August 8, 2013
By Betty Murray
After a lawsuit complaining that PepsiCo Inc.’s Naked juices are not “all natural,” as claimed by the drink company, the brand of juice drinks will no longer be labeled as “natural.” And PepsiCo will pay $9 million to settle the lawsuit.
The drinks have been touted as healthy and natural, but actually contain large amounts of sugar. A Naked favorite, ‘Green Machine’ contains 28 grams of sugar and 33 grams of carbohydrates per serving. (One 16-ounce bottle equals two servings.)
Naked claims to use an “added boost of vitamins,” in some of the company’s drinks, but the lawsuit claimed those vitamins are actually synthetic ingredients, such as a fiber made by Archer Daniels Midland.
The lawsuit against PepsiCo claims the company used the word “natural” to lure its target market looking for healthy, non-GMO products. The lawsuit goes on to claim that genetically modified organisms have been indeed added in some cases to Naked juices. PepsiCo denies that claim.
The issue isn’t about Naked juice so much as it is how the word “natural” is used in the industry. There is currently no definition by the Food and Drug Administration as to what can be classified as a natural product, so long as the food doesn’t have “added color, artificial flavors or synthetic substances.”
Products labeled as natural can easily be misleading to consumers. If you want an all-natural, GMO-free fruit juice or smoothie, your best option is to make your own at home using a combination of your favorite organic fruits and vegetables.
Make your own “green machine” smoothie with this recipe:
• 1 small, frozen ripe banana, peeled
• 2 cups baby spinach
• 1 tbsp organic peanut butter
• 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
• 1/2 cup plan, fat-free Greek yogurt
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. For a cool, refreshing smoothie, add ice.
Betty Murray, CN, HHC, RYT is a Certified Nutritionist & Holistic Health Counselor, founder of the Dallas-based integrative medical center, Wellness and founder of the Metabolic Blueprint wellness program. Betty’s nutrition counseling practice specializes in metabolic and digestive disorders and weight loss resistance. A master of the biochemistry of the body, Betty teaches her clients how to utilize nutritional interventions to improve their health. Betty is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.