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No Jamba
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No Jamba

I was a bit bummed when a friend told me about Jamba Juice's new campaign geared toward children. As you all know, I don't like processed foods or drinks of any kind, and that includes juice.

The main reason I don't like juice is because the juicing process strips fruits and veggies of a very important element: fiber. Fiber is beneficial for us in so many ways, including eliminating the blood-sugar spikes that occur when we eat fruit sugar - fructose - which is found in fruits and vegetables.

If you must drink juice, it's best to make your own and drink it immediately after making it. When juice gets exposed to oxygen, it starts to oxidate. This is the same process that turns apples brown after you slice them and they are exposed to air.

But back to Jamba Juice.

The company claims that its new juice, aimed at kids eight and under, is an excellent source of protein and contains at least two and a half servings of fruits or veggies and a full serving of whole grains. The marketing campaign attempts to appeal to parents who have a hard time getting their children to eat fruits and veggies, suggesting that their kids can drink this instead and get all the same nutrition.

For the heck of it, I checked out the nutrition information for one of their new kids' strawberry-and-banana smoothies. One 9.5-oz smoothie contains 140 calories, 30 grams of sugar, 35 grams of carbs, and 1 measly gram of protein.

Their claims make me mad!

How can a drink that only contains one gram of protein claim to be an excellent source of protein? That is crazy! Protein is so integral for our bodies to function healthfully. Beyond Diet is full of information about why we should be eating plenty of natural, whole protein every day.

For example, I have a carbohydrate-type metabolism. That means 45 percent of my daily food intake comes from protein (with 35 percent coming from carbs and 20 percent from fat). One gram of protein wouldn't get me anywhere near my recommended daily requirement!

And the part about each juice containing two and a half servings of fruits and veggies? I don't think so! If they used 100-percent-natural, whole strawberries and bananas fresh from the farmers' market and kept the skin on (more fiber) and didn't add anything else (sugar, additives, etc.), then maybe. But of course that isn't the case.

And where exactly are the whole grains? The nutrition information did not specify this.

My young boys will not be drinking Jamba Juice, and neither will I. Follow our lead and load up on fiber and antioxidants from whole, fresh fruits and vegetables instead.