Citrus fruit such as oranges, lemons, limes, tangerines, clementines and grapefruit, contain vitamin C, the scourge of the common cold and a powerful antioxidant. So it follows that a diet including citrus fruit will be healthy. That's one consideration--but what about a diet of only citrus fruit, which some might call a fad? And how effective a fad?
Dr Herbert Shelton, in his book "The Hygienic System: Orthotrophy" says any diet that concentrates on just one food or food group will result in weight loss. These eliminating diets, which some call 'cleansing diets', work like a fast---with cells feeding on the body's accumulated reserves and producing weight loss.
A diet should be like a store's clearance sale, when the store must maintain popular lines and not totally stop the inward goods. This is like a partial fast, says Dr Shelton. In a diet, as in a clearance sale, success comes from the choice of what's new to replenish, while purging the old.
Dr Shelton warns against quantity in a citrus fruit, or any juice diet. Downing as many glasses as possible to give the body "an excess of minerals of vitamins or alkalinize the body" defeats the purpose, he says. "The nearer the diet approaches a complete fast, the more effective it becomes," says the author of The Hygienic System. And he says juice and juice extract salesmen "are in no position to know what they are talking about," if they disagree.
Dr Shelton outlines the orange diet. It's usually as many as the dieter wants, from 3 to 15 a day, at regular intervals, or three or more at each meal time. He says they might have whole oranges or just juice. Natural sugar in the orange can produce gas. Not so with grapefruit, which dieters take exclusively too and find even quicker elimination results than with oranges, and they get over the bitter taste. Most lemon dieters start with just half a fruit, three times a day, and build up to nine whole lemons a day, says Dr Shelton.
Chow website associate editor Roxanne Webber says no-one has isolated the enzyme in grapefruit that supposedly causes weight loss. Although people have elevated grapefruit to magical status, it's just a low calorie diet, a fruit that's good for you, she says.
Advocates for The 2 Day Citrus Diet claim losses of up to 10 pounds in 48 hours. Participants say the detoxification process works well, and they lost weight initially but warn "you will surely be depriving your body of many other important nutrients," so take some multivitamins as well. The downside is diarrhea. The nutrition science behind the 2 Day Citrus Diet is that citrus fruits have carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber, potassium and foliate. The diet's supporters agree a consistent modest consumption of citrus, with other food, is the healthiest choice.