It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.
Are canned cranberries, like the kind used on turkey, bad for you, fat wise?
Cranberries are really good for you, but they are not naturally sweet. Consequently, all the cranberry products you purchase will have added sugar. For instance, 100 grams of fresh cranberries contain only 46 calories, while 100 grams of cranberry sauce has 151 calories. The extra 100 calories adds up to about 6 teaspoons of sugar.
There's no fat in cranberries or cranberry products like the jellied cranberry sauce in cans.
Canned cranberry sauce isn't one of the healthiest foods, but having some at Thanksgiving or Christmas is OK. It's not the sort of thing you want to be having every day. If there's a time to splurge a bit, it's the holidays. Eating well is about that balance between eating delicious healthy food day to day and also enjoying special days.
Thanks for writing,
Timothy S. Harlan, M.D.