Health & Nutrition

Citrus Myths

Vitamin C Supplement offers same health benefits as Vitamin C found in Fresh Citrus—FALSE!
A recent article published in the May ‘09 Health & Nutrition Newsletter from Tufts University, titled “Multivitamins Fall Short in Biggest Study of Its Kind” concluded that multivitamin use among older women made no significant difference in the risk of cancer, heart disease or overall mortality. The study, led by Marian L. Neuhouser, PhD, of the Fred Hutchinson Research Center, is the largest and most comprehensive study to date of multivitamin use among older women and is based on the analysis of 161,808 postmenopausal women participating in four parts of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), with all research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. At the conclusion of the eight year follow-up, Neuhouser and colleagues found no association between multivitamin use and the risk of any type of cancer or the risk of dying. This is just the latest study to reinforce the importance of incorporating fruit into ones diet rather than relying on supplements, especially when it comes to Vitamin C! Learn More.

Eating grapefruit may help you lose weight-TRUE!
A study published in the March 2006 issue of the Journal of Medicinal Food supports the long-held belief that grapefruit is useful in the battle of the bulge! It's true! According to a pilot study by the Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at Scripps Clinic, adding grapefruit to one's diet may result in weight loss. The 12-week pilot study monitored weight and metabolic factors of 100 men and women who participated in the Scripps Clinic 'Grapefruit Diet' study. Participants maintained their daily eating habits and slightly enhanced their exercise routine; the only dietary change was the intake of grapefruit and grapefruit juice. On average, participants who ate half a grapefruit with each meal lost 3.6 pounds, with some participants losing more than 10 pounds! While more research is needed to discern exactly why grapefruit may provide these weight management benefits, it could be attributed to properties found in grapefruit or the fruits natural ability to satiate appetite.

Oranges are inconvenient to eat-FALSE!
Oranges are sturdy, portable and pre-portioned, making them a convenient and nutritious snack! Plus, oranges are virtually seedless and easy to peel so they can be enjoyed anywhere, anytime. One orange contains all the vitamin C the average person needs each day, as well as potassium, dietary fiber, folic acid and antioxidants. And an added bonus, they are fat-free, sodium-free, cholesterol-free -- and only 80 calories! For added convenience, you can also try using a Sunkist citrus peeler.

You should limit citrus in your diet if you suffer from Acid Reflux-FALSE!
Contrary to popular belief, there is no reason to avoid citrus fruits if you suffer from Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease, also known as GERD. According to a study conducted by Stanford University and published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (May, 2006), there's insufficient evidence to support the notion that eating citrus or other acidic foods will make heartburn worse-or that cutting them out will make it go away. For those suffering from Esophageal Reflux Disease, Dr. Heber of UCLA Center for Human Nutrition suggests the following tips:

  • Sleep with your head elevated
  • Avoid eating anything within three hours of sleeping
  • Avoid high fat/spicy meals
  • Maintain a healthy weight

Acidic fruits should be avoided while playing sports-FALSE!
The nutrient dense orange is an easy way for athletes to get the right mix of vitamins, antioxidants and a great tasting energy boost while participating in organized sports. In addition to being a great carb replacement, nutrients in oranges such as potassium may help reduce muscle soreness. Plus, the sweet, refreshing taste of fresh oranges is a bonus for any athlete looking for a energy boosting pre- or post- workout snack!

Adding Lemon to Green Tea helps increase the absorption of antioxidants-TRUE!
According to a digestive model study published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research by Mario Ferruzzi, assistant professor of food science at Purdue University, citrus juices enable more of green tea's unique antioxidants to remain after simulated digestion, possibly making the pairing even more beneficial for human health than previously thought. Results show that lemon juice caused 80 percent of tea's catechins to remain. Following lemon, in terms of stabilizing power, were orange, lime and grapefruit juices. Ferruzzi said both vitamin C and citrus juices must interact with catechins to prevent their degradation in the intestines. In addition to the health benefits, adding lemon to green tea can also improve its taste! According to Dr. Adam Drewnowski, Director of the Nutritional Sciences Program at the University of Washington, the sourness from lemon juice can help mask the bitter taste of green tea.

Fruit is bad for people with diabetes because it contains sugar-FALSE!
People with diabetes are strongly encouraged to choose fruit over more processed foods high in sugars and other carbohydrates. Fruit contains natural fiber, vitamins, enzymes and other essential nutrients that people with diabetes need to maintain a healthy diet. The majority of common fruits, including oranges, have a low to medium glycemic load, which means most people with diabetes can enjoy fresh fruit as part of a healthful diet. The key to eating fruit on a diabetic diet is to space out the portions over the course of a day.

You need to limit fruit intake because of carbs-FALSE!
It's okay to have carbs, you just want ones that release their energy slowly. Most fruits, including oranges and grapefruit, are perfect for this because they have a low glycemic load and also contain fiber. In other words, the carbohydrates found in fruit such as oranges are truly quality carbs. Any way you slice it, nutrient rich fruits are good for you and should be a part of your everyday diet!

An apple a day is all you need to keep the doctor away!-FALSE!
While all fruits and vegetables provide benefits, a new rating system for foods will soon be used at thousands of Topco grocery stores. Developed by a team of researchers led by Dr. David Katz, of the Yale University-Griffin Hospital Prevention Research Center, the Overall Nutritional Quality Index (ONQI) evaluates foods based on their nutritional values giving credit for such things as vitamins, fiber and whole grains while debiting points for ingredients such as salt, sugar and transfat. Consumers will see the results as a score of 1 to 100, the higher the healthier. According to the ONQI scale, Oranges scored the full 100 points while apples received 96 points. So despite that old saying about "an apple a day," the orange beats out the apple in this ranking system. The best way to "keep the doctor away" is to enjoy both!