Was There Truth in the 1980's Grapefruit Diet?

Patient Expert

Photo credit: Suat Eman FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Among the fads of the 1980s were Rubic's Cube, Magic 8 Ball, and Pacman. Then there were the fad diets such as the Beverly Hills Diet, the Cabbage Soup Diet, and the Grapefruit Diet, all of which were given underwhelming medical support.

But let's take a closer look at the grapefruit diet. It seems there might be something going on there.

The Grapefruit Diet

Often referred to as the **Mayo Clinic Diet,  **despite having no affiliation with the clinic or even receiving a recommendation from them, this diet promised a weight loss of 10 pounds in only 12 days during its period of fame back in the 80s.

A typical day on the Grapefruit Diet would include a breakfast of half a grapefruit, two pieces of bacon and two eggs, a lunch of half a grapefruit, as much meat as you like and a salad, and a dinner of half a grapefruit, fish or meat with another salad or vegetables instead. Prior to bedtime, you'd be allowed 8 ounces of skim milk.

The contention was that eating half a grapefruit before every meal would make you less hungry and you would then eat less. It also was maintained that grapefruit contains an enzyme that helps to burn fat although there was no scientific proof to support this.

While the diet did follow through on promisees of weight loss, it was due to a significant reduction in daily caloric intake and not any magic weight-burning principles of grapefruit. It was concluded that the daily caloric intake allowed by the diet was unhealthy, and that once the diet was halted the weight would be regained. In light of this, the diet was kicked to the curb.

Revisiting   the Grapefruit Diet

A more recent study conducted by the Nutritional and Medical Research Center at Scripps Clinic in San Diego has found that eating half a grapefruit, or drinking 4 ounces of grapefruit juice before every meal, may promote weight loss. This can be accomplished while eating your regular food and not restricting yourself to the demands of the old grapefruit diet.

For the study, 100 participants were divided into three groups. The first group ate half a grapefruit before each meal, while the second group drank grapefruit juice before each meal, and the third group made no changes at all.

At the end of 12 weeks, the first group lost an average of 3.6 pounds, the second group lost an average of 3.3 pounds, and the third group, an average of 0.5 pounds. In was also discovered that the participants who ate grapefruit had lower insulin levels, the hormone that regulates blood sugar and fat metabolism.

The results suggest that the relationship between insulin, metabolism and fat storage, may be what contributes to the weight loss power of grapefruit. Researchers believe that the chemical properties of grapefruit may help stabalize insulin spikes, which helps promote the breakdown of food for energy instead of storing it as fat.

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References:** 1980sFlashback.com****  ** MyDiet.com**  **** DietsInReview**