We’ve all been there. You are roaming through your local grocery store or even picking up a coffee at Starbucks and you see those Naked Juice Green Machine containers and think “are those things really healthy?” They have the looks of a drink that would be good for us to drink. They aren’t soda. And many people say that Naked Juice drinks are “delicious.” Well, my friends, anytime a health drink is described as “delicious” by consumers, it is best to take a second hard look at the situation. In terms of Naked Juice Green Machine health benefits, well, they’re not what they seem and this drink would not even come close to breaching my best green superfood powder drink list.
These brightly colored bottles that seem to be filled with healthy goodness are actually made by Pepsi. Yes, Pepsi, one of the biggest soda pushers in the world. Not to be a conspiracy theorist by any means, but how much can we trust a company that’s mostly contributed to a cultural health demise with a health drink? It seems a bit contradictory and rightfully so.
In 2016, Naked Juice Green Machine health benefits became a sore subject for Pepsi when PepsiCo was sued by Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) for being deceptive in their marketing claims related to their Naked Juice line. The suit claims that PepsiCo used misleading marketing claims, such as “only the best ingredients” and even, “the goodness inside.” The suit alleged that PepsiCo Naked Juices were using low-grade fruit juices in their drinks. People who were thinking that they were getting Naked Juice Green Machine health benefits were really just downing crappy fruit juices or so claims CSPI.
If we look at the label for Naked Juice Green Machine ingredients, we do see that the top level ingredients are all fruit juices.
Remember, the way that ingredient labels work is a hierarchy. The ingredients with the heaviest volume are placed at the top of the list. In the case of Naked Juice Green Machine, the good ingredients that offer the most health benefits, such as wheat grass, ginger root, barley grass, parsley and green algae are all basement dwellers on the label. Essentially, this drink is just a load of fruit juices.
The fruit juice party is really the nefarious reason that Naked Juice is able to claim “no added sugars,” which is the bait for many consumers to purchase Green Machine. The fact is, this drink is loaded with sugars, and namely fructose (the worst sugar chain of them all). What would even be the point of adding sugars when you are loading it with fruit juices that are loaded with sugars? This is a case of an ingredient label being super manipulative.
“Unfortunately, these products not only lack substantial nutritional value, but the marketing tactics mask what the product actually is — a sugary beverage, similar in nutritional composition to soda,” says Jackie London, who is the Nutrition Director of Good Housekeeping.
Naked Juice Green Machine health benefits are the result of manipulative green drink marketing. This isn’t to say that there are no health benefits, but when you take down over 60 grams of sugar/fructose per serving, the health benefits of wheat grass most certainly become compromised. Over half of all Americans are obese or at the very least, overweight. Science has consistently linked sugar intake to weight gain. Popular drinks such as Naked Juice Green Machine are nefarious contributors to this growing epidemic. The fact is, most people realize that drinking soda is bad for them and they make their decision to drink it based on that knowledge. But Green Machine appears on the outside to be a healthy option so the consumer doesn’t completely realize the disaster they are creating for their blood sugar levels and fat storage mechanisms.
But not to worry, Pepsi referred to the lawsuit as “baseless.” As expected, these big food corporations stand to lose millions as the truth is revealed so they serve to protect their interests first and foremost.
Visit my best green superfood powder drink list, I post the labels. Compare and contrast the differences between my green drink list labels and Naked Juice Green machine labels. Pay attention to which ingredients are listed in what order on the label. Remember, as I mentioned earlier, the first ingredients are the ingredients contained in the most volume in the product. You won’t find loads of fruit juices that concentrate sugar on my top list.
Pay attention to scammy labeling practices. Just because you use “natural fruit juices” doesn’t mean you aren’t getting a heavy sugar load. It is important to be aware of what you are putting into your body.
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- Latest Posts
- Naked Green Machine Review
- First Impressions
- Background on Naked Juice Company
- Naked Green Machine Ingredients
- How Does Naked Green Machine Taste?
- Side Effects
- Does Naked Green Machine Actually Work?
- Naked Green Machine Customer Reviews
- Money Back Guarantee / Returns Policy
- Where to Buy Naked Green Machine?
- Is It Worth the Price?
- Naked Green Machine Juice FAQs
- The Bottom Line
- This Green Machine Smoothie is a great tasting beverage packed with healthy nourishing ingredients and your daily serving of greens!
- IsItBullshit: Odwalla and Naked juices aren’t good for you
- Odwalla SUPERFOOD Green Smoothie – Too Good to Be Food?
- The 18 Worst ‘Healthy’ Juices
- Welch’s 100% Grape Juice with Fiber
- Probiotic Juices
- Simply Orange High Pulp
- Naked Pure Fruit Pomegranate Blueberry
- Langers Mango Nectar
- Odwalla Strawberry C Monster
- Naked Cold-Pressed Cool Pineapple
- Ocean Spray PACt Cranberry
- Antioxidant Juices
- R.W. Knudsen Just Pomegranate
- Evolution Fresh Cold-Pressed, High-Pressure-Processed Orange Juice
- Ocean Spray 100% Juice No Sugar Added Cranberry
- V8 V-Fusion Light Strawberry Banana
- Odwalla Berries Gomega
- Martinelli’s Gold Medal Organic Apple Juice
- Tropicana Farmstand Tropical Green
- Odwalla Smoothie and its Ingredients
Josh Delsota has been involved in the health industry since 2014. He lives a minimalistic lifestyle on 40 acres of land where he raises cattle and grows vegetables. He’s a professional writer and contributes to numerous lifestyle blogs.
Latest posts by Josh Delsota (see all)
Naked Green Machine Review
Last updated December 15, 2019
7 min read When we think about how and why we make purchasing choices, the name of a products as well as how they are sold to us is absolutely key.
Think of the marketing of supplements and you are most likely thinking of images and words related to health, vitality, fitness, weight-loss and the rest. Now think whether the natural logical conclusion of these images is to picture yourself naked?
If this is the case then possibly this product – Naked Green Machine juice could be the product for you!!
The brand is called Naked. This is a bold and risky name which I’m not personally sure will appeal to a lot of customers, but let’s take a look at their products and see how they stack up against the competition.
Table of Contents
‘Looks weird. Tastes amazing’.
I like it! Honest, vaguely funny in a wry sort of way, it makes me want to see really how weird this juice looks and whether it actually does taste amazing. But the reality is, any juice with this amount of fruit probably would taste very good indeed.
Also, you may notice that the name – Naked Green Machine – represents something that works, is reliable, is scientifically engineered perhaps. This is clever as it goes against the grain of other products which are perhaps similar in terms of ingredients but may be going for a more natural take on the name for their product (green goddess, green giant…).
But why have they chosen to formulate Green Machine in the way they have, and what is actually inside the bottle?
Background on Naked Juice Company
In 1983 the fledgling ‘Nakeds’ (primarily founder Jimmy Rosenberg) were selling juice out of a backpack up and down Santa Monica Boulevard. Flash forward to present day and the company has an estimated 63% of the market share in the fresh juices and smoothies market in the U.S.
The range now includes the ever-popular protein blend and is branching into a new area which appeals to lifestyle weighlifters as well as people who are looking to make just one healthy change per day. In 2000 it was bought by a private equity company and presently it is wholly owned by PepsiCo Inc.
The corporate social responsibility angle is covered off by their ‘Drink Good Do Good’ venture.
Claiming that ‘Nearly 30 million Americans don’t have access to affordable, quality, fresh fruits and vegetables’ the annual Drink Good Do Good campaign aims to raise awareness of this issue and ‘help increase access for those in need’.
Naked Green Machine Ingredients
I’m looking at the juice-based drink, Naked Juice Green Machine. The bottle says;
a flavored blend of 5 juices with added ingredients & other natural flavors
So what actually is inside a 15.2oz bottle?
Their website lists the Naked Green ingredients as:
Let’s break this down. The marketing says ‘no added sugar’ and as a portion for an adult, with 53g sugar per bottle, this just about represents double your sugar allowance per day. The American Heart Association recommends you only consume 100 calories in sugar per day (26g or 6 teaspoons).
So firstly it has to be said that there is a staggering amount of sugar in this product. More than in the equivalent amount of Pepsi. I’ll repeat that in case you missed it. For 10oz of Naked Green Machine, there is 35g of sugar whereas in 10oz Pepsi there is only (only!!) 34g.
there is a staggering amount of sugar in this product. More than in the equivalent amount of Pepsi. There ARE sugars present in fruit. This product DOES contain a fair portion of fruit. But whether or not a fruit-based juice can be considered to be a health product is really a matter for debate. In fact in 2016 the company was the subject of a law suit by consumer advocacy groups because of the sugar content in their drinks (note a bottle of their Pomegranate Blueberry juice contains 61g sugar).
Under the official ingredients listing the first ingredient is Apple Juice, followed by Mango Puree. The ‘boosted with’ ingredients are really the ones I am interested in, as a drink with the word Green in the title, these potent plant ingredients are the ones I am looking for when comparing super greens blends and products.
Starting with Spirulina, Healthline suggests that a daily dose (for any effect) could be about 1-3g, so you’re just getting enough of this ingredient in one bottle. However, all the other ingredients are in low amounts unlikely to have little, or any effect.
How Does Naked Green Machine Taste?
It goes to say it is probably very sweet. As I’ve mentioned above the primary ingredients are fruit juices (the choice of fruits is also notable in that they are sweeter varieties and therefore likely to be higher in naturally-occuring sugars per gram than some others like berries).
One of the side effects of this product could, for instance be, a serious sugar hit!
You may not realise because the huge selling point is the amount of healthy stuff inside, but actually there is more sugar in this product than should rightfully be in a health product.
Does Naked Green Machine Actually Work?
Whether something actually works is obviously down to both its intended purpose and the ingredients (whether they will do the job or not).
If the intended purpose is to quickly ingest a large amount of sugars (perhaps to replenish energy stores after an intense workout??) then this could work.
This is really more a juice, at best a smoothie, than a greens product. The greens content is actually relatively low per portion, and one bottle of product (at 15oz for example) is unlikely to last more than a day.
What is gained in convenience may, ultimately, be lost in substance.
Naked Green Machine Customer Reviews
Customer reviews on Amazon.com are the usual mix of positive through to negative.
At 51 customer reviews, 75% are positive, while only 21% are negative (2 stars or 1).
Here are a few examples:
Favorite flavor ever, the best!5 stars
Love this stuff, I could drink this all day every day. Great product5 stars
they changed the ingredients, now it leaves a bitter aftertaste1 star
I was drinking it because I was duped by the green, and healthy label of this drink. There is so much fructose in this drink that is just unbelievable for a product touted as healthy.1 star
Money Back Guarantee / Returns Policy
Unfortunately I couldn’t see one on their website, this may be because juices really can’t be returned.
Where to Buy Naked Green Machine?
You can buy Naked Green Machine in health stores, online and on Amazon.
Is It Worth the Price?
A 15.2oz bottle costs $2.50. There are larger bottles available but I have my concerns about whether or not these represent value for money as, really, they don’t keep for long once opened and therefore unless you are sharing with family or friends this isn’t a product where more is more.
Would it be fair to weigh this product, which is primarily a juice-based drink boosted with greens ingredients, against a super greens powdered product which doesn’t contain any juice? Perhaps not. But there’s no way for me to calculate the cost of ‘just’ the super greens ingredients.
It goes without saying that there are numerous review sites which ‘debunk’ and claim to ‘expose’ juice drinks for their hidden sugar content, but for me it is more disappointing that there’s so little real plant power in this product.
Naked Green Machine Juice FAQs
How much fiber is there?
The Bottom Line
How long people will be buying into the notion of convenience of juice drinks over the hassle of getting ‘whole fruit’ benefits remains to be seen.
I, for one, would sooner choose a bar of gourmet chocolate if I really wanted to consume such a large amount of sugar in one hit. But then I am happy to supplement my diet with other super greens powder products where I know what is going in to my body (through transparent labelling) and then add in additional ingredients if I need a fruit boost.
My verdict: When you look at the sugar content and the too few greens ingredients, I would rather mix-up my super greens powder (Supergreen TONIK) or my other favourite Green Vibrance, than go for this juice.
LifeHackerGuy Super Greens Recommendation
Please give me a few moments to shamelessly introduce my brand, SuperGreen TONIK.
I have researched a lot (and I mean a lot) of super greens out there but was disappointed with most of the ones I tried.
So, I went out and created my own because I wanted to ensure I got all my veggie goodness in the right amounts, and of course within a no-fuss single dose.
None of the other brands offered that.
Its the best out there (of course I would say that about my own), but let me tell you why…
- No hidden ingredient amounts – we have full disclosure labelling, so you know EXACTLY whats inside
- Sufficient ingredient amounts to make a difference – we include at least (if not more of) the minimum effective amounts supported by research
- Ingredients that also could boost mental clarity and shake off brain fog – to boost my at work and home
After many months I finally got a greens formula that fuels my body and mind for the day ahead.
But please dont JUST take my word for it, make up your own decision by checking out my review of my super greens supplement (I TRY AND BE AS UNBIASED AS POSSIBLE ) 👍
This post has been sponsored by Vital Proteins but all opinions expressed are my own.
This Green Machine Smoothie is a great tasting beverage packed with healthy nourishing ingredients and your daily serving of greens!
The end of the year festivities came and went, and for most of us this meant indulging in our favorite comfort foods, party treats, cookies galore and maybe a few drinks. All the fun included! But with the start of the new year our focus have shifted, giving us the opportunity to improve ourselves. Generally speaking, eating healthy and exercising is where most of our efforts lie, and that’s a great thing given the holiday binge-eating season.
It’s safe to say that there is only so much indulgence our bodies can take before it starts to break down. This time of year (and most of the year) I try to eat super clean nourishing foods, support my body’s natural detoxification process and pack in all the vitamins and greens.
One of my favorite ways to do so is by drinking lots of green juices and smoothies. Truth is, few of us meet the daily requirement consumption of veggies, further less our greens. But with this great tasting Green Machine Smoothie you are getting all the work done and enjoying every sip of it!
I get it, green smoothies can be intimidating. But I am convinced that’s more of a psychological thing because it is seriously delicious.
Like, really really delicious!
In addition to all the green goodness coming straight from the earth, I added a scoop of Vital Proteins Collagen Beauty Greens. This powerful blend contains Non-GMO marine collagen peptides combined with healthy organic greens, which provides Vitamin A, hyaluronic acid, and probiotics!
You literally feel good the minute you start sipping on this super healthy Green Machine Smoothie.
Unlike other green smoothies that are just ‘tolerable’, this Green Machine Smoothie with Vital Proteins Collagen Beauty Greens is tasty, refreshing, filling, nourishing and simply delicious!
To learn more about Vital Proteins Collagen, get recipe ideas and learn about all the benefits of supplementing your diet with collagen, visit their website.
Green Machine Smoothie Prep Time 8 mins Total Time 8 mins
This Green Machine Smoothie is a great tasting beverage packed with healthy nourishing ingredients!
Course: Drinks Cuisine: American Keyword: Green Juice, Smoothie Servings: 2 drinks Author: Silvia Ribas Ingredients
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1 whole green apple (granny smith), chunks
- 1/2 whole cucumber (about 3/4 cup), chunks
- 1 whole lime, juice
- 1 cup pineapple chunks, frozen
- 3/4 cup coconut water
- 1 handful mint leaves
- 2 scoops Vital Proteins Collagen Beauty Greens
- 1 handful ice cubes
Add all the ingredients to a blender cup and work it for about 1-2 minutes until completely smooth.
With a parent company like Coca-Cola, are Odwalla juices as healthy and natural as they claim?
The story of Odwalla is that of your classic lemonade-stand-turned-multi-million-dollar-juice-company. In 1980, partners Greg Steltenpohl, Gerry Percy, and Bonnie Bassett started selling fresh, unpasteurized orange juice squeezed by a secondhand juicer in a backyard shed. By 1996, Odwalla was one of the largest fresh juice companies in America, and in 2001 it was bought out by The Coca-Cola Company, as part of the global conglomerate’s efforts to enter the health beverage industry.
Odwalla’s motto from the start was “soil to soul” – but when a parent company like Coca-Cola is in the picture, how natural and healthy can Odwalla’s products still be?
In its early days, Odwalla’s distribution was local, with headquarters and production in California, and its offerings were limited to fruits that were in season. Named after a song character that guided “people of the sun” out of the “grey haze,” the company’s initial mission was to help people break away from the cycle of over-processed foods, an aim that earned Odwalla a cult following among health junkies and food activists. In fact, Steve Jobs, known for his strict vegan eating habits, was said to have stocked Odwalla juices in Apple’s early offices.
In 1996, Odwalla made more than $59 million in sales and was considered a success story – that is, until October of that year, when it was found that a batch of apple juice made with blemished fruit was contaminated with E. coli. The outbreak led to the death of a 16-month-old and made at least 66 people sick, some with lasting health damage.
Though Odwalla went immediately into action mode – a recall of the products cost $6.5 million and took around 48 hours to complete – stock in the company fell by 40 percent and product sales plummeted by 90 percent.
The outbreak was blamed on the fact that Odwalla’s juices were unpasteurized, because the company claimed that the process of pasteurization altered flavors and killed essential nutrients and enzymes. In addition, Odwalla was blamed for other flawed safety practices, like unsanitized equipment. The company pled guilty, paid a $1.5 million fine, and added flash pasteurization to their juice making practices.
Odwalla gradually recovered, and in 2001 it was acquired by Coca-Cola for a reported $181 million and folded into the corporation’s Minute Maid department. Today, Odwalla continues to sell its original fresh juices along with lines of Proteins, Quenchers, Fruit Smoothies, Superfood blends, and energy bars.
In an industry where most “natural” food and beauty products have ingredient lists that are paragraphs long, Odwalla, for the most part, is the real deal. A handful of the company’s natural juice products continue to list just one ingredient: “pure pressed carrots,” for instance, or simply “apple juice.” And most of the other ingredient lists don’t top ten items, with the majority of ingredients derived from nature. Odwalla’s popular Original Superfood, for instance, contains a unique blend of apple juice; peach, mango, strawberry, and banana purees; spirulina; soy lecithin; vitamin C; wheat grass; barley grass; wheat sprouts; Jerusalem artichoke; lemon bioflavonoids; and Novia Scotia Dulse – and somehow it still manages to taste good.
Most of Odwalla’s fruit is sourced from producers in California, where the company’s juice processing plant is also located. The fruit is washed, rinsed, and sorted, and then put through a second cleansing process before it is pressed and flash pasteurized to eliminate bacteria. According to Odwalla’s website, a group of employees gathers for a daily taste test – “we’d never serve our customers anything we wouldn’t gulp down ourselves,” they say.
In addition to keeping their juices relatively simple, Odwalla has also made a commitment to standard environmental practices, like recycling, reducing their carbon footprint, reusing water, and finding ways to eliminate waste. And recently, Odwalla was the first national beverage company to introduce packaging made from 100-percent plant-based materials. The new bottle, called PlantBottle™, is made from HDPA plastic derived from sugarcane, which is 100 percent recyclable. The innovation was also incorporated into water bottle packaging for Dasani, another Coca-Cola-owned company.
After the disastrous E. coli outbreak in 1996, Odwalla was no longer able to produce juices that were as untainted and unpasteurized as before. The company introduced flash pasteurization, also called “High Temperature Short Time” processing, which is a process of heat pasteurization that is said to better maintain the color and flavor of ingredients.
But that’s not the only change that has taken place in Odwalla products over the years. With the introduction of new product lines, like Quenchers, Smoothies, and Superfoods, Odwalla also introduced something else into the mix: sugar.
To be fair, the sugar in question is not of the white powder variety. Instead, Odwalla uses Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, a less processed sweetener. And not all of Odwalla’s products contain added sugars. But the ones that do pack quite a punch, like the following popular 12-ounce items:
- Lemonade: 41g sugar, 44g carbohydrates, 180 calories
- Strawberry C Monster: 43g sugar, 56g carbohydrates, 240 calories
- Serious Tropical Energy: 44g sugar, 59g carbohydrates, 240 calories
For the Lemonade, that’s about the equivalent of adding 10 teaspoons of sugar to a single glass.
Bloggers weighing in tended to agree that many Odwalla drinks can barely qualify as health beverages. In a review of the Strawberry Protein Monster drink, Kristin from Fit Bottomed Girls says:
With 25 grams of protein per bottle, it certainly qualifies as a protein drink … It’s the other ingredients that have me a little more concerned. Yes, 25 grams of protein is great, and it provides plenty of calcium, vitamins B6 and B12, but all that goodness comes with some less savory friends; namely, 300 calories, 33 grams of sugar, and 170 milligrams of sodium. Now, the drink itself isn’t bad—maybe a bit on the chalky side, but sweet like strawberries and easy enough to drink—but with those kinds of stats on a beverage billed as a healthful choice, I really expected to be blown away with the tastiness.
Hungry Runner adds in:
Odwalla smoothies and juices aren’t necessarily “unhealthy,” but you also wouldn’t really want to consume an entire bottle of this product in one sitting, because even though the sugars are coming naturally from fruit, doing so would be somewhat of a sugar overload for your body.
While Odwalla juice products are a comparatively good natural beverage choice, fans should adhere to the old lesson that not everything that’s natural is good for you. Though their major ingredients may be natural, many Odwalla items are still packed with sugar, or “organic evaporated cane juice” as they call it. Glamour magazine’s in-house health expert, Dr. Melina Jampolis, confirms that “evaporated cane juice is pretty much just sugar,” less processed but with the same amount of calories.
Snack Girl, who noted that her Mango Tango contained more sugar per serving than Coke, made a healthy suggestion.
What to do? I say treat these as a treat! Use them to replace soda or ice cream because they are better for you than those choices. Do not treat them like water or a snack that will fill you up.
Real juice fans are better off heading to their neighborhood juice bar. Not only can you keep an eye on how much sugar goes into your beet-apple-carrot-ginger-lemon concoction, but chances are, your local juicer needs the business more than Coca-Cola.
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Check out all Behind the Label columns here.
Image: Hannah Rosen
Jessica Marati currently resides in New York City and covers travel and sustainability for EcoSalon. Catch her weekly column, Behind the Label.
IsItBullshit: Odwalla and Naked juices aren’t good for you
I really enjoy Odwalla and Naked juices and make them work for my diet in the following ways:
I only buy the varieties without added sugar (check for “organic evaporated cane juice” or whatever in the ingredients list).
When I can track them down, I buy the mini sizes.
When I can’t, I do not drink the entire 15.2 fl oz in one sitting– I split it into two days.
I make sure they fit in my caloric budget.
Fruit juice can absolutely be a part of a healthy diet. The issue is more people thinking it is super healthy and they should consume a lot of it regularly. A few cups of orange juice and suddenly you’ve consumed 300+ calories and 60+ grams of sugar without feeling any fuller (you would have a much harder time eating 300 calories of actual oranges– that’s 4-5 oranges) and without getting the fiber you would from the fruit. And then a lot of people eat that in addition to the other food they are eating. But they are not inherently bad and can absolutely be consumed by a thoughtful person on a healthy diet.
Odwalla SUPERFOOD Green Smoothie – Too Good to Be Food?
Green juices continue to pop up everywhere nowadays. From ordering a glass off the gym café’s menu, to stocking up with gallon jugs of it from the grocery store, green juice is as easy to get your hands on as good ol’ OJ. But what’s in it that makes it so good for you, yet still palatable in the morning? Is guzzling down this “micronutrient fruit juice drink” really going to make you healthier? While Odwalla Superfood Smoothie Blend boasts antioxidant vitamin C and no added sugar, is it Too Good to Be Food?
What’s in it:
APPLE JUICE, PEACH, MANGO, STRAWBERRY, AND BANANA PUREES, SPIRULINA, SOY LECITHIN, VITAMIN C (ASORBIC ACID), WHEAT GRASS, BARLEY GRASS, WHEAT SPROUTS, JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE, LEMON BIOFLAVONOIDS, NOVA SCOTIA DULSE
Let’s take a closer look:
Apple Juice – Apple juice or apple juice concentrate is used as a sweetener in many products labeled “all natural” or “unsweetened/no sugar added.” A-plus for the use of real fruit juice, but remember, it’s the first ingredient on the list! This means it’s the primary ingredient by weight in this smoothie, and lots of juice means LOTS of sugar!
Peach, mango, strawberry, and banana purees – Fruit purees add sweetness and yummy flavor to “green” juices, which can be plant-y or bitter without natural sugars to perk things up. Fruit purees that include the whole fruit and peel can also provide soluble and insoluble fiber, which are critical for digestion and for stabilizing blood sugar. Odwalla Superfood does not contain much dietary fiber, which means these fruit “purees” are probably closer to fruit juices than to pureed whole fruits.
Spirulina – A type of blue-green algae rich in protein vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help protect cells from oxidative damage. Research has found that spirulina may boost immune system function, helping to protect against allergic reactions! Check mark here!
Soy lecithin – This one of the most common emulsifiers added to foods to keep them from separating. Soy Lecithin is derived from soybeans and creates a smooth, consistent texture in mixtures that might otherwise be grainy or clumpy, like dressings, sauces, and smoothies. While it’s not as controversial an additive as soy protein, non-organic soy lecithin may have high concentrations of pesticides.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) – Ascorbic Acid is another word for Vitamin C, which has antioxidant properties and is also a precursor for the production of collagen, which contributes to firm skin and healthy, flexible blood vessels. Vitamin C acts as a preservative when added to foods and as a bonus boosts the vitamin C content. This additive tends to give products a tart flavor, which is not necessarily a bad thing!
Wheat grass – Wheat grass is young, green wheat, which is rich in vitamins A, C, and E and the plant pigment chlorophyll, which gives plants their green color! Chlorophyll acts as an antioxidant to protect cells from free radical damage. Wheatgrass is touted for its possible antiviral and antibacterial properties. Give this stuff a try!
Barley grass – Sprouted from barley seeds, this grass is best consumed by juicing the sprouts into green liquid. It is packed with protein, iron, vitamin C, and calcium, so it adds a nutrient boost to any healthy shake or juice.
Wheat sprouts – Like other sprouted grains, wheat sprouts are kernels of wheat grain that have been given enough moisture and light to crack open and grow a new plant, or “sprout.” Sprouted grains may have higher vitamin and mineral content than non-sprouted whole grains due to this new, growing plant’s increased nutrient needs.
The 18 Worst ‘Healthy’ Juices
Looking for healthy juices to buy? Consider this: yes, fruit juice is “natural” and overflowing with vitamin C, but bottled juices aren’t as healthy as they seem.
The difference between natural fruit juice and its produce companion is the presence of fiber. This digestion-slowing, belly-filling macronutrient is key when it comes to minimizing spikes in blood sugar and keeping your energy levels from tanking soon after you finish sipping a glass. The proof is in the pudding: According to Harvard researchers, when participants swapped out three glasses of fruit juice with three servings of whole fruit a week, it was associated with a 7 percent reduction in risk of type 2 diabetes.
And yes, juices sound like they could be better for you because they contain “natural” sugars, but unfortunately, your body can’t tell the difference. These carbs are treated the same way as added sugars in your body; and that’s extra bad news since some of these drinks contain more sweet stuff than a soda. Yikes.
Because juices are often touted as a health food, it makes them all the more dangerous. Studies have shown that when people perceive food as healthier, we tend to eat—or drink—more of it. That’s why we’ve searched through grocery store shelves to find the worst “healthy” juices that are really diet blunders in disguise. Cut out these sugary concoctions and blend yourself one of these fiber-rich smoothie recipes for weight loss instead.
Welch’s 100% Grape Juice with Fiber
Per 8 fl oz: 150 calories, 0 g fat, 20 mg sodium, 41 g carbs (3 g fiber, 36 g sugar), 1 g protein
How can a sugary, but healthy, food like fruit go from being healthy to unhealthy? Easy: strip it of its benefits. Fruit may contain sugar, but it also contains water and fiber: two nutrients that help fill you up and slow down your body’s digestion of sugars so you get a slow release of energy. When you turn fruit into juice, you’re losing this digestion-slowing fiber. Welch’s tries to make up for it by adding fiber back into their juice, but the mere three grams of added fiber is no match for the 36 grams of sugar you’ll still down when you drink a whole glass. Bolthouse Farms, on the other hand, adds a sturdy 8 grams of fiber to stand up to their 19 grams of sugar in their Multi-V Goodness Orange drink.
Drink This! Instead:
Bolthouse Farms Multi-V Goodness Orange
Per 8 fl oz: 130 calories, 0 g fat, 70 mg sodium, 31 g carbs (8 g fiber, 19 g sugar), 1 g protein 2 & 3
Naked Boosted Probiotic Machine Tropical Mango
Per 15.2 fl oz bottle: 280 calories, 0 g fat, 10 mg sodium, 66 g carbs (3 g fiber, 53 g sugar), 3 g protein
Tropicana Probiotics Pineapple Mango
Per 8 fl oz: 140 calories, 0 g fat, 10 mg sodium, 33 g carbs (0 g fiber, 29 g sugar), < 1 g protein
By now you’ve probably heard of the belly-healing bacteria called probiotics; Despite their popularity, did you know they’re not exclusive to the Greek yogurt aisle anymore? Lab-grown strains of probiotics are being added to foods that don’t naturally have them, like these juices. And, frankly, it’s a bit ironic. Emerging research finds that diets rich in sugary products are associated with a high ratio of bad bacteria to good bacteria in the gut. Experts believe the problem stems from sugar being the primary source of fuel for the fungi that can destroy beneficial probiotics. Translation: probiotic-infused sugary drinks are about as counterproductive as drinking an espresso before going to sleep. If you want some probiotics, we’d recommend making your own smoothie at home with yogurt, or pick up Bolthouse Farms’ Breakfast Smoothie made with cultured yogurt. Yes, it’s high in sugar, but it also contains 13 grams of prebiotic fiber: a source of food for probiotics.
Bolthouse Farms Peach Parfait Breakfast Smoothie
Per 15.2 fl oz bottle: 360 calories, 5 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 160 mg sodium, 65 g carbs (13 g fiber, 44 g sugar), 11 g protein 4
Simply Orange High Pulp
Per 8 fl oz: 110 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg sodium, 26 g carbs (0 g fiber, 23 g sugar), 2 g protein
Sorry, but the “High Pulp” option for orange juices doesn’t equate to a higher fiber count. There are still zero grams of the digestion-slowing, energy-stabilizing macronutrient in a glass of this OJ. If you still want the taste of orange juice without the sugar crash, either slice up an orange and throw some into your water, or pick up a can of zero-calorie, zero-sugar sparkling beverage Perrier L’Orange.
Perrier L’Orange Sparkling Natural Mineral Water
Per 8 fl oz: 0 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg sodium, 0 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 0 g protein 5
Naked Pure Fruit Pomegranate Blueberry
Per 15.2 fl oz bottle: 290 calories, 0 g fat, 40 mg sodium, 68 g carbs (0 g fiber, 61 g sugar), 2 g protein
This juice might be naturally sweetened, but just because it’s made with real fruit doesn’t justify gulping down a staggering 61 grams of sugar in a bottle. And yes, although we would typically give nutritional information for an 8-ounce serving, we made an exception for bottled drinks like Naked’s, whose packaging is unmistakably intended to be drunk by a single person at one time. Until the new nutrition label comes out in 2018 that instructs manufacturers to list nutritionals for the entire bottle rather than a cup, be on the lookout for food and beverages with sneaky serving sizes.
Eat This! Instead:
Per ½ cup: 72 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 3 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (4 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 2 g protein 6
Langers Mango Nectar
Per 8 fl oz: 140 calories, 0 g fat, 15 mg sodium, 35 g carbs (0 g fiber, 35 g sugar), 0 g protein
Don’t fall prey to health halo labels like “100% Vitamin C,” “GMO Free,” and “No High Fructose Corn Syrup.” This offering from Langers is mostly filtered water with some mango puree, citric acid, natural flavor, and lots and lots of sugar. And always be wary of juice “cocktails,” which is code for “loaded with sugar.” Our Drink This! pick is lower in sugar, but we’d still recommend it to be a once-in-a-while treat rather than a daily drink.
Nantucket Nectars Orange Mango Juice
Per 8 fl oz: 125 calories, 0 g fat, 25 mg sodium, 30 g carbs (0 g fiber, 29 g sugar), 0 g protein 7
Odwalla Strawberry C Monster
Per 15.2 fl oz bottle: 240 calories, 0 g fat, 35 mg sodium, 58 g carbs (0 g fiber, 48 g sugar), 1 g protein
Homemade smoothies are an effective way to get in a blast of nutritents in an easy-to-digest snack, but the store-bought version is a whole other beast. This bottled smoothie is overflowing with sugar (in fact, it has 12 donuts worth of the sweet stuff), and it’s not justified just because these sugars are naturally-occurring. When fruit juice concentrates are added to sweeten products, it’s just as bad as adding high fructose syrup as these natural sugars are lacking in fruit’s waist-whittling partner in crime: fiber.
Per ½ cup: 50 calories, 0 g fat, 2 mg sodium, 12 g carbs (3 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 1 g protein (149% Vitamin C) 8
Naked Cold-Pressed Cool Pineapple
Per 12 fl oz bottle: 140 calories, 0 g fat, 10 mg sodium, 33 g carbs (0 g fiber, 30 g sugar), 1 g protein
Cold-pressed juices are supposed to preserve more micronutrients than juices that have been pasteurized—a high-temperature process that destroys temperature-sensitive nutrients—but that doesn’t mean this juice should be your go-to breakfast, or what Naked tries to sell as “the coolest thing to hit mornings since the snooze button.” The only thing being “hit” by this drink? Your energy levels—as they hit the floor—minutes after you’ve sipped through all 12 ounces of this drink because it’s made of 30 grams of sugar, with no digestive-slowing healthy fats, fiber, or protein.
Sunkist True Fruit Clusters Pineapple Crunch
Per ¼ cup: 35 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg sodium, 9 g carbs (3 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 0 g protein 9
Ocean Spray PACt Cranberry
Per 8 fl oz: 10 calories, 0 g fat, 75 mg sodium, 13 g carbs (0 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 12 g erythritol), 0 g protein
This pick is far from the healthiest store bought juice. Because cranberries are the lowest sugar fruit, they have a “distinctly tart, astringent, and even unpalatable taste” without the addition of sugar, according to a letter the Ocean Spray company wrote to the FDA in an outcry over the newly mandated line for “added sugars” on nutrition labels. Although Ocean Spray got around that issue by not adding any sugar to this beverage, they overdid it on the zero-calorie sweetener front: PACt Cranberry has a whopping 12 grams of sugar alcohol erythritol. When consumed in excess (which can be likely when you think a food is “healthier” for you since it doesn’t have sugar), this sugar alcohol effectively acts as a laxative and can cause stomach pain, excessive internal gas, and flatulence in sensitive individuals. If you want the antioxidant benefits, try Ocean Spray’s other PACt fruit infusion line, which has no sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners and is low in sugar.
Ocean Spray PACt Fruit Infusions Cranberry Cherry Blueberry
Per 8 fl oz: 30 calories, 0 g fat, 45 mg sodium, 7 g carbs (0 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 0 g protein 10 & 11
Smart Juice Organic Antioxidant Force
Per 8 fl oz: 120 calories, 0 g fat, 20 mg sodium, 26 g carbs (1 g fiber, 24 g sugar), 2 g protein
Welch’s 100% Juice Antioxidant Superberry
Per 8 fl oz: 140 calories, 0 g fat, 15 mg sodium, 36 g carbs (0 g fiber, 36 g sugar), < 1 g protein
You probably have heard antioxidants are good for you, but that doesn’t mean drinking them in juice form is the preferable method of ingestion. Antioxidants are compounds that rid your body of free radicals: nefarious compounds that cause inflammation and lead to a host of diseases such as obesity and Alzheimer’s. You may be getting an antioxidant boost in this drink, but you’re getting a staggering amount of sugar and little else. Eat some real blueberries instead. A study in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that eating (not drinking) berries daily could significantly reduce inflammation.
Per ½ cup: 40 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg sodium, 10 g carbs (2 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 0 g protein 12
R.W. Knudsen Just Pomegranate
Per 8 fl oz: 170 calories, 0 g fat, 30 mg sodium, 41 g carbs (0 g fiber, 35 g sugar), < 1 g protein
Upon closer inspection of the label, you see that “Just Pomegranate” really means 100% premium pomegranate juice… from concentrate, mixed with water. And that means R.W. Knudsen could have added more water to dilute this sugary beverage, but they didn’t. POM Wonderful does a bit of better job by diluting their pomegranate juice to only 32 grams of sugar. When it comes down to it, however, you should still add more water to your pomegranate juice at home.
Per 8 fl oz: 150 calories, 38 g carbs (0 g fiber, 32 g sugar), < 1 g protein 13
Evolution Fresh Cold-Pressed, High-Pressure-Processed Orange Juice
Per 15.2-oz bottle: 228 calories, 0 g fat, 53 g carbs (0 g fiber, 49 g sugar), 4 g protein
This morning mainstay might be bright and refreshing, but it’s loaded with sugar and relatively low in nutritive values besides vitamin C. Don’t let their health-halo marketing skew your keen eyes away from the label. A single serving has 26 grams of sugar—and a single serving is only half the bottle. Although these grams may only be from fruit sugars and not added, regardless of source, sugars act the same way in your body. So guzzling down 49 grams of the sweet stuff in a single sitting can do some serious damage to your blood sugar levels if you don’t pair it with foods high in fiber, protein, or healthy fats. Instead, choose a waistline-friendly option from Tropicana: Trop50. It has 50 percent less sugar and calories and is never made from concentrate.
Tropicana Trop50 No Pulp Calcium + Vitamin D
Per 8 fl oz: 50 calories, 0 g fat, 10 mg sodium, 13 g carbs (0 g fiber, 10 g sugar), < 1 g protein 14
Ocean Spray 100% Juice No Sugar Added Cranberry
Per 8 fl oz: 110 calories, 0 g fat, 15 mg sodium, 28 g carbs (0 g fiber, 28 g sugar), 0 g protein
At first glance, Ocean Spray’s “No Sugar Added,” “100% Juice” cranberry juice looks like a good choice, but there’s a hidden danger in this refined-sugar-free beverage; Ocean Spray sweetens their juice with fruit juice concentrates grape juice, apple juice, and pear juice. We’re all for cutting out refined sugar, but fruit juice concentrates rank even worse than refined sugar on our list of every added sweetener—ranked!
That’s because fruit contains more of the fruit sugar fructose than table sugar does. (Although cane sugar is 50% fructose, apples can be 71% fructose, pears are 61% fructose, and grapes are 54% fructose.) Why all the negative press about fruit sugar? Because fructose isn’t used by our body as energy, this sugar get converted into fat and inflammatory compounds more easily than glucose does. Plus, a growing body of research connects high doses of fructose with the root of a host of metabolic diseases such as insulin resistance, high cholesterol, and belly fat accumulation. For the same number of grams of sugar with less fructose, pick up Ocean Spray’s cane-sugar-sweetened original cranberry juice. And, please, dilute it with water.
Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Cocktail Original
Per 8 fl oz: 110 calories, 0 g fat, 5 mg sodium, 28 g carbs (0 g fiber, 28 g sugar), 0 g protein 15
V8 V-Fusion Light Strawberry Banana
Per 8 fl oz: 50 calories, 0 g fat, 35 mg sodium, 12 g carbs (0 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 0 g protein
By “Light,” V8 means they’ve watered down their regular V-Fusion Strawberry Banana drink (water is listed as the first ingredient in this beverage) while attempting to get the same level of sweetness with the addition of artificial sweetener sucralose. Unfortunately for you, high-intensity sweeteners like sucralose (aka Splenda) have been found to recalibrate your brain’s interpretation of sweetness, which can cause you to overconsume regular sugar-sweetened foods. Our suggestion? Buy the regular V8 V-Fusion, water it down yourself, and save yourself from artificial sweeteners.
V8 V-Fusion Strawberry Banana
Per 8 fl oz: 110 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 70 mg sodium, 27 g carbs (0 g fiber, 22 g sugar), 0 g protein 16
Odwalla Berries Gomega
Per 15.2 fl oz bottle: 270 calories, 4 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 15 mg sodium, 56 g carbs (2 g fiber, 47 g sugar), 3 g protein
The point of Odwalla’s “Gomega” drink is that you get 1,500 mg of anti-inflammatory omega-3, ALA fatty acids from the addition of ground flax seeds. Unfortunately, that only results in 2 grams of fiber and an absurdly high 47 grams of sugar in a bottle. For an extra boost of omega-3s, less sugar, and more fiber, go with Mamma Chia’s lightly-sweetened Organic Blackberry Hibiscus beverage which serves up 2,300 mg omega-3s and an impressive 4 grams of protein!
Mamma Chia Blackberry Hibiscus
Per 10 fl oz bottle: 120 calories, 4 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 12 mg sodium, 20 g carbs (6 g fiber, 14 g sugar), 4 g protein 17
Martinelli’s Gold Medal Organic Apple Juice
Per 8 fl oz: 140 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg sodium, 35 g carbs (0 g fiber, 31 g sugar), 1 g protein
Just because it’s “organic” doesn’t automatically mean it’s good for you. Yes, we’d recommend organic apple drinks over conventional as apples are notorious for their high levels of inflammatory pesticide contamination, but that doesn’t make all organic apple products safe for your belly. Martinelli’s offering is one of the highest sugar apple juices on the market, and simply switching to Apple & Eve’s beverage will save you 9 grams of sugar for the same safety of organic fruit.
Apple & Eve Organics Apple Juice
Per 8 fl oz: 110 calories, 0 g fat, 5 mg sodium, 26 g carbs (0 g fiber, 22 g sugar), 0 g protein 18
Tropicana Farmstand Tropical Green
Per 8 fl oz: 120 calories, 0 g fat, 55 mg sodium, 27 g carbs (0 g fiber, 26 g sugar), 1 g protein
Devoid of fiber and full of sugar, Tropicana’s new Farmstand beverage isn’t any better than your average juice. And even if it has two “servings of fruit and vegetables in every glass,” you’re still missing one of the key benefits veggies offer: fiber! A glass of V8 is much lower in sugar and higher in fiber for the same number of “servings of veggies.”
V8 Low-Sodium Vegetable Juice
Per 8 fl oz: 50 calories, 0 g fat, 140 mg sodium, 10 g carbs (2 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 2 g protein
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This is one of the primary reasons why manufacturers who know what the consumers want and like are focusing on meeting the demand of this health conscious generation. From creating exercise programs that benefit specific areas of the body to developing health foods and drinks that people eat on a regular basis. The drive to supply better foods and nutrition is constantly increasingly as the demand for healthier products rises among adults and the youth. So, for those of you who may be interested in some of the top products that offer better healthy choices, you may want to see what Odwalla provides in their ingredients. Here’s a list of the foods and beverages that should be reviewed first.
Odwalla Smoothie and its Ingredients
To determine if a product is actually healthy, one of the first things that should be done is to check out the ingredients. Since the Food and Drug Administration is requiring manufacturers to list all of the ingredients on the label of each product that’s made, people can read the label to see if the ingredients are healthy or unhealthy. With this in mind, we will review Odwall Smoothies to see what they contain.
From Concentrate – Is not what you want to read
First of all, when reading the label, there are a few statements that stand out. Even though Odwalla Smoothies are currently marketed as a super food, some of the main ingredients on the label precedes with the keywords that says ‘from concentrate’. In fact, because it is a mixture of fruits, ‘from concentrate’ is used numerous times to list what is actually in it. Unfortunately, this is a very bad start since the words that people should be looking for is pure apple juice, pure orange juice, pure pineapple juice and the like. From concentrate is not the words that we want to see when we want a beverage that is healthy. This is because from concentrate normally implies added sugars along with additives that cannot be tracked back to all natural fruits. So, in effect, what they are really saying is, this smoothie is not really healthy at all.
High Sugar Content Leads to Extra Weight
Further, when reading the label for more information, consumers will also find that the sugar content is extremely high. For instance, the carbs in one serving of Oswallla fruit smoothie is a big whopping 58 grams, which is approximately 20% of the ingredients contained in this beverage. Since sugars lead to more fat, and fat leads to more weight gain, obesity will be the end result of drinking this product on a regular basis as a healthy superfood. So, it is important for people to read the label themselves very carefully, and then take what the marketing ads in these companies are saying with a grain a salt. More simply put, the adds for this ‘healthy’ product is completely misleading, specifically when it comes to the high sugar content alone.
Ingredients that Attract Health Conscious People
Kale, Spirulina, wheat grass, and barley grass are healthy contents that people can benefit from eating when they add them to their diets on a regular basis. This is because these foods are known for being high in fiber content and other essential vitamins and minerals so they are actually good for the digestive system. This is also why these fruit and vegetables are highly recommended, especially when they are offered in a beverage.
On the other hand, if a fruit beverage has more sugar content than a coke, it may be time to decide that this smoothie cannot be half as healthy as one is led to believe. In fact, on the front end of this kind of marketing campaign, it is very easy to reel healthy conscious into the fold. However, when the person begins to read all of the unhealthy ingredients included in one serving, they may quickly decide that this is not the correct choice for them. Also, because the downsides of drinking this kind of beverage is so high, it completely knocks out the possibilities of it being a healthy drink that is filled with healthy benefits.
In addition to fruit smoothies, Oswalla produces healthy snack bars too. In fact, they are filled with all kinds of ingredients that make this bar filled with potential health benefits. In one of their health bars, people should also beware, however, of the sugar content since it has a relatively high amount of carbs in these small bars. For instance, one 2 oz whole cereal snack bar has 200 calories and 30 grams of carbs. Though this may not sound like much to some people, these high amounts can completely destroy low carb and low calories diets.
Is Oswalla healthy for you? Well, according to the ads, their smoothies and their whole cereal snack bars are great for keeping healthy and losing weight. Also, the ingredients on the back of the product is also filled with names of healthy fruits and vegetables that people should fill up on everyday. However, when people read the details on the label, they may get a completely different picture. Specifically, because the ingredients in the beverages and the whole cereal protein bars can be a little disturbing, especially since these smoothies and snack bars are made with very high contents of sugar and calories. Meaning people who are also trying to lose weight can kill their diets before getting started. Specifically, comparing the carbs in a smoothie and the carbs in a coke. Based on the information on the back of both, a serving of Oswalla Smoothie has a higher level of sugar content than a serving a coke.