The No Grapefruit Diet?

I did have my nutritional needs to be met, and I switched to grapefruit juice exclusively. And when the boycott was over, I found OJ less exciting, less tangy than grapefruit.

One of my favorite things to eat is grapefruit. I prefer pink to white, but either is fine. I love to drink grapefruit juice as well.

When I was a child, there were these cans of DelMonte blended juices, which were just OK. But it wasn’t until I was in college, and got to consume fresh or frozen juice and fresh fruit that I really became a convert. And, in large part, I have Anita Bryant to thank.

Anita Bryant was a former Miss Oklahoma who became a singer with middling success. “In 1969 she became a spokeswoman for the Florida Citrus Commission, and nationally televised commercials featured her singing ‘Come to the Florida Sunshine Tree’ and stating the commercials’ tagline: ‘Breakfast without orange juice is like a day without sunshine.’

“In 1977, Bryant’s campaign led to a repeal of the anti-discrimination ordinance [in Dade County (Miami), Florida]… However, the success of Bryant’s campaign galvanized her opponents and the gay community retaliated against her by organizing a boycott of orange juice.” I joined in the boycott until she was dropped by Florida Citrus Commission “in 1979 because of the controversy and the negative publicity generated by her political campaigns and the resulting boycott of Florida orange juice,” which was, as I recall, fairly successful.

Meanwhile, I did have my nutritional needs to be met, and I switched to grapefruit juice exclusively. And when the boycott was over, I found OJ less exciting, less tangy than grapefruit. Moreover, the flavor of orange juice too long in the refrigerator used to turn yucky, a problem I almost never experienced with grapefruit juice.

Every year, we order from my in-laws a case of citrus as a fundraiser. It can be all oranges, all grapefruit, or a mixed box. We were about to put in the order when my wife asked whether I should be eating grapefruit, because it mixes badly with statins, which I started taking to keep my cholesterol level down. I said, “What?”

As it turns out: “When grapefruit juice is consumed at or around the time you take your statin, the components in grapefruit prevent these enzyme systems from breaking down the drug, causing the drug to accumulate in high amounts in the body. This can be very dangerous and can cause a variety of health problems, such as liver damage or a rare condition called rhabdomyolysis (severe muscle and kidney damage).”

So it’ll be grapefruit in the morning, statin at night, and never the twain shall meet.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. i hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

7 thoughts on “The No Grapefruit Diet?”

  1. I’ve never been a fan of grapefruit, though my mother liked it and drank the juice. I also remember she has special little teaspoons for eating grapefruit, ones with a sort of serrated tip. I really wanted to like grapefruit just so I could use one of those spoons, but it was not to be. I’d heard that people with high blood pressure are supposed to avoid grapefruit, but never heard about the problem with statins before. Good to know—just in case.

  2. I had to look up Anita Bryant to find out what the fuss had been about. That’s an excellent photo of her getting a pie in the face. And that quote! “If gays are granted rights, next we’ll have to give rights to prostitutes and to people who sleep with St. Bernards and to nail biters.” What did she have against people who bite their nails? Or is it some euphemism that I’m not familar with?

    I prefer grapefruit to orange, blood grapefruit for preference, but it’s not a regular part of my diet. I usually drink it if we are staying at a hotel prior to a full English breakfast. From what you say about statins, I’m taking my life in my hands!

  3. The good thing about eating grapefruits is that it lowers your bodies insulin levels which aid in fat loss. But yeah it can change the chemical balance of some drugs. It’s all about wellness.

  4. My statin drug pill bottle says “NO NEVER GRAPEFRUIT” none at all no matter what time you take.

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