However, Maraschino cherries are not as healthy (because they are heavily processed and sweetened) as their raw counterparts because they lose a significant amount of their nutritional value.
Maraschino cherries have almost three times as much sugar as raw cherries, which is added sugar. If you want to use them as a dessert or beverage topping, consider using raw sweet cherries to limit sugar intake.
6 downsides of maraschino cherries
- High in added sugar
- A 3.5-ounce (about a 1/2 cup) serving of maraschino cherries contains 38.77 grams of sugar. Even a single piece contains 2 grams of sugar, compared to 1 gram of natural sugars in a regular cherry.
- The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends no more than 9 teaspoons (36 grams) of added sugar per day for men or 6 teaspoons (24 grams) per day for women.
- High in calories
- Maraschino cherries contain nearly three times as many calories and grams of sugar as regular cherries (a result of being soaked in the sugar solution).
- They are typically sold suspended in high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) solution, which is a sweetener made from corn syrup composed of fructose and glucose.
- Several studies have linked HFCS to metabolic disorders, obesity, and related chronic conditions, including type II diabetes and heart diseases.
- Artificial coloring
- Fresh cherries are deep red due to their antioxidants that help prevent cell damage.
- Maraschino cherries are a bright red color that comes from artificial coloring rather than from nature and can cause allergy-like symptoms in some people.
- Low in nutrients
- Maraschino cherries supply only a small amount of certain nutrients. A 3.5-ounce serving of the cherries supplies 54 mg of calcium and 21 mg of potassium, 45 international units of vitamin A, and 1.5 µg of vitamin K.
- When regular cherries are turned into maraschino cherries, nearly every macronutrient and micronutrient are notably reduced.
- Low in antioxidants
- Regular cherries are rich in anthocyanins (powerful antioxidants) that help prevent conditions, such as heart disease, certain cancers, and type II diabetes.
- Maraschino cherries lose their natural, antioxidant-rich pigments through the bleaching and brining process, which means many of their natural health benefits are lost.
- Can cause allergic reactions
- The most common food dye used in making maraschino cherries is Red 40, which is derived from petroleum distillates or coal tars.
- Red 40 has been shown to cause hyperactivity and allergic reactions in some food dye-sensitive individuals.
- Moreover, Red 40 contains trace amounts of the known carcinogen benzidine which has been associated with a higher risk of bladder cancer.
The nutritional content of maraschino cherries
|Nutrient||Fresh cherries||Maraschino cherries|
|Fat||0.3 grams||0.3 grams|
|Carbohydrates||25 grams||67 grams|
|Added sugar||0 grams||42 grams|
|Fiber||3.2 grams||5 grams|
|Protein||1.6 grams||0.4 grams|
|Vitamin C||13 percent of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)||0 percent of the RDI|
|Vitamin B6||6 percent of the RDI||Less than 1 percent of the RDI|
|Magnesium||5 percent of the RDI||Less than 1 percent of the RDI|
|Phosphorus||5 percent of the RDI||Less than 1 percent of the RDI|
|Potassium||7 percent of the RDI||Less than 1 percent of the RDI|
- Scans Show Brain Changes in People With Long COVID
- Got GERD? Eat This Way to Help Avoid Symptoms
- 5 Women Contracted Syphilis Affecting the Eyes From the Same Asymptomatic Man
- Long COVID Now Common in U.S. Nursing Homes
- Breathing in Coal-Based Pollution Could Be Especially Deadly: Study
- More Health News »
What are maraschino cherries?
Maraschino cherries are neon red, candy-sweet cherries that top ice cream sundaes, cakes, pastries, and classic mixed drinks.
These cherries originated in Yugoslavia and northern Italy about 200 years ago.
These cherries do not grow on trees. Merchants use a sweet cherry called the Marasca cherry as the base and let it soak in maraschino liqueur until it is ready to be used as a tasty treat.
These were first introduced in the U.S. in the 1980s and since then, are used as a popular garnish on desserts and mixed drinks.
In 1896, the U.S. cherry processors tried their recipe the “Royal Anne cherry” using local sweet cherry and less maraschino liqueur. They even replaced maraschino liqueur with almond oil.
How are maraschino cherries made?
Commercially made maraschino cherries are first soaked in a brine solution that contains calcium chloride and sulfur dioxide, which bleaches the cherries, removing their natural red pigment and flavor. The cherries are left in the brine solution for four to six weeks.
After this bleaching process, cherries are soaked for one month in another solution containing red food dye, sugar, and oil of bitter almonds or an oil with a similar flavor. They are then covered in a sugar-sweetened liquid with added preservatives.
The two main types of maraschino cherries are alcoholic and nonalcoholic, both are easy to make at home with time and patience.
- Boozy maraschino cherries (traditional)
- The cherries are washed and placed in a jar
- Two to three cups of liqueur are poured into the jars, fully immersing the cherries
- Refrigerate with the lid on for at least two weeks
- Swirl the jar every couple of days to immerse the cherries again
- Booze-free maraschino cherries
- A mixture of pitted sweet cherries, grape juice, lemon juice, sugar, water, almond oil, salt, and star anise are cooked together.
- This can be eaten as soon as they are cool, but the flavor enhances the longer you steep them.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
WebMD. All About Maraschino Cherries. https://www.webmd.com/diet/all-about-maraschino-cherries
Oven Via. Why are maraschino cherries so bad for you. https://ovenvia.com/why-are-maraschino-cherries-so-bad-for-you/
Top Maraschino Cherries: 6 Downsides to Eating Them Related Articles
What Are the Best Fruits for Lowering Blood Pressure?The best fruits for lowering blood pressure include citrus fruits, berries, bananas, pomegranates, prunes, and melons.
High-Sugar FruitsSugar content in fruit varies. High-sugar fruits include mangoes, pears, grapes, cherries, bananas, figs, and watermelon. Low-sugar fruits include avocados, guava, raspberries, cantaloupe, papayas, and strawberries.
High-Fiber FoodsLearn about high-fiber foods. From fresh fruits to whole grains, these fiber-rich foods can lower cholesterol, prevent constipation, and improve digestion.
Best & Worst JuicesAlthough the best kinds of juice deliver a bounty of vitamins, the worst are hardly better than liquid candy. Learn to distinguish between the healthy juices and the unhealthy diet wreckers here.
11 Exotic Fruits You Should TryExotic fruits like acai, guava, and papaya are loaded with vitamins and other nutrients. Learn when these exotic fruits are ripe, how to prepare them and what nutrition they offer.
What Are the Side Effects of Tart Cherry Juice?Antioxidants, fiber, vitamin A, and Vitamin C are just a few of the beneficial nutrients found in tart cherry juice.
What Fruits Should Diabetics Avoid?Managing diabetes successfully is about managing a combination of blood glucose levels. Diabetics do not have to avoid fruit, but they should adhere to sensible portion sizes and watch their overall carb intake.
Which Fruit is Best in the Second Trimester?When you are pregnant, it is important to have a well-balanced diet, with variable nutritious foods that include fruit and vegetables. Fruits that are the most important to eat during the second trimester include bananas, apples, berries and other fruits.
Which Fruits Are High in Potassium?Potassium is an important mineral that plays a vital role in the body. Fruits that are high in potassium include bananas, cantaloupe, oranges, avocados, grapefruit, apricots, honeydew, guava and kiwi.
Which Fruits Have the Highest Protein?The recommended daily allowance of protein for adults is 0.36 grams per pound of bodyweight. The fruits that have the highest protein content include avocados and guava.