Is grapefruit good for diabetes – Overview
Is grapefruit good for diabetes – Grapefruit is a prominent representative of subtropical fruits that grows on evergreen trees. These fruits are very similar to oranges, but differ in size, taste and color. They are the juicy piquant citruses, their exotic taste depends on the type and ripeness, ranges from super sweet to super sour. It is believed that grapefruit is a hybrid of pomelo and orange. It was named the “grape” fruit since – it grows in clusters, and in an unripe form it looks like green grapes.
We can say that grapefruit is almost entirely packed with nutrients, minerals and vitamins. In its composition, we will find fiber, vitamins B, C, D, PP, A calcium and potassium, manganese a set of organic acids and essential oils.
In this article, we learn about some of the potential health benefits grapefruit has on diabetes.
So, is grapefruit good for diabetes?
Grapefruit is not only a safe product but can even be preventive for diabetes and its complications.
Its rich nutritious content has beneficial impact in different aspects of metabolism and has several actions on diabetes
Why is Grapefruit good for diabetes?
Low Glycemic index
The glycemic index of grapefruit is 25 which is low GI – meaning that diabetics can safely consume it without worrying about blood sugar spikes. Noteworthy to mention, when consumed in the form of juice Glycemic index will be higher
And the glycemic load of ½ cup of chopped grapefruit is 1.2 – which is also considered to be low.
Grapefruit products have been studied to have a positive impact on insulin resistance and blood glucose levels.
According to animal study results, mice that were fed a high fat diet and grapefruit juice for 100 days showed lower fasting blood glucose, fasting serum insulin and lipid levels and increased insulin sensitivity compared to control.
With similar effects grapefruit juice can be compared to metformin, most commonly prescribed anti-diabetic medications.
Although, important to note, these researches were conducted on animals, hence they have little relevance to humans and further studies are needed. The aim of these study was to provide evidence of potential health promoting properties of grapefruit juice
Possible cure against bad cholesterol
These medicinal properties of grapefruit have been studied in detail at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
It is scientifically proven that pectin allows you to remove cholesterol from the body.
Pectin is a main type of flavonoid in grapefruit.
As reported by a newer, 2011 pubmed study : “Grapefruit pectin supplementation decreased plasma cholesterol 7.6%, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol 10.8%, and the low-density lipoprotein:high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio 9.8%. “
Doctors recommend eating fruits with rich pink pulp, in which pectin is several times higher than in other fruits.
So according to this information, a grapefruit a day keeps heart disease away.
Grapefruit helps you lose weight
Maintaining stable weight/BMI and losing extra pounds is extremely crucial for diabetics. It’s even one of the main types of management for pre-diabetes.
How does grapefruit help?
Grapefruit diets are not a myth
In addition to being only 42 calories per 100 grams, improving digestion and eliminating “bad” cholesterol, this citrus fruit helps control appetite. Who would have thought, but only 1-2 slices are able to wake up the taste buds and reduce the desire to eat a huge plate of “unhealthy” snacks.
In addition, this interesting Pubmed study demonstrates the effect of grapefruits on body weight.
91 Obese patients with metabolic syndrome were classified into 4 groups according to grapefruit consumption:
1 – Consumed fresh grapefruit
2 – Grapefruit juice
3 – Grapefruit capsule
4 – Placebo
Metabolic syndrome parameters and weight were measured at the start and 12 weeks after the diet.
First group that consumed fresh grapefruits had lost 36 pounds, the second group 33, the third 24 and the placebo group had only lost 1 pound.
Besides that, in the grapefruit groups there was a notable decrease in 2 hour post-glucose insulin level, supporting idea of grapefruit being beneficial product in cases of insulin resistance.
Unfortunately the mechanism behind those effects was not studied, but researchers concluded that grapefruit can confidently be used as an aid for weight loss diets.
Although we’ve got to accept the fact that, without adhering to a general healthy diet, all efforts of weight loss will be in vain.
Grapefruit is loaded is antioxidants
Antioxidants are well-known fighters against cancer, chronic diseases and infections.
Citruses are probably the first products that come to mind when speaking about rich Vitamin C content products. And it’s true.
52% of grapefruit is Vitamin C which is a strong water-soluble antioxidant, having the ability to protect cells against damage from reactive oxygen species. Furthermore, as stated by researches increased vitamin C dietary intake through fruits and vegetables can potentially be associated with lower rates of type 2 diabetes progression and its complications, although results are promising, more research is required on this topic.
Carotenes – an orange-red pigment giving grapefruit its darker color, is a crucial nutrient for preventing oxidative stress. There is evidence of carotene supplementations positively influencing cognitive function, vision and skin health.
Eye problems and dementia are quite common long-term complications for diabetics, beta carotene intake can potentially slow down these processes.
Grapefruit is rich with potassium
Grapefruit is a great source of potassium, 126 grams per 100 gram of fruit. This electrolyte has special importance in supporting the health of the heart and blood vessels.
Since diabetes makes people more susceptible to cardiovascular diseases, consuming potassium in grapefruit form does patients a great favor as it is commonly recommended for the prevention of atherosclerosis and heart failure.
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice are known for their inhibitory effect on liver enzymes responsible for drug metabolism.
It’s even called pharmacologists’ nightmare, since it can interact with many medications and increase their concentration in the body. As we know, Type 2 diabetics are more prone to cardiovascular, neurological and other chronic diseases, hence they tend to be prescribed with a lot of therapeutic drugs.
In case you are taking lipid-lowering (statins), Blood pressure medications (Calcium channel blockers), Antiarrhythmics (Amiodarone) Antipsychotics (Benzodiazepines) or any other agents, grapefruit intake can significantly impact the concentration of medications in plasma which is dangerous for health. For that reason extra attention should be drawn to grapefruit portions, drug dosages and of course – consultation with a physician before making any changes to a diet is advised.
Despite its amazing and numerous benefits for our health, it’s still a fruit with a quite rich content of carbohydrates, more specifically there is 7 grams of sugar per 100 gram fruit, that does us no good and is especially worrisome for diabetes.
Drinking grapefruit juice provokes severe soreness in the area of the teeth and gums. To reduce the consequences after drinking the drink, it is better to rinse the oral cavity with water.
Grapefruits are quite a common trigger for allergic reaction, so it is not advised to use them for people who suffer from allergic reactions.