead of drinking the juice.
What About Weight Loss?
If you're working toward a weight-loss goal, Ocean Spray 100% Juice Cranberry might seem very appealing at first: It's rich in vitamin C, and according to the manufacturer, each 8-ounce serving equals a 1-cup serving of fruit.
But there are a couple of catches here. First, if you want to lose weight, you must consume fewer calories than you burn — and with fairly calorie-rich drinks like this variety of cranberry juice, it's very easy to drink your way right out of a calorie budget without realizing it.
Second, although consuming lots of colorful fruits and vegetables is part of the Department of Health and Human Services key recommendations for healthy eating, it's better to eat the entire fruit when you can, as opposed to drinking fruit juice.
That's because whole fruits are rich in fiber that provides many benefits, from regulating blood sugar levels to decreasing your risk of heart disease and promoting intestinal health. If you only drink the juice, you miss out on that fiber entirely. According to the USDA, a cup of whole cranberries contains 3.6 grams of fiber and just 46 calories, compared to 100 calories per cup of Ocean Spray cranberry juice.
Does that mean you can't have this juice at all while on a diet? No — you just need to moderate your intake. Or consider using other strategies to get your cranberry fix: You can dilute the juice mix with sparkling water to enjoy its vibrant flavor with fewer calories, and you can add cranberries to cereal and oatmeal, or use them to bring your smoothies to life with a vibrant tang.
Ocean Spray also offers "light" and "diet" versions of its cranberry juice drinks. Ocean Spray Light Cranberry is still mixed with grape juice but also sweetened with fructose, sugar, acesulfame potassium and sucralose. It has 50 calories and 10 grams of sugar per 8-ounce serving. The Diet Cranberry Juice Drink has just 5 calories and 1 gram of sugar per 8-ounce serving, because it's sweetened only with sucralose and acesulfame potassium.
- Ocean Spray: "100% Juice Cranberry"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "In Brief: Cranberry Juice and Urinary Tract Infections"
- Department of Health and Human Services: "Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015-2020: Chapter 1. Key Elements of Healthy Eating Patterns"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Cranberries, Raw"
- Ocean Spray: "Ocean Spray Light Cranberry"
- Ocean Spray: "Diet Cranberry Juice Drink"
- University of Michigan University Health Service: "Weight Reduction"