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Grapefruit vs Grape - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Grapefruit
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Grape

Introduction

In this article, you can find the main differences in the nutrition of grape and grapefruit. Grapefruit and grape are similar in their names. The name “grapefruit” comes from the fact that this fruit grows in clusters on trees, like grapes. Nevertheless, externally these fruits are different. Grapes are small and sweet, have smooth skins and a whitish bloom, whereas grapefruits are larger, tart, and are usually between 4 and 6 inches.

Varieties

Grapes belong to the Vitis genus, they are botanically berries. Grapefruits are a hybrid between pomelo and sweet oranges, they belong to the Citrus genus. Overall, grapes can be black, yellow, green, and pink. There are around 10 000 different varieties of grape. Grapefruits are yellow-orange skinned.  The pulps of this fruit can be pink and red depending on the cultivars. Grapes belong to the non-climacteric type of fruit, generally occurring in clusters, whereas grapefruits are subtropical fruits [1] [2].

Uses

Grapes may be used for making wine, grape juice, jam, vinegar, and oil. Fresh grapes are great for salads. In most European countries, dried grapes are called "raisins". Raisins are used in various dishes. Grapefruits also can be eaten fresh or can be used in juice, smoothies, yogurt, and salads [3] [4].

Nutrition

Grapes and grapefruits are very different.  However, to better understand differences and make the informed choice between them, we created a nutrition infographic below.

Macronutrients

The level of protein in these fruits is almost equal, grapes contain more carbohydrates, more fats than grapefruits. In this case, grapefruits contain fewer sugars and have a high level of fiber [5] [6].

Calories

Overall, the calories of grape and grapefruit are quite similar. Nevertheless, the calories level of grapes is a bit higher, than in grapefruit. Grapes contain 67 calories per 100g, whereas grapefruits contain 52 calories per 100g. The amount of food energy of grape is about 288 kJ, while grapefruit contains 265 kJ.

Minerals

Grapes are richer in Potassium, Iron, and Copper.  On the other hand, grapefruits are rich in Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Phosphorus, and have a lower level of Sodium [5] [6].

Potassium

Potassium is a mineral that your body cannot produce naturally. It has important functions, may help with blood pressure, normal water balance, and muscle contractions. The level of potassium in the grape is almost 2 times higher than in the grapefruit. Grape contains 194 mg potassium per 100 g, while grapefruits contain 135 mg per 100 g [5] [6].

Vitamins

It cannot be stated which fruit is richer in vitamins. Grapefruit is richer in Vitamin A, Vitamin B5, and folate. The amount of Vitamin C is 7 times higher than in grapes. On the other hand, the grape is richer in Vitamin E, Vitamins B2, B3, B6, and Vitamin K. Both fruits have no Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B9 [7] [8].

Glycemic Index

The glycemic index is the relative ranking of carbohydrates that may promote better blood sugar management. The estimated glycemic index of grapes is 2 times higher than in grapefruit; it is about 59, whereas the glycemic index of grapefruit is about 25.

Health Impact

The phytochemicals present in these fruits may play an important role in decreasing chronic disease risk. Grape and grapefruits have many health-beneficial effects.  We will look more deeply into the effects and mechanisms on human health.

Cardioprotective Effects

Low intake of potassium may cause high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke [9]. Grapes are a good source of flavonoids, particularly flavanols. Researches show relationships between flavonoids and heart disease risk reduction, such as myocardial infarction, dyslipidemia, and coronary artery pathology. Besides, grapes are rich in potassium, which is necessary for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels [10]. According to the study, although grapefruit is also rich in flavonoids, it does not demonstrate the ability to inhibit platelet aggregation, as opposed to the grape juice [11]. 

Diabetes

Grapefruits are rich in fiber and have a low glycemic index. Eating these fruits regularly can have the potential to prevent insulin resistance, which may lead to diabetes. In one study, diabetic animals treated with grapefruit had a reduced blood glucose concentration. Besides, grapefruits are rich in Vitamin C, which has antidiabetic, antihyperglycemic effects.

According to the study, the grape polyphenol group showed a significant reduction in postprandial insulin and fasting glucose levels compared with the baseline in 38 individuals with at least one component of metabolic syndrome [12] [13].

Cancer

Grapes are a good source of phenolic acids, flavonoids, which have positive health effects. Animal work and cell culture evidence support the health benefits of grapes in certain cancers. Grape phytochemicals show protective effects against cancer by reducing inflammation, acting as an antioxidant, and blocking the growth and spread of cancer cells within the body. A lot of studies show associations between citrus consumption and cancer. Grapefruits are rich in Vitamin C and flavonoids, which are strong antioxidants, protect against oxidative damage and certain cancer [14] [15]. 

Weight Loss

Grapefruits contain fever sugars, fats, carbs, and have a lower glycemic index than grapes. In general, grapefruits are weight loss-friendly fruits. The other characteristic is known that helps with weight loss, that grapefruits contain a few calories but a lot of water. One study shows that eating half of fresh grapefruit before meals may help to lose weight. Grapefruits are good in case of low calories, low fats, low carbs diets [16]. 

Kidney Stones

Calcium oxalate stones are the most common type of kidney stones. There are many causes of kidney stones, including weight, and certain medications. Grapefruit contains citric acid, an organic acid that can effectively bind calcium in the kidneys and flush it out of the body [17]. 

Eye Health

If you ever wondered which fruit to choose for your eye health, then grapes may take that place. They contain lutein and zeaxanthin that may protect the retina and eye lens. In one study, mice were fed the equivalent of three servings of grapes daily. Results showed bioactive compounds of grape may lower the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. Besides, the retinas of the mice were thickened and light-sensitive responses were improved [18].

Immune System

There are a lot of studies that have shown vitamin C to be beneficial for helping people recover more quickly from the common cold. According to some research, not having enough vitamin C may hurt your immune system, especially if you're elderly. Grapefruits are a good source of Vitamin C, contain enough Vitamin A and minerals to boost your immune system, also they can reduce your suffering or possibly the duration of a cold [19].

Anti Aging effect

Grape antioxidants are linked to better brain function and anti-aging effects. The quercetin in black and red grapes has been shown to protect against Alzheimer's disease.

On the other hand, grapefruits are rich in Vitamins, especially, Vitamin C, which has strong antioxidant effects, which may lower the risk of oxidative stress in your body, moreover, these fruits contain a lot of water, and may keep your skin moisturized and hydrated [18].

DOWNSIDES AND RISKS

Although grapefruits and grapes have rich nutrition content, however, they are not for everyone. There are some reasons why you may need to avoid eating these fruits

Allergy

Most people may have an allergy to grapefruits if they have a citrus allergy. Symptoms are most common, including intense tingling and itching of the lips, tongue, and throat [20]. 

Some people react to grapes, wine, and other fermented products due to yeast, pollen, tannins, nitrites, and nitrates. The allergy may occur after eating or drinking grape products, including wine, raisins, and fresh grapes [21]. 

Medication Interactions

Grapefruits contain substances that inhibit cytochrome P450, an enzyme your body uses to metabolize certain medications. As a result, consuming grapefruit and its juice may lead to medication interactions. Eating grapefruit while taking medications may cause overdose and other adverse effects [22]. 

SUMMARY

 

Grapes are richer in Potassium, Iron, and have a higher amount of Vitamin E, Vitamins B2, B3, B6, and Vitamin K. On the other hand, the amount of Vitamin C in grapefruits is 7 times higher, they are rich in Calcium, Magnesium, and contain fewer sugars.

 

REFERENCES

  1. https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/grapefruit.html
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30288862/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31920107/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26299317/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28894634/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30763495/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14977436/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25831042/
  9. https://sci-hub.se/10.1080/10408398.2012.692408
  10. https://sci-hub.se/https://doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.6890
  11. https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/130/1/53/4686066
  12. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0153241
  13. https://sci-hub.se/https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22010068
  14. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/286122827_Citrus_as_functional_foods
  15. https://www.citrusaustralia.com.au/wp-content/uploads/Health-Benefits-of-Citrus-Fruits-CSIRO-Full-Report.pdf
  16. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16579728/
  17. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19911682/
  18. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10408398.2012.692408
  19. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17636648/
  20. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28721824/
  21. https://ijaai.tums.ac.ir/index.php/ijaai/article/view/339
  22. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18380401/
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Profession: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: March 21, 2021

Infographic

Grapefruit vs Grape infographic
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Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
:
3
Grape
Contains more Calcium +57.1%
Contains more Magnesium +80%
Contains more Zinc +75%
Contains more Phosphorus +80%
Contains less Sodium -100%
Contains more Iron +262.5%
Contains more Potassium +41.5%
Contains more Copper +25%
Iron Calcium Potassium Magnesium Copper Zinc Phosphorus Sodium 3% 7% 12% 7% 11% 2% 8% 0%
Iron Calcium Potassium Magnesium Copper Zinc Phosphorus Sodium 11% 5% 17% 4% 14% 2% 5% 1%
Contains more Calcium +57.1%
Contains more Magnesium +80%
Contains more Zinc +75%
Contains more Phosphorus +80%
Contains less Sodium -100%
Contains more Iron +262.5%
Contains more Potassium +41.5%
Contains more Copper +25%

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
:
6
Grape
Contains more Vitamin C +680%
Contains more Vitamin A +1050%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +991.7%
Contains more Folate +225%
Contains more Vitamin E +46.2%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +114%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +83.9%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +47.1%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +107.5%
Contains more Vitamin K +∞%
Vitamin C Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Vitamin B12 Vitamin K Folate 105% 69% 3% 0% 11% 8% 4% 16% 13% 0% 0% 10%
Vitamin C Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Vitamin B12 Vitamin K Folate 14% 6% 4% 0% 24% 14% 6% 2% 26% 0% 37% 3%
Contains more Vitamin C +680%
Contains more Vitamin A +1050%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +991.7%
Contains more Folate +225%
Contains more Vitamin E +46.2%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +114%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +83.9%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +47.1%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +107.5%
Contains more Vitamin K +∞%

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

Summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfils human daily needs, the more the summary score is
Vitamin Summary Score
20
Grapefruit
11
Grape
Mineral Summary Score
6
Grapefruit
7
Grape

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Protein
5%
Grapefruit
4%
Grape
Carbohydrates
11%
Grapefruit
17%
Grape
Fats
1%
Grapefruit
2%
Grape

Comparison summary table

Pay attention at the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Grapefruit Grape
Lower in Sugars ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Lower in price ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Rich in minerals Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

Which food is preferable in case of diets?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Grapefruit Grape
Low Calories diet ok
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Comparison summary

Which food contains less Sugars?
Grapefruit
Grapefruit contains less Sugars (difference - 9.36g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Grapefruit
Grapefruit contains less Sodium (difference - 2mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Grapefruit
Grapefruit is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.093g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Grapefruit
Grapefruit is lower in glycemic index (difference - 24)
Which food is cheaper?
Grapefruit
Grapefruit is cheaper (difference - $0.2)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is richer in minerals?
?
It cannot be definitely stated which food is richer in minerals. See charts below for detailed information.
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be definitely stated which food is richer in vitamins. See charts below for detailed information.

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

In the column "Opinion" we made some assumptions which could be controversial. For instance we are assuming that less saturated fats is good for you. Please ignore this column if you have your own opinion.We marked the nutrients, comparison of which we considered as not meaningful, as "N/A"
Nutrient Grapefruit Grape Opinion
Calories 42 67 Grape
Protein 0.77 0.63 Grapefruit
Fats 0.14 0.35 Grape
Vitamin C 31.2 4 Grapefruit
Carbs 10.66 17.15 Grape
Cholesterol 0 0
Vitamin D 0 0
Iron 0.08 0.29 Grape
Calcium 22 14 Grapefruit
Potassium 135 191 Grape
Magnesium 9 5 Grapefruit
Sugars 6.89 16.25 Grapefruit
Fiber 1.6 0.9 Grapefruit
Copper 0.032 0.04 Grape
Zinc 0.07 0.04 Grapefruit
Starch 0 Grapefruit
Phosphorus 18 10 Grapefruit
Sodium 0 2 Grapefruit
Vitamin A 1150 100 Grapefruit
Vitamin E 0.13 0.19 Grape
Vitamin D 0 0
Vitamin B1 0.043 0.092 Grape
Vitamin B2 0.031 0.057 Grape
Vitamin B3 0.204 0.3 Grape
Vitamin B5 0.262 0.024 Grapefruit
Vitamin B6 0.053 0.11 Grape
Vitamin B12 0 0
Vitamin K 0 14.6 Grape
Folate 13 4 Grapefruit
Trans Fat 0 0
Saturated Fat 0.021 0.114 Grapefruit
Monounsaturated Fat 0.02 0.014 Grapefruit
Polyunsaturated fat 0.036 0.102 Grape
Tryptophan 0.008 0.003 Grapefruit
Threonine 0.013 0.017 Grape
Isoleucine 0.008 0.005 Grapefruit
Leucine 0.015 0.013 Grapefruit
Lysine 0.019 0.014 Grapefruit
Methionine 0.007 0.021 Grape
Phenylalanine 0.013 0.013
Valine 0.015 0.017 Grape
Histidine 0.008 0.023 Grape
Fructose 1.77 Grapefruit

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented seperately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links of the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Grapefruit - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174673/nutrients
  2. Grape - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174682/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.