In the second decade of the 20th century, the so-called grapefruit diet, also known as the “Hollywood 18-day diet”. It was then that the belief was popularized that a diet based on this fruit – eaten raw, in the form of juice or extract in capsules – could lead to weight loss of up to 10 kg in two weeks. The grapefruit-based diet was promoted by the food and film industries, and was championed by great-grandmother Drew Barrymore.
The production of the fruit known as Paradise Citrus began in Tampa, Florida in 1823. A century later, growers managed to grow a pink-fleshed grapefruit, which increased production: from about one and a half million fruit trees in 1910 to almost nine million in 1930 .
Grapefruit makes his movie debut
In 1921, the popular movie buff magazine Picturegoer began promoting the grapefruit, advertising it as the favorite fruit of many stars. In fact, it has become super fashionable thanks to Ethel Barrymore, great-great-grandmother of Drew Barrymore, who was supposed to follow the 18-day diet. The actress was also said to be a fan of the “Pink Lady” cocktail, which included grapefruit juice, gin and Cointreau.
In the 1920s, the Paso del Norte hotels in Texas and the LaSalle & Koch Tea Room in Ohio offered their customers celebrity diet. In addition to grapefruit, the menu included tomatoes, eggs, and lettuce.
In the 1930s, the exotic fruit took center stage in the film Hard to Handle (1933), in which actor James Cagney played a con artist promoting a slimming “grapefruit diet” in order to artificially increase its price. In the following years, grapefruit appeared in many blockbuster films, bringing huge profits to growers and becoming a favorite fruit of people who care about their weight. Marilyn Monroe was a lover of the grapefruit diet. The actress was supposed to start each day with half a fruit and a boiled egg.
The fashionable diet of stars could not do without this fruit
Photo: Motion Picture
Dangerous grapefruit diet
The “Hollywood 18-day diet” is based on the consumption of fruit or juice squeezed from them. It is a very low-calorie diet (less than 600 kcal/day) and ketogenic (low in carbohydrates and proteins). For years, this fruit was believed to have “magical” properties, which allow you to burn fat faster, but none of the scientific studies have confirmed this. Grapefruit consists of about 88 percent. from water, so consuming it with meals makes us feel full faster. This, in turn, makes us eat less. As for the grapefruit diet’s fast weight loss claims, it’s more of a byproduct of severe calorie cutting.
Doctors also warn that for some people, excessive consumption of grapefruit can be dangerous. Grapefruit contains a chemical that interferes with the body’s ability to process certain medications. It affects the way they work, which can lead to serious health problems.
However, grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamins C and A. Thanks to its high fiber content, it can improve heart health, and its antioxidant properties help reduce the risk of cancer. The low result in the glycemic index means that the consumption of the fruit does not cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. Grapefruit is worth including in your diet, but you can’t base your entire nutrition plan around it.
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