Unlike your typical dog, you know the Health Hound is hardly a carnivore. Sure I still enjoy a steak now and then, but you know I am a big advocate of cutting back on the meat, and putting more fruits and veggies in your diets.
As far back as the 1930s quick weight loss gurus made a splash with the so-called “Grapefruit Diet.” It resurfaced again in the ‘70s and ‘80s as the Hollywood Diet, and the Mayo Diet (not affiliated with the famed clinic of the same name). Since then it has pretty much passed into the annals of the Hounds “diet fad” file. However, recent research seems to suggest that the humble grapefruit could indeed be great, maybe even a “super” food when it comes to supporting healthy weight loss.
The results of a recently released mega-study that tracked women from 2003 to 2008 shows that the simple act of eating grapefruit may be helpful in achieving a slimmer you. A review of the data indicated that women who ate just about any amount of grapefruit or drank grapefruit juice, on average, weighed nearly 10 pounds less and had a 6 percent lower body mass index (BMI), than those who had neither grapefruit or grapefruit juice in their diets.
The researchers who analyzed the data aren’t entirely sure what made the grapefruit gobblers slimmer, but study co-author Gail Rampersaud, a registered dietitian from the University of Florida, says it could be the simplest of reasons, and one you have heard me howl many times: “Consuming fruits and vegetables with a high water content, like grapefruit, helps you feel fuller and more satisfied on fewer calories.” A half of a medium sized grapefruit or an 8-ounce glass of grapefruit juice each has less than 100 calories.
Fad vs. Fact
Fad diets aside, Rampersaud’s study is not the first to associate the great fruit, grapefruit, with weight loss. Not too long ago, a team of researchers at the Scripps Clinic in San Diego California followed 100 obese people who ate or drank grapefruit for 12 weeks. They found that those who ate grapefruit had lost an average of almost 4 pounds, and some dropped as much as 10 pounds. These researchers concluded that weight loss among grapefruit eaters was likely linked to lowered levels of insulin, which is critical in metabolizing sugar.
Rampersaud was quick to point out that the results of her own, and these other studies did not indicate that there is any magical “fat-burning enzymes” or other secret ingredient at work, as proponents of the old Grapefruit Diet have claimed.
Whether or not grapefruit is more a less effective for weightloss than any other water-rich fruit could be open to debate. But for sure grapefruit is great a source of vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. It is also contains carotenoids and Vitamin A, that have been known to improve vision, and boost the immune system. Other vitamins and minerals that are found in grapefruit include folate, and vitamin B9.
So for many reasons, and not only to support weightloss, it’s probably a good idea to make this tart and tangy fruit or juice part of your daily diet.
And if that tartness is not for you –based on Rampersaud’s conclusions, you could probably get the same kinds of results by starting meals with other fruits or vegetables with low calories and a high water contents, such as cucumber or watermelon.
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