The grapefruit diet is one of the oldest and longest-standing fad diets. While most fad diets have been forgotten, the diet with grapefruit lasts since the 1930s.
It is one of the oldest diets, and the fans of the diet claim that grapefruit contains enzymes that, when eaten before other foods, help you burn off fat.
There are a couple of variations to the diet. The diet can last anywhere between 10 or 12 days, and fans of it claim you can lose up to 10 pounds following the diet 1.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at how grapefruit can help you, what you can eat during the diet, and is there any scientific backup to the claims?
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What can you eat during the diet?
If you want to embark on a journey called grapefruit diet, you better like grapefruit. Almost any version of the diet recommends consuming the fruit with every meal.
These are the dietary guidelines of the classic diet in the 1930s:
- Cut back on sugar and carbs, including foods like pasta, rice, and potatoes
- Avoid foods like celery and white onion
- Consume foods that are high in protein, fat, and cholesterol, including eggs, pork, and red meat
- Consume grapefruit or grapefruit juice before or with every meal
- Most variations of the diet require cutting down calories, with some of the most restrictive going as low as 800 calories per day
During the diet, you can consume 1 cup of coffee per day, and you have to drink 8 glasses of water every day. There are variations of the diet that require only to consume grapefruit or grapefruit juice before or during meals.
You can do whatever you like in between. But remember, the classic version involves combination of foods like bacon and salad. That might be good for those bacon fans out there.
The grapefruit diet will not cost you a lot. The price and cost depend mostly on the season and where you live.
If you have cheap grapefruit in the closest market, the diet will be cheap. If not, you might need to pay a little bit more to source the main ingredient.
How the diet plan looks?
The diet basically requires a protein rich meal in a combination with grapefruit or grapefruit juice. Remember, the goal of the diet is to lose weight quick, not to lose weight in a long and balanced effort.
If you are looking for quick weight loss results, the diet is excellent for you. It lasts only 12 days at maximum. Majority of version of the diet include consumption of maximum 1,000 calories per day.
Foods can be prepared with any amount of spices, salad dressings, or butter. This is why some people find the diet very appealing, since they can basically continue their eating habits.
All they have to do is include grapefruit in the menu. However, some versions of the diet include no extremely cold or extremely cold foods, and nothing prepared in aluminum pans.
Here is a quick example of the menu.
- 2 boiled eggs
- 2 slices of bacon
- 8 ounces of grapefruit juice or ½ grapefruit
- Any vegetable salad with dressing
- Any meat in any amount
- ½ grapefruit or 8 ounces of grapefruit juice
- Meat prepared in any way
- Salad or green and red vegetables
- 1 cup of coffee or tea
- ½ grapefruit or 8 ounces of grapefruit juice
Pros and Cons of the Diet
The biggest pro of the diet is that you see results. Many who have tried the diet, found quick weight loss results encouraging. The diet is especially beneficial for those who need to lose weight loss quickly for a special event like wedding, prom, or any other event where they want to look their best.
The diet with grapefruit juice is also great for those who want to kick-start a weight loss program before going for a more balanced and long-term solution. Just including grapefruit in your diet is something easy, a lifestyle change anyone of us can make.
The downside is that the claims of some magical fat-burning enzymes have not been backed up by any research or study by now 2.
Yes, the core of the diet is low-calorie and low-carb intake, which would result in quick loss anyway you put it. But that doesn’t necessarily mean grapefruit is the reason behind.
Grapefruit juice can interfere with certain medications. You need to be careful and consult with your physician before embarking on a diet rich in grapefruit. Combining certain medications with grapefruit can result in more complications.
Another negative aspect of the diet are the limitations. Following such a restricted plan for 12 days is possible.
However, eating the same foods every day will lead to satiation and boredom. That is why half of the people trying the diet abandon the plan midway through the 12 days.
How is grapefruit diet different from other diets?
The diet with grapefruit and grapefruit juice is different from other fad diets because it has a healthy ingredient in it. Most fad diets limit what you can eat, but do not offer an alternative that is healthy and tasty.
This diet does. And grapefruit can give any healthy eating plan an additional edge.
If you want to fully reap the benefits of grapefruit, simply include in your daily menu. You do not need to follow any strict and limited diet to reap the benefits.
There are a number of benefits of grapefruit, and you need just 1 fruit per day to reap them.
Benefits of grapefruit
Grapefruit is a fruit that is a cross between an orange and a pomelo. The fruit provides benefits for your skin, heart health, and blood pressure.
Most of the benefits of grapefruit derive from the fruit’s richness in vitamin C. When you load up on grapefruit from the market, store your grapefruit in a cool and dry place, away from sunlight.
When choosing grapefruits, go for those that have reached peak ripeness.
Grapefruit are very low in calories, and rich in nutrients in the same time.
According to Harvard Medical School, grapefruit has a glycemic index of 25, suggesting that the fruit does not significantly affect blood sugar and insulin levels 3.
With that in mind, here are some science backed-up benefits of consuming grapefruit.
Being low in calories and rich in minerals and vitamins, grapefruit provides a lot of nourishments for your body, at the price of just a couple of cents.
Think of it this way, if you could buy a quality car for 25 cents on a dollar, would you do it? That is what grapefruit provides.
Almost all of the healthy nutrients your body needs, with just little to no calories.
According to studies, grapefruit can help you lose weight because of its link with blood sugar and insulin levels 4.
The American Heart Association recommends consuming flavonoids to lower the risk of ischemic stroke for women. Flavonoids are antioxidants found mainly in citrus fruits, including grapefruit and oranges.
According to a study, the risk of strokelowered by close to 20% in those who consumed high amounts of citrus fruits 5.
Blood pressure and heart health
Some of the key nutrients in grapefruit include fiber, potassium, vitamin C, lycopene, and choline. All of these nutrients improve the health of your heart.
There have been studies showing any of these compounds can improve the health of your heart and reduce the risk of ischemic heart disease and stroke 6.
The United States Department of Agriculture recommends eating just one grapefruit per day to lower the risk of heart diseases. One grapefruit contains about 140mg of potassium, key ingredient in heart prevention.
Consuming more fruits and foods rich in potassium will also lower blood pressure, another key component in heart diseases.
And let’s not forget, the DASH diet, specifically designed to lower blood pressure, includes grapefruit as one of the recommended food options.
You have to take any claim that a fruit or vegetable prevents cancer with a grain of salt. Cancer is a disease that science still hasn’t found cure for.
But one thing is certain, antioxidants like flavonoids and vitamin C vastly improve your chances to be cancer free. Lycopene, another compound found in grapefruit can also lower the risk of cancer 7.
Improve digestion and hydration
Grapefruit is made of 91% of water. This makes grapefruit one of the most hydrating fruits available, on a level with cucumber in the vegetable world.
Because it is rich in water and fiber, grapefruit prevents constipation and promotes healthy digestion. And you will also enjoy the benefits of hydration.
Grapefruit helps your skin in a number of ways. As mentioned previously, grapefruit is made mostly of water, which improves hydration in your entire body. We all know that hydration is crucial for healthy skin.
Grapefruit also helps by providing enough vitamin C, so that your skin can fight off free radicals and other compounds that cause wrinkles and make your skin look old. Vitamin C is the crucial vitamin needed for collagen formation and production.