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J'Accuse! Naked Juice is sugar water

Updated: Mar 20



Candy is full of sugar. Employees recognize that factoid. But can they recognize hidden sugars in healthy-sounding foods? Last month, for example, we blew the whistle on Craisins.



Everyone assumes that dried fruit is healthy. Well, dried fruit generally is healthy. Except when it isn’t. If, like cranberries, a fruit is so sour in its natural state that you have to smother it in sugar for it to taste good, well, that’s not healthy.


Here is our question on it. Check out the nutrition label at the end:

1/4 dry cup, about 40 grams in total, has 29 grams of sugar, most of which is added. We were quite surprised to learn this (as I used to feed these things to my kids) and apparently so are your employees, as only about 20% get this question right.


This is one of the many reasons that we recommend Quizzify to complement and follow up on your wellness or diabetes vendor's advice to avoided added sugar. We teach employees where to find it. You can't avoid what you can't find.


And, as you are about to see, finding these added sugars is harder than you'd think...

 

We are shocked, shocked, to find that sugar is being added in here!


 

Just when we think we've seen everything, it turns out that one serving of the healthiest-sounding processed food on the planet, Naked Green Machine Juice (whose label touts “Goodness Inside”), supplies far more sugar (53 grams!) than we should be eating all day. (That latter figure would be, depending on who you believe, 35 grams for men and 25 grams for women.)



If you can't quite read it on the lower left, take our word for this: the label claims: “NO SUGAR ADDED.” But here's a piece of nutrition trivia. Naked Juice is sweetened with concentrated fruit juice, and concentrated fruit juice is an added sugar. Nevertheless, the Naked Juice people don’t have to list concentrated juice as added sugar because that's what they are selling – juice. It's like maple syrup. Maple syrup doesn't list any added sugar on its own label because it is all sugar. But a processed food that includes maple syrup must count it as an added sugar.


Regardless, fruit juice concentrate is added sugar, period. If it were added to any non-juice product, it would be listed as an added sugar. As far as your digestive system is concerned, there is no difference between fruit juice concentrate and sugar.


How much fruit-extracted sugar does Naked Juice concentrate into one serving? 2¼ apples worth, according to its own label. (Plus the sugary extracts of kiwis, bananas, pineapples, and pears.)


Naked Juice does supply lots of Vitamin A, B and C. But here’s the thing: for every American with a clinically significant deficiency of those vitamins, there are about 10,000 Americans with diabetes and another 20,000 on their way. Virtually every one of those 30,000, including many of your own employees, thinks they are doing their bodies a favor by drinking Naked Green Machine Juice.


Piling on, we’d also observe that the one nutrient we as a country are most deficient in is fiber. (Yes, that is also a Quizzify question.) Fruits are a good source of fiber. Even Craisins can at least check the fiber box. Yet, somehow, Naked Juice has managed to process all the fiber out of these 2¼ apples and four other fruits, so the label above lists 0 grams.


Verdict: Naked Juice is not a healthy alternative to vegetables. Heck, it’s barely a healthy alternative to dessert.