We have all heard the claim that eating grapefruit after a meal can help burn calories and promote weight loss. This idea has been around since the 1930s, when the so-called "Hollywood Diet" promoted grapefruit as a miracle fruit with a unique fat-burning enzyme that could boost metabolism and lead to rapid weight loss. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.

Most versions of the grapefruit diet involve pairing a whole grapefruit with three very low-calorie and high-protein meals a day. However, any weight loss associated with this diet is likely due to its low-calorie content rather than any special properties of the fruit.

While some recent studies have shown a correlation between eating grapefruit before a meal and weight loss, lower blood pressure, and cholesterol, this is likely because the fruit is high in water content and fiber. This concept is known as "pre-loading," which involves consuming low-calorie, high-water-content foods or drinks to feel fuller before a main meal, leading to fewer overall calories consumed and weight loss.

Despite the lack of evidence for its weight-loss benefits, grapefruit is still a highly nutritious food. It is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, fiber, and antioxidants, and has a low glycemic index, which can help lower insulin levels and maintain balanced blood sugar to support weight management.

To incorporate more grapefruit into your diet, consider pairing half a grapefruit with a breakfast that contains some protein and fat to balance out the natural sugar content. Ultimately, grapefruit can be a healthy addition to a balanced diet, but it is not a weight-loss magic bullet.

February 11, 2022 — Natasha Shamas