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Health Claim Evaluation_Grapefruit

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Leticia Pickering Nutrition 302 Dr. Zemel 18 February, 2008 Grapefruit: The new “Super Fruit”? Each day, consumers are bombarded with thousands of health claims, each based on varying levels of scientific research and fact. One health claim that has begun to appear in magazines is produced by Florida Grapefruit and suggests that grapefruit can be considered a ‘super fruit’, meaning that it “contains a substantial number of nutrients compared to its total calories” (reference). The advertisement
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  Leticia Pickering Nutrition 302Dr. Zemel18 February, 2008Grapefruit: The new “Super Fruit”?Each day, consumers are bombarded with thousands of health claims, each basedon varying levels of scientific research and fact. One health claim that has begun toappear in magazines is produced by Florida Grapefruit and suggests that grapefruit can beconsidered a ‘super fruit’, meaning that it “contains a substantial number of nutrientscompared to its total calories” (reference). The advertisement asserts that grapefruit juiceis high in vitamin C, potassium, and folate, all of which could contribute to healthy skinand healthy weight maintenance. Many factors are presented as possible reasons thatgrapefruit juice offers benefits superior to those of other popular fruit juices. One conceptthat seemed to be emphasized was that of nutrient density. Nutrient density is “a measure of nutrients provided per calorie of food or theratio of the amount of a nutrient in foods to the energy provided by these same foods”(reference). While this concept provides valuable information as to a food’s nutrientcontent, it raises questions as to how the nutrient density might be measured andcompared. The Journal of Food Science recently published a study that answers thesequestions. In the study, the researchers first sought out to establish a consistent methodfor determining the nutrient density of foods, while taking into account their differentcaloric values in relation to a set serving size.  In this study, tests were conducted on 240 mL samples of seven different fruit juices. Six different methodologies were used and accounted for the different ratios thatmight be considered to represent nutrient density. Nutrient density was also evaluated inreference to the Daily Values set forth by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Theresults showed that citrus fruit juices show higher nutrient density than many other typesof fruit juice. Among the citrus fruit juices, grapefruit juice showed to be the mostnutrient dense, with the highest percent daily value for vitamin C potassium. “A major factor contributing to higher nutrient density scores for citrus juices is energy content.Citrus juices, particularly grapefruit juice, were lower in calories on a per serving basiscompared to other juices”(reference). What does this mean for the consumer?Consumers can take this research to indicate that a balanced diet rich in grapefruit andother nutrient dense foods can indeed support a healthy appearance and strong immunesystem. Of course, it would be foolish to rely on grapefruit as the sole source for theessential nutrients needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but
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