Some research has linked apple cider vinegar to improved blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes, but experts say studies linking vinegar to weight loss are limited. This diet has been in the news a lot lately. Here’s what to know before you start stocking up on vinegar.
What is apple cider vinegar and why do people love it?
Apple cider vinegar has been around for millennia, but in recent years it has established itself as one of the most popular dietary fads on the market. You could even say that it has acquired superfood status. Celebrities such as Katy Perry, Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Kate Walsh, and Jennifer Aniston have spoken about their love of apple cider vinegar, which has helped create a craze for this additive. The apple cider vinegar diet is easy to follow compared to other fad diets. It does not require a lifestyle change, and that is why many people consider it a magic elixir.
What is the Apple Cider Vinegar Diet?
The diet focuses on apple cider vinegar, which is low in calories and contains B vitamins. B vitamins are building blocks of good health, playing a key role in maintaining energy and good metabolism. You can buy apple cider vinegar at most stores or online. Be sure to choose the type of vinegar labeled “with the mother.”
The mother is the combination of yeast and bacteria that forms during the fermentation process. Before drinking it, you should shake your vinegar, as the mother tends to settle at the bottom of the bottle. You may still notice filaments floating around in the solution, and that’s okay. It needs to be included because it is purported to be a probiotic that aids in digestion (proposed “mother” benefits are not supported by research at this point). The principle of the apple cider vinegar diet is to increase your intake of the rosé additive. Some people do this by drinking vinegar straight or diluted in water, usually with meals, while others make it a point to use it regularly in their meals.
Can apple cider vinegar actually cause weight loss?
The answer is simple: It depends on who you ask. Apple cider vinegar can help you shed those extra pounds, but only if you pair it with a healthy lifestyle.
To expect that just drinking apple cider vinegar will lead to weight loss without diet or lifestyle changes is to expect magic from an otherwise useful tool. Instead, think of apple cider vinegar as a supplement that can benefit digestion and metabolism, rather than viewing it as a panacea. The problem is that the evidence for the benefits of apple cider vinegar is limited. Most of the benefits are not yet conclusive and are based on stories rather than scientific studies.
What does the research say about the benefits of apple cider vinegar?
Most of the research on the potential benefits of apple cider vinegar on weight is uncertain. Most articles refer to a study published in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry. The study found that about 2 tablespoons of diluted apple cider vinegar, taken twice a day, caused weight loss in obese participants in the study. But the amount of weight lost was not very impressive, amounting to around 1.8 – 2kg over three months.
Another study, published in Nature Communications, found that acetic acid, found in apple cider vinegar and all other vinegars, acts as an appetite regulator, which can lead to weight loss. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity showed that if vinegar can reduce feelings of hunger, it is mainly because it is not appetizing and makes you nauseous.
Finally, a review published in Nutrition Reviews found that while some studies have shown that vinegars can help reduce obesity, there is no conclusive evidence that vinegar can have a positive effect on metabolism, which influences on body weight. The researchers concluded that large, long-term trials are needed before any definitive health claims can be made.
What are the risks of using apple cider vinegar in your diet?
Since apple cider vinegar is a concentrated acid, it can damage tooth enamel and the lining of the esophagus if you drink it neat. You should be especially careful if you tend to have stomach pain, gas, or acid reflux when eating acidic foods like tomatoes or citrus fruits. To alleviate these issues, many people dilute apple cider vinegar in a glass of water or incorporate it into their cooking, such as adding it to salad dressing or using it as an acid in a marinade. Another downside is that apple cider vinegar can be hard to swallow, due to its sour taste and pungent smell.
Can people with certain illnesses benefit from apple cider vinegar?
Although the benefits of apple cider vinegar for the general population are inconclusive, more compelling evidence has shown that apple cider vinegar may be particularly helpful for people with diabetes.
Can apple cider vinegar help people with type 2 diabetes?
A study published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism found that ingesting vinegar with a meal high in complex carbohydrates reduced postprandial glucose levels by 20%. And a study published in the Journal of Functional Foods showed that one tablespoon of vinegar taken with a meal twice a day reduced fasting blood glucose concentrations in people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Principal attributes this positive change to acetic acid and claims that all vinegars, not just apple cider vinegar, provide these benefits.
More recently, a review published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine concluded that apple cider vinegar may lead to small improvements in blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes, although larger trials are needed to prove its effectiveness as a treatment option.
How much apple cider vinegar should you use to get potential results?
In general, it is recommended to drink a teaspoon (tsp) of apple cider vinegar diluted in a glass of water once a day to experience its potential benefits. You can increase the amount up to 2 tablespoons per serving as your body adjusts to it.
Takeaway: Should You Try Apple Cider Vinegar for Weight Loss?
Unfortunately, there is no definitive yes or no answer. There isn’t enough evidence yet to back up the hype. If you decide to increase your intake of apple cider vinegar, try to eat more salads topped with an apple cider vinegar and oil dressing. This will increase the consumption of vegetables, which is useful for weight loss, and will also achieve the desired vinegar.
Either way, don’t think of apple cider vinegar as a miracle cure for weight loss. Although it can aid digestion and increase satiety, it should always be added to a healthy diet and lifestyle, not a substitute for it.