What Are the Health Benefits of Dried Cranberries?

Uncooked cranberries
Fresh or dried, cranberries are a healthy food in a small package. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Fruit is an important part of a balanced diet. When you’re on the go, however, it can be difficult to eat it every day. Dried cranberries provide a convenient, portable option that allows you to easily incorporate fruit into your diet. There are many health benefits of eating dried cranberries.

Source of Fruit

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends consuming 1 1/2 to 2 cups of fruit every day. Sometimes it is not always convenient to eat whole pieces of fruit. In these instances, dried fruit is an appropriate choice to ensure that you reach your daily recommended servings of fruit. The recommended serving size for dried cranberries is 1/3 cup, which counts as slightly less than 1 serving of fruit. Although the manufacturer’s recommended serving size is 1/3 cup, the USDA counts 1/2 cup of dried fruit as the equivalent of 1 cup of fruit.

Low in Calories

Adults consume an average of 2,000 calories per day. Some people may consume more or less calories based on their age, gender and physical activity level. Each food item you eat contributes to the total amount of calories you eat each day. Therefore, it is more advantageous for you to choose low-calorie, healthy foods that you can eat in smaller portions throughout the day. Instead of eating larger-portioned meals packed with calories, which can increase your risk of exceeding your caloric limit. Dried cranberries are a nice addition to salads, cereal or alone as a snack. One serving of dried cranberries only contains 130 calories.

Low in Fat

Adults should limit their intake of total fat to between 44 and 78 g of total fat in order to maintain a healthy weight. Dried cranberries do not contain any fat, making them a healthy choice for inclusion in certain meals. Dried cranberries are an ideal snack choice over chips or cookies. If you are having trouble eating the recommended number of servings of fruit each day, try to find opportunities to add dried cranberries to each meal.

Source of Dietary Fiber

Dietary fiber is an important part of your diet because it ensures that your digestive system functions properly. In addition, regularly consuming dietary fiber helps to prevent cardiovascular disease. The Institute of Medicine recommends women consume 25 grams of fiber a day, and men consume 38 grams. One serving of dried cranberries contains 3 g of dietary fiber. This is a significant amount for such a small serving of food. Remember that if you eat more than the recommended serving, you must multiply the nutritional values to obtain the appropriate measure of nutrients.

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