The grapefruit diet is, in reality, a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet – but with a twist. It is also low in calories, which is not necessarily a good thing. I’ll talk about why, and suggest safer alternatives for long-term weight loss, near the end of this article.
In this case, grapefruit is supposed to be the magic ingredient. Unfortunately, recent studies have indicated a possible link between eating grapefruit every day and breast cancer. More research needs to be done on this issue, but until we know for sure, eating grapefruit three times a day may not be a good idea.
However, the good news is that the true ‘magic’ in this diet isn’t the grapefruit, anyway.
A 2004 study led by Dr. Ken Fujioka at the Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at Scripps Clinic found in a 12-week pilot study using volunteers using the grapefruit diet, and he found that, on average, participants lost 3.6 pounds. Some of the volunteers lost more than 10 pounds.
Dr. Fujioka found that the grapefruit diet reduced insulin levels which improved the blood sugar regulation. However, if the study followed the diet exactly as it is listed on popular websites, it was probably the lack of sugar and other processed foods that reduced the insulin response, and the grapefruit itself probably had little to do with these results.
Many metabolic studies have shown that high levels of insulin in the blood cause fat to be stored on the body, and chronically high insulin spikes can eventually lead to insulin resistance. Insulin spikes are caused by sugar and other refined carbohydrates. That’s why sugar and other highly refined carbs make people fat, and can lead to metabolic syndrome, which is implicated in obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and many kinds of cancer.
In this diet, there is no sugar and no bread, so there should be no insulin spikes. And that means that fat will be liberated from the fat cells so it can be burned as fuel. The only carbohydrate in this diet is the sugar in the grapefruit, which is fruit sugar, or fructose, which does not cause an insulin spike.
The grapefruit diet is a low-calorie fad version of the low-carbohydrate diets that were first popularized back in the late 1800s by a man named William Banting, and were given greater prominence by the highly-respected Dr. Blake Donaldson after World War I, and later by Dr. Atkins.
Is the grapefruit “mayo clinic” diet safe?
Removing sugar and white flour from your diet is a good thing, and it does help you lose weight. In fact, the World Health Organization believes that these foods are largely responsible for the world’s obesity epidemic.
But a no-sugar diet does not need to be a low-calorie diet. Even with the additional fat in the bacon, butter, and salad dressing, the dieter will be receiving less than 1500 calories a day on this diet, which is not enough calories to avoid getting hungry. Low calorie diets put people into starvation mode, That’s why people can’t stay on low-calorie diets for very long – it’s a matter of physiology, not a lack of will-power. Low-calorie diets simply don’t work for long-term, permanent weight loss.
However, the good news is that a low-carbohydrate diet that includes plenty of naturally-raised meat and eggs from free-range hens would not need to be calorie-restricted. The fat-fighting conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, which is found in these foods will do the work for you, without going hungry. These are the real magic weight loss foods – not grapefruit. The low-calorie grapefruit diet fad needs to give way to a more natural, healthier alternative.
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