The Grapefruit Diet – Myth or Magic?

The grapefruit diet – does it have any place in the bodybuilding and fitness world?

The grapefruit diet - myth or magic?Probably not in its traditional form, but the idea of consuming a grapefruit a day to lose weight may not be as obsolete as you think.

Beginning in the 1940s, people raved about the benefits of consuming grapefruit. The original Grapefruit Diet was based on an alleged magical compound that when eaten with protein theoretically triggered fat burning, leading to subsequent weight loss. Unfortunately, it was soon discovered that the success of this diet that restricted participants to approximately 1200 calories a day was primarily based on fluid loss. The outcome: the lost weight quickly returned as soon as the dieter went back to a regular regime. This alone led to discrediting the grapefruit diet in the world of long-term weight loss.

Adding grapefruit to a protein-rich diet can kickstart your metabolism and ignite weight loss

The benefits of consuming grapefruit and its juices, however, have not been completely erased from the conventions of clean eating. This historically magical fruit is indeed healthy and packed full of vitamins. The lack of substantial research and scientific evidence regarding its precise function in fat loss kept the power of the grapefruit a mystery to dieticians and dieters alike. The big question remained:  Was this diet a simple myth or was there actual validity behind it?

Well, rest easy. The mystery is solved. Recent research out of the Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at Scripps Clinic has focused on the grapefruit enigma in attempts to understand and explain its fat-burning properties.

Naringin

Naringin is a bioflavonoid and is unique to grapefruits

The diet’s premise remains the same: Adding grapefruit to a protein-rich diet can kickstart your metabolism and ignite weight loss. The process behind the premise has been uncovered in the compound known as Naringin.

Naringin is a bioflavonoid and is unique to grapefruits. It is responsible for giving pink grapefruits its bitter taste and is essentially an antioxidant that seeks and destroys free radicals (cancer-promoting agents). But as followers of the grapefruit diet can tell you, Naringin will also boost metabolism.

With Naringin, grapefruit aids in the metabolism of food while having a low impact on the glycemic index. It is high in fiber and very low in calories and also helps to reduce insulin levels, which can help dieters feel full on few calories. This alone is beneficial to those poor blokes struggling through the original diet.

Naringin is responsible for giving pink grapefruits its bitter taste and is essentially an antioxidant that seeks and destroys free radicals (cancer-promoting agents)

In a Canadian study, scientists used four groups of mice with normal body weights to illustrate the effects of Naringin on weight loss:

  • Group 1: fed normal, healthy diet, no supplements
  • Group 2: fed high-fat, high-calorie diet, no supplements
  • Group 3: fed high-fat, high-calorie diet along with a Naringin supplement
  • Group 4: fed high-fat, high-calorie diet along with a Naringin supplement

The mice were observed over a four-week period. At the end of four weeks, the mice on the high-fat, high-calorie diet became obese as well as insulin and glucose intolerant – key health indicators of metabolic syndrome.

Comparatively, the two groups who received the Naringin supplement, despite being on the same high-fat, high-calorie diet as the other group, fared much better. They did not experience any weight gain nor did they develop any indicators associated with metabolic syndrome.

It was concluded that the Naringin mice never absorbed the fat because their livers kicked into high gear and flushed out what they didn’t need for energy.

More Scientific Study on Naringin and Grapefruit

The Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, studied the effects of this compound (on rats) and found diets supplemented with pink grapefruit juice (and to a lesser degree with Naringin) improved the plasma lipid levels by increasing plasma antioxidant activity.

More studies have since been done surrounding this compound, only to uncover other benefits.

This powerful bioflavonoid has antioxidant and antifungal properties, that may help prevent cancer, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and acts in relieving a number of other health ailments such as high cholesterol.

Diets supplemented with pink grapefruit juice (and to a lesser degree with Naringin) improved the plasma lipid levels by increasing plasma antioxidant activity

Additional Health Benefits of Naringin

Naringin also works together with other nutrients by helping to increase the nutrient absorption rate in the body, capitalizing on these nutrients’ health benefits.

Similarly, Naringin stimulates the effect of caffeine, increasing its fat-burning action.  So, when caffeine (a common fat-loss supplement) is paired with Naringin, it becomes a force to be reckoned with.

Studies also show that caffeine is capable of increasing the release of stored body fat in two sites: the fat cell and the muscle cell. Naringin acts as a stimulator to the caffeine, making it work harder and longer in the body. The outcome: extended fat-burning properties.

This finally explains why the original grapefruit diet of ½ a grapefruit, 1 cup of coffee, and some egg whites for breakfast may have been such a hit to weight loss seekers everywhere.

Supplement with ALLMAX RapidCuts Shredded

If you can’t seem to stomach the taste of grapefruit (as this acidic fruit is known to do numbers on the digestive tract), or just need to eat something more substantial for breakfast but still want to endure the effects of this match made in heaven, try supplementing with ALLMAX Nutrition’s brand new RapidCuts Shredded. Not only has this extra strength fat burner included the magic of Naringin, it has been paired with 5 different types of caffeine to kick your metabolism and fat-burning capabilities into overdrive.

The grapefruit diet may not be back as we all know it, but you can consider yourself a fool if you overlook this compound the next time you decide to shed some pounds.

Valeria Fazio

Valeria Fazio holds a B.A. Honors degree in history from Carleton University and a diploma in professional writing from Algonquin College. She has been competing in amateur fitness and figure competitions for three years, and has recently qualified for the 2011 Ontario Provincial Figure Championships. As a certified personal trainer and nutritional coach, Valeria helps others in her free time to achieve their fitness goals.

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