Are Cranberries Paleo?

YesAre Cranberries Paleo?

Not everyone living a Paleo lifestyle chooses to eat fruit, but those who do, frequently find that they are better off sticking to berries, as they are generally lower in sugar than other fruits. Cranberries are no exception. These little fruits are low in sugar and high in fiber, so you don’t have to worry about experiencing a spike in blood sugar after eating them.

Paleo and Insulin Levels

A sudden rise in blood sugar is not desirable because it leads to a rise in insulin to process all of the sugar. Insulin, in normal levels, is not inherently harmful, but it does promote fat storage and prevent the body from taking nutrients from fat cells. A blood sugar spike also leads to a crash, leaving you feeling hungry and reaching for more sugar, whereupon the cycle continues. Chronically high levels of insulin lead to inflammation and insulin resistance, a precursor to a whole host of health problems, such as diabetes.

Cranberries make for an excellent Paleo treat, not only because they’re low in sugar, but because they contain significant amounts of antioxidants and phytochemicals. Both are beneficial to the cardiovascular system and immune system and may even have cancer-fighting properties.

Because cranberries have such an acidic flavor, they are often served with sugar to make them more palatable, which is not strictly in accordance with a Paleo lifestyle. For best results, cranberries are best eaten without the sugar. You can mix them with other fruits and vegetables or sprinkle them on top of a salad so their acidity doesn’t overwhelm you.

Mark Sisson gives a number of reasons to eat cranberries here.