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Cranberry Juice

I’m 48 with high triglycerides, I love 100% cranberry juice and it’s health benefits. I drink 12-16 ounces per day, but now that I’m trying to lose weight and counting calories, I’m finding beer has less calories, which shocked me. Other than the cranberry juice, I usually drink water or black coffee. Should I at least consider to 210 calories from the 100% juice “good” calories or drop the juice altogether?

Answer:

Thanks for your question, firstly regarding your question of replacing cranberry juice with beer, please don’t!! Beer may indeed have less calories than an equivalent serving of Cranberry juice, but it doesn’t have any of the health benefits and it also contains alcohol. Whilst many people will say a calorie is just a calorie when it comes to weight loss, I strongly disagree. The way your body responds to different nutrients can have a significantly different affect on weight gain/weight loss. A 1000 calories from sugar will illicit a different response to consuming a 1000 calories from fat or protein. Alcohol can promote weight gain and can also stimulate appetite so your desire to eat more will increase. So as far as choosing between the two stick with cranberry! Secondly as I don’t know what exact juice product you are drinking I would carefully check the label to confirm that your juice drink is indeed, 100% cranberry and does not contain any additives such as artificial sweeteners or high fructose corn syrup. This might sound strange, but you would be surprised at how marketing companies can interpret 100% juice! High fructose corn syrup can be found in a number of cranberry juice drinks and has been linked to promoting high cholesterol and triglycerides. In terms of dieting you need to be aiming for around 1800 calories a day so drinking 12-16 ounces per day of cranberry juice accounts for more than 20% of your daily calorie allowance. So one fifth of your calories are coming from juice. This is something I would suggest reducing as your adding 1470 calories per week to your diet in the form of juice, which is almost a whole days worth of food. I would not suggest dropping any food from your diet, but rather make drinking your juice a treat a few times a week. As a side note I also noticed on your profile that your frequently skip meals. This is another area you may want to look at. Skipping meals, in particular breakfast or lunch, can also lead to weight gain, as your body can go into starvation mode where it tries to hold onto the calories from your last meal, rather than burn them for energy. Try to ensure you always eat breakfast and lunch, as this will keep your metabolism going. I would say the only meal your can get away with skipping is dinner, as during the evening your metabolism is at its slowest.