My regular readers know that I am not exactly a vegetarian, I still enjoy a steak now and then, but I am also 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 “fad diet” file. However, recent research seems to suggest that the humble grapefruit could indeed be a great, maybe even a “super” food when it comes to supporting healthy weight loss.
The results of a mega-study that tracked women over the course of five years 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 grapefruits 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 espouse 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.
Other Data on Grapefruit and Weight Loss
Rampersaud’s study is not the first to associate grapefruit to weight loss. A few years ago, a team of experts at the Scripps Clinic in San Diego California conducted a study on 100 obese people who ate or drank grapefruit for 12 weeks. They found that those eating grapefruit had lost an average of 3.6 pounds, and some shed as much as 10 pounds. The researchers explained that weight loss among grapefruit eaters was probably linked to lowered levels of insulin which is critical in metabolizing sugar.
The fruit is also a source of vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium, but Rampersaud says there’s no evidence revealing any magical fat-burning ingredient at work, as proponents of the old Grapefruit Diet have claimed.
To reap the benefits, Rampersaud suggests making the tart and tangy fruit or juice part of your daily diet.
Not a grapefruit lover? Based on this and other studies, starting meals with water-rich foods, such as cucumber or watermelon, could have a similar effect, says Dr. Christine Gerbstadt, also a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.