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Old 11-29-2023, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Is there any difference nutritionally between naturally occurring sugar vs added sugar ? I'm trying to figure out the "healthiest" Cranberry juice to buy. Some, labeled "100% juice" look to be mainly Apple Juice, with 20+ grams of natural sugar and zero added sugar. The ones with just Cranberries tend to have ~25 grams of added sugar. Then, of course, there are the ones with sweeteners other than sugar. Which to pick ?
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Old 11-29-2023, 09:02 AM
Status: "Mistress of finance and foods." (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
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I’d just go with the lowest carb content on the label. The only artificial sweetener I can stand is aspertame, but I’d take a natural sweetener first.
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Old 11-29-2023, 10:51 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, 615' Elevation, Zone 8b - originally from SF Bay Area
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Cranberry juice would be rather tart without added sugar, using Apple Juice with it makes it tolerably sweet without adding sugar. Natural sugar is found in foods that have other benefits, such as fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and other nutrients. "added sugar" normally will be granulated sugar which has no benefit other than taste and is not good for us. For labeling, the synthetic sweeteners such as aspertame, saccharine, and sucralose are not included as added sugars. Neither is Monk Fruit, which is a natural sweetener but not a sugar, and is probably the best way to sweeten without sugar.
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Old 11-29-2023, 12:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by don6170 View Post
Is there any difference nutritionally between naturally occurring sugar vs added sugar ? I'm trying to figure out the "healthiest" Cranberry juice to buy. Some, labeled "100% juice" look to be mainly Apple Juice, with 20+ grams of natural sugar and zero added sugar. The ones with just Cranberries tend to have ~25 grams of added sugar. Then, of course, there are the ones with sweeteners other than sugar. Which to pick ?
What seems like a simple question on the surface is immensely complicated. I'll try to give a short and simple breakdown, so you can be even more confused.

Within the human body, there is one primary sugar that is created and used - glucose. Two others get directly absorbed - fructose and galactose.

There are a number of other sugars, most of them having sweetness that ranges from just barely sweet to intensely sweet. Chemically, the -ose suffix denotes that the substance is a sugar. Some common edible sugars are sucrose, maltose, dextrose, lactose, fructose. Fructose is the sweetest of these.

The processing of sugars often involves other chemicals that supposedly never make it to the final product.

The rules for processing put in place by the FDA can only be enforced within the U.S.A. (You can see where this is going)

"Naturally occurring sugar" are the sugars (plural) made by a fruit or plant. Corn is a plant. If the cranberry juice label gives a carb breakdown that breaks out "naturally occurring sugar" that should only be the sugar that occurs in the cranberries naturally. If instead, the ingredient list says "naturally occurring sugar" (unlikely) all bets are off.

Fruits such as apples and pears are exceptionally high in fructose, and the fruit is cheap to produce. Adding pear juice adds a lot of sweetness cheap. As for pears grown outside the U.S. and sprayed with pesticides? Who knows?

Fructose is minimally processed in the body outside of the liver. In the liver, it can overload those of youngsters - creating loose stools. In adults it can increase triglycerides and complicate cholesterol issues, and if consumed in excess, contribute to non-alcoholic fatty liver.

The natural balance of sweetness in a fruit is what our bodies were designed to handle, helped by the "gut brain" indicating a desire for certain foods when the body has certain needs.

We are now finding out that stevia can have its own problems. As an extract, it is considered generally safe. If it has added erythritol, there can be heart issues.

If you are looking to buy cranberry juice, it is likely for a yeast issue. Flat out, if that is why you want to buy it, go to a health food store and get PLAIN cranberry juice. Yeasts feed on sugars. The diuretic properties of cranberry juice flushes water through the urinary system, reducing the time the yeast has to split (reproduce). Adding sugar just makes the problem worse.

As a side note- if this is a regular issue, consider getting a bottle of Soloray "Yeast Cleanse." Many times, it works even using doses far less than the recommended dose on the bottle.
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Old 11-29-2023, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Northern California
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If you just want cranberries, buy some raw & eat a few each day. Or cook & make it into a jam.
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Old 11-29-2023, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
What seems like a simple question on the surface is immensely complicated. I'll try to give a short and simple breakdown, so you can be even more confused.
Nice explanation. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
If you are looking to buy cranberry juice, it is likely for a yeast issue. Flat out, if that is why you want to buy it, go to a health food store and get PLAIN cranberry juice. Yeasts feed on sugars. The diuretic properties of cranberry juice flushes water through the urinary system, reducing the time the yeast has to split (reproduce). Adding sugar just makes the problem worse.
No yeast issues. I eat tons of vegetables, but very little fruit, so I thought fruit juice may be a good thing to add. I do like the taste of cranberry juice vs the others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by evening sun View Post
If you just want cranberries, buy some raw & eat a few each day. Or cook & make it into a jam.
I do try to buy fresh fruit, but for some reason, don't do a good job of eating it.
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Old 11-30-2023, 09:51 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, 615' Elevation, Zone 8b - originally from SF Bay Area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evening sun View Post
If you just want cranberries, buy some raw & eat a few each day. Or cook & make it into a jam.
We put dried cranberries from Trader Joe's onto our salads.
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Old 11-30-2023, 10:30 AM
 
2,937 posts, read 1,161,372 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by don6170 View Post
Nice explanation. Thanks.



No yeast issues. I eat tons of vegetables, but very little fruit, so I thought fruit juice may be a good thing to add. I do like the taste of cranberry juice vs the others.



I do try to buy fresh fruit, but for some reason, don't do a good job of eating it.
There is no fruit juice that will ever replace fresh fruit. Fruit juice is essentially the sugary syrup of the fruit squeezed out, leaving everything else behind.

On top of that, due to pasteurization and other methods to ensure shelf life, the vitamins are completely destroyed and often re-added back (if it all).

So drinking fruit juice is no more healthy than drinking a can of coke.

You should strive to eat fresh fruit if you want the nutritional benefits of eating fruit. If eating fresh fruit just doesn't happen, try making smoothies out of the fruit. That way you use the entire fruit.

Drinking fruit juice is fine, just be mindful it's not a substitute for real fruit.
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Old 12-06-2023, 03:30 AM
 
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As others have said, fresh fruit is definitely the healthiest option if you can manage it. Maybe try prepping some ahead of time for easy snacking? Or blending into smoothies you enjoy? Regarding juices, it seems less sugar is better. Have you tried mixing cranberry with other tart juices like lemonade or lime? Could help cut the sweetness a bit without added sugars.
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Old 12-11-2023, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Brawndo-Thirst-Mutilator-Nation
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Too much sugar, from whatever form, is not optimal for most humans.

Remember, many fruits and vegetables have been hybridized to make them bigger and
sweeter...so they contain significantly more sugar/carbs when compared to their non-hybridized counterparts.
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