Grapefruit and Avocado Salad

The FDA has announced that it is now going to require labels on statin drugs such as Lipitor that warn of rises in blood sugar and possible memory loss. Other studies have shown that it can actually cause heart disease, the very reason to take the drug in the first place. Obviously, the long term effects of this very popular drug are still inconclusive although the profitability of such drugs has long been proven.

One of the warnings for Lipitor users is that you are not supposed to eat grapefruit. There is no real explanation on the label, but it is my understanding that grapefruit increases the level of the drug in your body, potentially causing muscle damage. What is the most important muscle in your body? Interesting that a fruit could make such a great change on something as powerful as lipitor.

I bring this up for two reasons. First of all, if you are taking a statin drug you should not make this salad. Second, if this fruit can have such a major impact in your body in combination with an artificial chemical, what other foods have similar effects? And, if grapefruit interferes with an enzyme that prevents the breakdown of the drug in your body, what benefits might it have?

I am not saying that there aren’t drugs on the market that can do many people a lot of good. I’m just saying that the long term effects of food can be just as beneficial and just as dangerous as the long term effects of drugs. I don’t think we know nearly enough about either. How long has lipitor been on the market and these additional warnings are just now appearing?

My friend Helen taught me this recipe. It is her favorite salad. I don’t know exactly how old she is, but I have a really good feeling that she will see 100. She works in her garden every day and is as sharp and acerbic as they come. She is talented, creative and very well informed. She has obviously been eating good food for a very long time. Before we started growing our own, Helen was our chief supplier of fresh tomatoes in the summer; her primary distribution method being to leave a bag full on our porch.

This is my variation on her salad and dressing. She hadn’t given me her special dressing recipe (maybe she won’t!) so I created one inspired by her.


  • 1 Head Romaine Lettuce
  • 2 Grapefruit, sectioned
  • 2 Avocados
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon Green Tobasco Sauce
  • Salt and Pepper


  • Chef’s Knife
  • Paring Knife
  • Salad Bowl
  • Measuring Cup
  • Hand Juicer
  1. Wash and thoroughly dry the lettuce, discarding any hard stem sections.
  2. Tear or cut the lettuce into bite sized pieces in the salad bowl. Salt well.
  3. Add similar sized pieces of the grapefruit and avocado.
  4. In a measuring cup, combine the juice of a lemon, olive oil, tobasco and a big pinch of salt and a twist or two of freshly ground pepper. Whisk with a fork.
  5. Lightly dress the salad, tossing gently by hand and serve immediately.
A lot of people are perplexed about cutting an avocado. Here is what you do. Cut it in half, longways around the big seed in the middle and then twist apart. Hold the half that still contains the seed in one hand and with a chef’s knife deftly strike the seed. The knife will stick. Turn and remove the seed. Next, use the back of your thumb to wedge between the skin and the meat of the avocado and run it all around. If the avocado is ripe, it will just pop out and you will end up with two complete halves.

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