Grapefruit Diet Making Comeback

Reported Wednesday in HealthDayNews a grapefruit or two a day may help you lose weight. Ken Fujioka, director of nutrition and metabolism research at the Scripps Clinic in San Diego was the lead author of a study evaluating grapefruit for weight loss. One hundred people were evaluated (not a significant number, BTW), and were dived into four groups: one receiving grapefruit extract, one drinking grapefruit juice with each meal, another eating half a grapefruit with each meal and the last group receiving a placebo. Fujioka further said, “They weren’t trying to diet,” and “To make everyone even [on activity], all were asked to walk 30 minutes three times a week.”

Stop right there for a moment and think about this: In this and similar studies where the effects of eating certain foods are tested, subjects are reporting their own results and compliance. In other words no one is monitoring study participants to see whether they are really eating what they have been asked to eat, or whether they are getting the exercise they have been asked to get. Some may be exercising much MORE than was reported for instance, which would certainly affect results.

The findings at the end of 12 weeks were that the placebo group lost on average just under half a pound. Again, note that this group received no grapefruit, and was asked not to diet but to get 30 minutes of exercise three times a week and they STILL LOST some weight! The group receiving the extract lost 2.4 pounds, the grapefruit juice group lost 3.3 pounds, and the fresh grapefruit group lost 3.5 pounds.

Once again, if the group receiving the grapefruit juice lost 3.3 pounds compared to the group who ate the grapefruit whole at just .2 pounds more, that seems close enough to state that grapefruit is helpful but the extra time and effort to eat the whole fruit isn’t worth it, yet, the study goes on to state additional health benefits derived from eating the whole fruit.

Once again, elaborate studies are required to try and prove what makes good common sense: Eat the foods the earth provides in as close to its natural form as possible and you’ll be the healthiest. Fruits, vegetables, grains in their denatured form (freshly ground wheat as opposed to white flour stripped of all nutrients for instance).

I’m not a health food freak, but I do promote eating more fruit. It’s naturally sweet and delicious (helping with those sugar cravings). Unless you are diabetic or have some other reason to monitor your intake of natural sugars, eating fruit before meals definitely helps in the weight loss game.

“Eat fruit before any meal and you will lose weight,” said Julie Upton, an American Dietetic Association spokeswoman. “The fiber fills you up, and fruit has fewer calories than other foods.” One half a grapefruit has just 60 calories, no fat, and six grams of fiber.

Don’t like naked grapefruit? Sprinkle on Splenda if you must, but eat your grapefruit! Slowly you can wean yourself from the habit of sweetening grapefruit, just use less and less sweetener until one day you say, “My, oh my, it tastes quite delicious just as it is!”

P.S. Certain medications SHOULD NOT be taken at the same time as grapefruit. Be sure to check on any meds you take. A good place to check your meds is Go to “Drug Interactions” use the drop down box to find the drug or drugs you want to check, and make sure the box “Check food interactions” is also checked. For instance the drug Lotrel, prescribed for high blood pressure, states, “Do not significantly increase grapefruit juice intake while taking this drug, or avoid grapefruit juice if possible,” so if taking Lotrel, skip the grapefruit idea. It’s important to always check any medications you take to be sure you don’t reduce their effectiveness by other things you regularly consume.