NU-TRAIN's Food of the Month: Grapefruit

Fruits and veggies are often more appealing in Spring and Summer then they are during the doldrums of winter. Now that the warm months are upon us, consider adding grapefruit to your diet (see below for medication interactions before you do). Grapefruits:
  • Are High in fiber and low in calories
  • Are High in vitamin C and potassium
  • Are a good source of folate, iron, calcium, and other minerals
  • Contain bioflavonoids and other plant chemicals that protect against cancer and heart disease
A common misconception is that grapefruits alone possess a magical ability to burn fat. Although this is untrue, a new study conducted at the Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at Scripps Clinic concludes that eating or drinking grapefruit along with meals may aid in weight loss. In a 12-week pilot study, doctors monitored weight and metabolic factors, such as insulin secretion, of the 100 men and women who participated in the study. On average, participants who ate half a grapefruit with each meal lost 3.6 pounds, while those who drank a serving of grapefruit juice three times a day lost 3.3 pounds. Additionally, the research indicates a physiological link between grapefruit and insulin, as it relates to weight management. The researchers speculate that the chemical properties of grapefruit reduce insulin levels and encourage weight loss. The importance of this link lies with the hormone's weight management function. While not its primary function, insulin assists with the regulation of fat metabolism. Therefore, the smaller the insulin spike after a meal, the more efficiently the body processes food for use as energy and the less it's stored as fat in the body. Grapefruit may possess unique chemical properties that reduce insulin levels which promotes weight loss. Now What? Do these findings mean that we should all be consuming grapefruits to excess? Not exactly since like all foods, grapefruits have calories. It simply means that grapefruits are a good food to include in a sensible weight-loss diet; one serving contains less than 100 calories, and its high-fiber content satisfies hunger.


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