Grapefruit Diet : Definition, Benefits, Plan and Side Effects

What is Grapefruit Diet?

Grapefruit diet was first introduced in the 1920s as a quick way to lose weight. 

A person who is on a grapefruit diet can expect to lose up to 12 pounds in just 10 days!

Best of all, this is achievable without the need of starvation. 

Dieters, who wish to continue on the grapefruit diet plan after the 12th day, are advised to wait 2 days before starting the diet again.

Grapefruit diet requires you to eat a grapefruit before each meal. 

Grapefruit is a low glycemic, low fat and low carbohydrate, high fiber and nutritious food. 

It is believed that the enzymes in grapefruits could help to regulate insulin and speed up burning of calories from each meal.

Different Versions of Grapefruit Diet

There are basically 3 versions of grapefruit diet. 

The first version is very low in calories, i.e. around 800 – 1000 calories. 

Dieters consume half a grapefruit , small amount of salad and very lean meat at each meal.

The very low calorie intake combined with the fat burning properties of grapefruit diet helps dieters to lose up to 12 pounds in 10 days.

The second version is high protein grapefruit diet plan. 

This version began to circulate in the 1970s and comes with a list of foods that dieters can and cannot consume. 

The high protein version promises weight loss of up to 52 pounds in 10 weeks. 

However, many experts doubt the ability of  high protein version to reduce weight as it does not limit the consumption of meat and could easily encourage overeating.

The third version of grapefruit diet involves regular use of grapefruit or grapefruit juice as an approach to weight reduction. 

This is a more “balanced” version and is used by research personnel in Scripps Clinic at California  to confirm that a simple act of adding half a grapefruit or 4 ounces of grapefruit juice will result in losing 3 pounds in 12 weeks, with some participants lost more than 10 pounds. 

Researchers suspect that grapefruits help to reduce insulin spike after meal, thus enables our body to process food more efficiently for use as energy and subsequently reduce fat stored in body. 

Another study by John Hopkins showed that a combination of proper nutrition and grapefruit could help you lose 19 pounds. 

Adding exercise to it and you can expect to lose 25 pounds or more together with substantial health benefits such as reduced cholesterol level.

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Grapefruit Health Benefits

Grapefruits have a lot of health benefits.  Some of these benefit are:

  • Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, a vitamin that helps to support the immune system.  Vitamin C-rich foods like grapefruit help to reduce cold symptoms or severity of cold symptoms. Over 20 scientific studies have suggested that vitamin C help to fight cold.
     
  • Grapefruit contains pectin, a form of soluble fiber that can reduce blood levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart diseases.
     
  • Naringenin found in grapefruit helps restore health to damaged DNA by inducing  enzymes that repair DNA during the replication stage. DNA repair is one of the body’s primary defence mechanisms against the development of cancer since it removes potentially cancer-causing mutations in cells.
     
  • Lycopene, the antioxidant found in pink and red grapefruit appears to lower prostate cancer risk.
  • Phenolic acid found in grapefruit is able to inhibits cancer-causing nitrosamines.
  • Limonoids, terpenes and monoterpenes induce the production of enzymes that help prevent cancer.
     
  • Some people with rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory disorders find that eating grapefruit daily alleviate their symptoms.  This may be due to the plant chemical found in grapefruit block the prostaglandins that cause inflammation.
  • Bioflavonoid found in grapefruit helps to inhibit action of hormones that promote tumor growth.
     

However, one should always be cautious, just as these plant chemicals interact with our body, they might interact with some medications and cause some undesirable side effects.  Read on to find our about grapefruit side effects. 

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Grape Fruit Diet Plan

grapefruit diet plan

A typical grapefruit diet plan will require dieter to consume half a grapefruit or 8 ounces of grapefruit juice before a meal. 

Grapefruit juice consumed must be unsweetened.  Coffee or tea consumed during this period must also be free from sugar. 

You must also drink eight 8-ounces glass of water every day.

Given here is a basic grapefruit diet plan:

  • Breakfast: 1/2 grapefruit or 8 ounces of grapefruit juice, 2 slices of bacon, unsweetened black coffee or tea.
     
  • Lunch: 1/2 grapefruit, salad with low calorie dressing, 8 ounces of lean chicken or fish, unsweetened black coffee or tea.
     
  • Dinner: 1/2 grapefruit, salad with low calorie dressing, 8 ounces of lean chicken, or beef seasoned with herbs, unsweetened black coffee or tea.
     
  • Bedtime Snack: 8 ounces skimmed milk.

Besides following the diet, dieter must also observe a set of rules. i.e. :

  • No snacks are allowed.
     
  • No soy sauce, mustard, or other condiments are allowed as seasonings.
     
  • You must eat the minimum of each food list at each meal.
     
  • You cannot eliminate any item from the diet, especially bacon at breakfast and the salads.  The combination of food helps burn the fat and make grapefruit diet plan effective.

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Grapefruit Nutrition

Grapefruit is a very nutritious, low calorie food loaded with vitamin C

A cup of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice contains 95 mg of vitamin C, more that twice the RDI. 

The high content of fiber in grapefruit helps to speed up the passage of foods through the intestines and eases constipation.

  • Pink and red varieties contain both beta carotene and lycopene, a potent anti-oxidant.
     
  • Grapefruits contain bioflavonoids and plant chemicals that protect against cancer and heart disease.

The table below provides details % DV that a serving of grapefruit provides:

Grapefruit Nutrition

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Grapefruit Juice

All grapefruits have a similar tangy-sweet flavor and are very juicy. 

However, the pink or red variety contains more vitamins and nutrients than the white variety. 

You can make grapefruit juice easily.  So, replacing your soda with grapefruit juice will provide you with many of the vital nutrients and anti-oxidant properties your body needs. 

Additionally, it will also help you lose weight

If you find plain grapefruit juice too dull, you may try these grapefruit juice recipes:

  • Grapefruit, Orange and Kiwi Juice
     
  • Grapefruit, Blueberry and Apple Juice
     
  • Grapefruit, Pineapple and Apple Juice

When making grapefruit juice, make sure that you leave the white pith on when you peel the grapefruits skin as the pith contains bioflavonoid.

These bioflavonoids can help the body to absorb vitamin C. 

To get the most antioxidant out of grapefruit, choose fully ripened grapefruit to make your grapefruit juice. 

Research conducted by University of Innsbruck in Austria suggests that as fruits fully ripen, their antioxidants levels actually increases.

However, since grapefruit is known to have major effects on potency of various medication, you should consult your doctor before you start consuming large amount of it. 

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Grapefruit Side Effects

You should check with your doctor about starting on a grapefruit diet, consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice if you are taking pharmaceutical drugs. 

The Australian Adverse Drug Reactions Advisory Board had warned that grapefruits amplify the effects of common prescription medicines, including many drugs for blood pressure, high cholesterol, sedatives, antiviral and gut medication.

Here is a list of of medications known to interact with grapefruit:

  • ·       Antihistamines (given to treat seasonal allergies).
     
  • ·       Antiarrhythmics (given to control irregular heartbeat).
     
  • ·       Calcium channel antagonists (given to treat high blood pressure).
     
  • ·       HIV protease inhibitors (given to treat HIV infection).
     
  • ·       Immunosuppressants (given to control autoimmune diseases).
     
  • ·       Statins (given to reduce blood cholesterol levels)
     
  • ·       Sedatives, sleep medications, and benzodiazepine tranquilizers.
     
  • ·       Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (given to treat depression)

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