“One Grapefruit A Day”

One Grapefruit A Day Helps Lowering Cholesterol, But...

March 8, 2012

Lowering cholesterol properties

In a study published in the
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Israeli researchers from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem first tested the antioxidant potential of blond and red grapefruits, and then their cholesterol-lowering potential in humans.
The test tube research showed that red grapefruit contains more bioactive compounds and total polyphenols than blond, but both grapefruits are comparable in their content of fiber, phenolic acid, ascorbic acids, and naringinen (a flavonoid). Although, red grapefruit contains slightly more flavonoids and anthocyanins.
In this recent study, participants added either red grapefruit, blond grapefruit or no grapefruit to their daily diet. The results indicated that both types of grapefruit appeared to lower LDL cholesterol in just 30 days: total cholesterol by 15.5% in those eating red grapefruit and 7.6% in those eating blond grapefruit; LDL cholesterol by 20.3% and 10.7% respectively; and triglycerides by 17.2% and 5.6% respectively. No changes were seen in the group that didn't eat any grapefruit.

Both red and blond grapefruits both positively influenced cholesterol levels, but red grapefruit was more than twice as effective, especially in lowering triglycerides.
In addition, both grapefruits significantly improved blood levels of protective antioxidants.
Red grapefruit's better performance may be due to an as yet unknown antioxidant compound or the synergistic effects of its phytonutrients, including lycopene.

 In response to this rapid and very positive outcome, the researchers concluded that adding fresh red grapefruit to the diet could be beneficial for persons with high cholesterol, especially those who also have high triglycerides.

Fish and Fatty Acids

Fish are rich in long-chain omega-3 fatty acids that can lower triglycerides in the blood, according to a review published in the May 2012 issue of the journal "Biochemistry and Biophysics Acta." A pharmaceutical dose of 3.4 grams of fish oil daily reduces triglycerides 25 percent to 50 percent after one month, according to the review.
Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids reduce the amount of triglycerides your liver makes while increasing the amount your liver is able to get rid off.

Soy Protein

Researchers in a Canadian study examined the effects of soy protein and isoflavones -- plant hormones found in soy -- on the triglyceride levels of participants over 50 years old. Twenty participants with high blood lipids ate a diet with 25 grams of soy protein for every 1,000 calories, either with or without isoflavones, for six weeks. The study found soy protein lowered triglycerides by 12 percent compared to animal protein. The soy isoflavones had no effect on triglycerides. The study was published in the April 2004 issue of the journal "Atherosclerosis.

Add Nuts to the Mix

Because nut consumption is linked to a reduced cardiovascular risk, researchers have studied the effect of eating nuts on blood lipids. One study gathered data from 25 trials conducted in seven countries, involving 583 men and women with normal and high cholesterol. Researchers found that consuming an average of 67 grams of nuts daily decreased triglycerides by 10 percent in individuals with high triglycerides. The study was published in the May 2010 issue of the "Archives of Internal Medicine."

Eating for Healthy Triglycerides

It's crucial to follow a diet filled with a wide variety of healthy foods. If you're interested in adding nuts to your diet, 67 grams is equivalent to 2.4 ounces. As for soy protein, you have various options such as tofu, edamame, soy nuts, natto, soybeans and soy meat substitutes.
When it comes to fish, the American Heart Association recommends eating two servings each week if you're healthy.
If you have high triglycerides, higher amounts can help, but you may not be able to get enough from diet alone, according to the association.
Speak to your doctor about fish oil supplements if this is the case.


Grapefruit effects are pretty strong, in particular, compounds in this fruit are known to increase circulating levels of several prescription drugs, including statins.
  “One Grapefruit A Day”