Grapefruit is a favorite for breakfast for many people on diets. There are a number of good reasons for this, although the fruit is high in natural sugar. In fact, back in the 1970s, it was a part of another fad diet; the grapefruit diet.
It was interesting and in a way beneficial to me. Our high school band sold citrus fruit every year to earn money for band trips and that year I almost made enough to pay for my trip due to this diet.
Setting that aside, the question here is whether or not you can eat grapefruit on keto. The answer to that is that it depends.
In most cases, with the exception of some berries, fruit is not something considered keto friendly. Fruits are high in natural sugars and they could easily knock a person out of ketosis.
grapefruit nutrition benefits
There are good reasons this isn’t an out and out no for grapefruit. The first is whether or not you can easily slip out of ketosis.
If you can, this isn’t a good food to eat. Grapefruit and keto won’t do well. However, if you can easily maintain ketosis or you have a more lenient keto diet, it’s something to consider once in a while.
Grapefruit has a lot of nutrition packed inside that rind. It’s rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other nutrients. It has a high fiber count and can help slow down digestion, which allows you to feel full longer.
Naturally, you can turn to supplements and ingest fewer carbs, but that isn’t the healthiest way to get nutrients
Science has shown that our body doesn’t do as well on supplements as it does when we get the necessary nutrients by food. It’s about something called available nutrition. At a conference, a speaker told us that some supplements don’t get digested.
You swallow them and they stay intact all the way through the digestive tract. His line of business was in portable toilets and he would find mounds of them in the effluence.
Supplements made from food do tend to be at least partially digested. They still don’t provide an ideal amount of available nutrition. What we eat is often more important to our health than any pill we could swallow.
There are two ratings for the keto diet; one is the carb counting part of food and the other is nutrition value. These two ratings should be considered at the same time when choosing which foods to eat.
While the carb content rates grapefruit at about a five, depending on the strictness of the diet, the nutrition value is rated nine out of ten.
Other benefits of grapefruit
Weight loss: Most fad diets like the grapefruit diet have some basis in fact. A study published on PubMed.com indicates that preloading with a low density food prior to a meal can have some benefits for weight loss.
A preload means that one consumes the substance. This was done using grapefruit, grapefruit juice and water.
The results did show weight loss and size reductions in all three groups; preloading may be a good option. There was more of an effect on those who used grapefruit and grapefruit juice over those who just had water.
Cholesterol: This same study showed a remarkable impact on the HDL cholesterol and other blood fats in those who consumed both the fruit and the juice.
HDL, which is sometimes called good cholesterol, was higher in these two groups over the ones who used water as a preload. Other blood fat levels also improved.
Anti-inflammatory: There are a lot of reasons to be interested in foods that are anti-inflammatory. Those who have problems with arthritis and other illnesses that cause swelling and pain are particularly interested, but inflammation has become a focus as the cause of other, serious medical conditions.
Inflammation may be part of the process in heart disease, diabetes and many other problems. While we can take medications for it, reducing it should also include foods.
Grapefruit has been shown to have some anti-inflammatory properties, particularly for the internal inflammation causing serious disease.
Antioxidants: This is another area where using grapefruit on keto can really help. A high fat diet has a tendency to lend itself to oxidative stress. This can cause all kinds of problems, including inflammation and even cause problems with cognitive function.
Antioxidants can help lower these risks and other types of problems that oxidative stress creates.
Another study published on PubMed.com suggests that eating foods high in antioxidants, such as grapefruit, can help reduce that stress.
USFDA has not approved any of these statements. This is for your information only. Studies can say all they want, but this agency has the last word on whether or not a health claim can be made about anything, and that includes food.
So far the only food they’ve approved a health claim for is the humble oat.
While eating grapefruit isn’t usually much of a problem, there are drug interactions with grapefruit juice.
Some blood pressure medications won’t work as well with it and this can put you at risk for kidney damage, heart attack and stroke. Check with your pharmacist if you are unsure whether or not it is safe to drink grapefruit juice.
There is also some evidence of a problem between warfarin and grapefruit juice. This also applies to cranberry juice, avocados and pomegranate juice. It is recommended that those on warfarin drink these in small amounts rather than large glasses.
The keto diet is beneficial to some groups, but there are those who should not attempt it. If you have heart disease or are diabetic, this is probably not the best diet for you.
The only caveat to that is that if you are extremely obese, the doctor may recommend it for the first part of weight loss.