Published January 26, 2016 Metabolic syndrome (or “insulin resistance syndrome”) is loosely defined as having any three of the following: excess abdominal (visceral) fat, high triglycerides, high fasting blood sugar levels, high blood pressure, or low HDL cholesterol. Researchers have recently discovered that your amount of visceral abdominal fat (the kind that lies in and around internal organs) is the best indicator of your risk for diabetes and heart disease. This makes sense when you consider that the veins of your internal organs actually drain right into your liver, and visceral fat would share this drainage system – which can lead to exactly what it sounds like, “fatty liver”! In La Jolla, California, researchers recently studied the effects of grapefruit and grapefruit juice on body weight and metabolic syndrome. A total of 91 obese patients received one of the following three times a day before meals: a) half a grapefruit with a placebo capsule; b) 8 ounces of grapefruit juice and a placebo capsule; c) grapefruit capsules and 7 ounces of apple juice; or d) placebo capsules and 7 ounces of apple juice. After 12 weeks, the fresh grapefruit group lost a total of 3.52 pounds. The grapefruit juice group lost 3.3 pounds. The grapefruit capsule group lost 2.42 pounds and the placebo group only lost 0.35 pounds! Nothing beat eating the fresh fruit in its whole form, packed with enzymes and organic acids. Amazingly, subjects in the fresh grapefruit group also experienced lower glucose and insulin levels. Insulin resistance also improved, which helped to prevent blood sugar spikes throughout the day. Another study found mice who ate a high-fat diet while drinking grapefruit juice gained 18% less weight compared to a control group of mice who ate the same but drank only water. If you’re looking to lose weight, try eating half a grapefruit before your meals. However, please avoid if you’re on any pharmaceutical medication!