Friday, December 4, 2015

The 1970s and the Grapefruit Diet

I think I said this earlier, but once again, with advent and growth of the internet ... everything old is "new again". Back in the 1970s the grapefruit diet was quite the rage. But the 1970s wasn't the first time around for this wonder-fruit. It had been around roughly 50 years or so, but by the time we'd heard of it, well ... it was a new and wonderful way to get rid of that fat.

It was simple to follow (half a grapefruit before each rather skimpy meal, and for breakfast, that's all you got ... the half a grapefruit), and unless you truly hated grapefruit, it was palatable. I actually love grapefruit and so did mom, so it wasn't much of an issue to add grapefruit to our daily food intake.

A clear glass bowl with cereal flakes and milk for breakfast.
Breakfast Cereal
I'm not much of a breakfast eater, and wasn't in the 70s either, so I had to remind myself every morning to eat that grapefruit. The thing was ... while I liked the grapefruit, it really didn't do that much to help lose weight. You did eat less of the foods you were allowed to eat (portion-wise) because the half a grapefruit would partly fill you up before your meal. That's really not much different than having a salad before dinner.

The claims were that grapefruit had some sort of "fat-burning" things (and while I'm not any sort medical expert, having looked them up, they're called enzymes, otherwise I'd probably have called them some sort of acid, cause typically this type of fruit juice is considered acidic) that started working before you eat your meal.

Once the meal hits the belly, all these fat-burners would go to work eating up the fat before it got to your body. Yeah, well ... fairy tales sound good, but usually aren't true. Neither was that. But when it comes to wanting quick and easy weight loss, fairy tales are pretty believable ... you fall for them, every time.

Well, you do until you finally realize none of that really works. Not over the long-haul.

Two halves of a grapefruit.
Grapefruit by Cohdra
But we did it, my mom and I ... we nearly juiced ourselves to death with grapefruit. I can't really say I got sick of it because I actually like grapefruit. If I were to have a breakfast choice between a banana and half a grapefruit, the grapefruit would win hands-down.

I mean, I like bananas too, but I love grapefruit.

Today, however, I can't eat grapefruit. In fact I haven't been able to eat grapefruit for about 18 years. It counteracts one of my blood-pressure meds, and would mean the medication wouldn't work the way it's supposed to.

Sad but true ... the end of my love affair with grapefruit, and a forced end to grapefruit diets which, by the time I was diagnosed with high blood-pressure, I really didn't believe in anyways.

Still ... it did give me a reason to eat grapefruit!

From doing a quick scan of the web, it seems that the diet has made a comeback. Why? I don't get it. This stuff didn't work then, so it probably isn't going to work now as some sort of magic panacea. Yes, it's a great piece of fruit to add to your meal plan. No, it won't magically make you thin.

I also noticed on several other sites that early versions of the diet referred to it as the Mayo Clinic Diet. My first thought when I read that in search results was that the Mayo Clinic would hardly endorse some sort of fad diet ... and as it turns out, they didn't.

They (apparently) staunchly denied this was related to the Mayo Clinic in any way, and I believe that, but there is nothing left on the Mayo Clinic website about that. Not that I can find anyways. If you look up grapefruit diets on their site, what you find are a lot of warnings about medications that can be counteracted by grapefruit.

A breakfast of rolled omelette, greens and tomato.
Healthy Breakfast by Beglib
There is a current new fad using the grapefruit and it's being billed as the Grapefruit Diet too, but if you read the diet plans, they are simply nothing more than a healthy eating plan that includes grapefruit - you eat meals that end up with a calorie reduced total, and you have to exercise. This is pretty simply an ordinary diet plan. Not a grapefruit diet. Sheesh.

In the end, if you like grapefruit, and don't have any medication concerns, include it as part of your normal food regimen, simply because you like it. And don't expect any marvelous results from it.