Diet Cranberry Juice vs. Regular Cranberry Juice

Cranberry juice is a tart but tasty addition to your diet as an accompaniment to a meal. This juice does contain a lot of calories, so you may wish to choose diet cranberry juice varieties. Understanding the nutritional value of both these types of juice can help you decide which is right for you.

A glass of cranberry juice and a bowl of cranberries. (Image: HandmadePictures/iStock/Getty Images)

Calories and Fat

A 1-cup serving of regular cranberry juice contains 116 calories compared to the 5 calories in a cup of diet cranberry juice. You need eight 8-oz. glasses of water per day to keep your body hydrated, and you can replace some or all of it with juice. Note that replacing all 64 oz. with regular cranberry juice adds 928 calories to your diet, while replacing the water with diet cranberry juice contributes only 40 calories. Neither type of juice contains much fat, although regular cranberry juice has slightly more: 0.3 g versus 0 g.

Carbohydrates and Protein

You need to consume 225 to 325 g of carbohydrates each day for a variety of bodily functions, including energy production. Drinking 1 cup of regular cranberry juice provides you with 30.8 g of this macronutrient, but diet cranberry juice contains far less: 2 g. This makes diet cranberry juice a good option for low-carb diets. The diet variety of this juice contains no protein, but regular juice has 1 g. Include 50 to 175 g of protein in your meal plan daily.

Vitamin C

Drinking cranberry juice, both diet and regular, serves up vitamin C, a nutrient important for your immune system and skin health. Diet cranberry juice provides 100 percent of the daily recommended intake, but regular cranberry juice has roughly 31 percent of the amount you need each day. The vitamin C in cranberry juice may decrease your risk of Alzheimer's disease -- a study published in the June 2011 issue of "The Journal of Biological Chemistry" indicates that not getting enough may trigger the onset of this disease later in life. While you should speak to your physician about incorporating cranberry juice into your diet to ward off Alzheimer's, regular and diet juice are good options for increasing vitamin C intake.

Vitamin A

Include regular cranberry juice in your diet, and you take in a small amount of vitamin A -- 114 IU; you require 5,000 IU per day. Diet cranberry juice contains no vitamin A, so if you need to boost the quantity of this nutrient in your diet, drink regular cranberry juice. Vitamin A provides benefits for your eye health.

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