The fiber in grapefruit may help stabilize your blood glucose levels. Properties in grapefruit may also help lower your insulin levels, lessening your risk of developing diabetes, as well as a heart attack or stroke. If you have diabetes, eating grapefruit could help you lose weight and better control your blood glucose levels. Check first with your doctor for the possibility of drug interactions, though.
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Citrus fruits, such as grapefruit, contain soluble fiber. According to MayoClinic.com, consuming fiber-filled fruits, such as grapefruit, can help control your body’s blood glucose levels. Soluble fiber in particular can slow your body’s absorption of sugar – glucose – which can help stabilize your blood glucose levels and lessen your likelihood of getting blood sugar spikes. This can be helpful if you have diabetes, a condition that elevates your blood sugar levels.
Insulin Resistance and Glucose
If you have insulin resistance, a problem associated with Type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes, your body doesn't make efficient use of the insulin in your body. Insulin helps deliver sugar to your cells, providing your body with energy. When your body resists insulin, glucose remains in your bloodstream instead of getting transferred to your cells. As a result, your blood glucose levels remain high. Consuming grapefruit may help reduce insulin resistance and, in turn, lower blood sugar levels, according to a study led by Ken Fujioka, of Scripps Clinic in California. Patients in the study who added grapefruit to their diets reduced their resistance to insulin, according to the report published in the “Journal of Medicinal Food” in spring 2006. Study participants who drank grapefruit juice or took a placebo did not lessen their insulin resistance.
If you have diabetes, being overweight makes it harder for you to control your blood sugar levels. Losing even a small amount of weight helps stabilize them, according to the American Diabetes Association. In Fujioka's study, obese participants who consumed either grapefruit juice or grapefruit lost about 3.5 lbs. during the 12-week trial without changing their eating habits. Participants who took a placebo lost about 10 oz. during the study.
If you take any kind of medication, talk to your doctor before adding grapefruit to your diet. Taking grapefruit with some prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications increases your risk of serious side effects, including blood clots and kidney failure. The list of medications that interact negatively with grapefruit is long. It includes statins, a type of cholesterol medication, and calcium channel blockers, a type of blood pressure medication, as well as some birth control pills and antidepressants. If you take medications for diabetes, ask your doctor whether you can safely combine them with grapefruit.
- Weight Loss Resources: The New Grapefruit Diet Review; Juliette Kellow
- “Journal of Medicinal Food: The Effects of Grapefruit on Weight and Insulin on Weight and Insulin Resistance: Relationship to the Metabolic Syndrome; Ken Fujioka et al; Spring 2006
- MayoClinic.com: Dietary Fiber – Essential for a Healthy Diet; Nov. 19 2009
- “The New York Times”; Experts Reveal the Secret Powers of Grapefruit Juice; Nicholas Bakalar; March 21 2006
- “The Sun”; Killer Grapefruit Alert To Slimmers; Emma Morton; April 3 2009
- The People's Pharmacy; Graedons' Guide to Grapefruit Interactions; 2002