The Grapefruit Diet is starting to gain traction again, but it’s actually estimated to be almost 100 years old. There are a few variations, but essentially dieters are encouraged to eat half a grapefruit with every meal and cut down on calories. Proponents of the diet say it helps burn fat and supports weight loss.
Does the Grapefruit Diet work?
Grapefruits are a highly nutritious fruit packed with vitamins A and C. They’re also a good source of lycopene – the heart-healthy, pink/red pigment found in tomatoes. As a great source of antioxidants, grapefruits can help reduce inflammation. Including grapefruit with meals can also be a great way to add more fruit to your diet.
Typically, the Grapefruit Diet is treated more as a detox; it is meant to be followed for only a few weeks at a time. Since dieters are also encouraged to restrict calories, weight loss likely may have more to do with eating less than it does with eating grapefruit with meals. Still, grapefruit may have a modest effect on weight loss. Turns out, it may be good for reducing blood pressure, too!
Grapefruit Diet aside, people who eat grapefruits may have increased overall dietary quality – meaning they may eat more fruits, veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats and less processed foods, which of course can help support a healthy weight in other ways.
Should you try it?
The Grapefruit Diet can be a good dietary reset for some, but restricting calories too much can be unhealthy. If you decide to try it, make sure you’re getting a good mix of carbs, protein, and fat and that you’re eating enough overall to meet your nutritional needs.
Keep in mind that variety is one of the most important factors of a healthy diet to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need. Including a wider array of fruits and veggies in your diet rather than grapefruit at every meal may also make the diet more satisfying.
If you’re on medication, you may want to check with your physician first – even though they’re generally a very nutritious food, grapefruits contain compounds that can interact with medications (especially cholesterol medications), which can be dangerous.
Like any diet, bio-individuality comes into play – the Grapefruit Diet may work for some, but not for others. Have you ever tried it? Did it work for you as a bio-individual? Why or why not?