Don’t get bogged down on cranberries

The Cranberry Institute (Yes, there is such a thing.) lists the benefits of cranberries. And I admit it’s my favorite side dish at Thanksgiving.

But let’s take a look at what you get when you scoop up that mass of goo.

Making some fast calculations from data at, a two tablespoon serving of canned, sweetened cranberry sauce gives the following “nutrient value.”

  • Calories: 40
  • Sodium: 8 mg
  • Total carbohydrates: 10 grams
  • Percentage of those carbs as sugar: 97%

Cranberry sauce ranks with candies, cakes, butter, and cooking oil. It’s neither filling nor nutritious.

In fact, cranberry sauce isn’t really a side dish at all. Just as the label says, it’s a “sauce” and should be viewed as a Thanksgiving condiment.

Have nice holiday.

11/23/06 08:36 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.