Nutrition

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help You Lose Weight?

Apple cider vinegar has been a pantry staple for centuries and is now a rising star in the weight loss world. This tangy, amber colored vinegar has recently grown in popularity as it may enhance fat loss in some humans.

This article will review the science behind the possible benefits and dangers of adding apple cider vinegar to your daily routine.

 

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is low in calories, vitamins and minerals and has high levels of acid (5-6%).

The way is made is by combining apples with sugar for 1-2 weeks. This process is called fermentation. During this process bacteria starts eating the sugar or fermenting, which turns into an acid. This acid is what causes the fizzy and vinegary flavor of apple cider vinegar.

The acid that forms is called acetic acid, which is commonly used as a food preservative and is best known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties. This concept has sparked the interest of researchers to look at how acetic acid may affect the way people breakdown and absorb carbohydrates eaten throughout the day.

Summary:

Apple cider vinegar is made by combining apples and sugar for 1-2 weeks. The acid form by the fermentation has potential antibacterial and antifungal properties.

 

What are the possible health benefits?

 May help with weight loss by enhancing digestion:
Acetic acid, the main component of apple cider vinegar, may slow down the process in which food travels from the stomach to the rest of the digestive system. This delay may cause some people to feel fuller after meals and eat less throughout the day.

This effect was seen in the 2018 study previously mentioned and was also observed in a 2014 study published in the International Journal of Obesity. This study looked at how apple cider vinegar significantly increased feelings of fullness and decreased hunger ratings in 30 overweight or obese people; this same study also saw lower blood sugar spikes after meals.

May help with blood sugar control but it’s not fully understood how:
Although a reason for this has not been fully established, there are many ways apple cider vinegar may affect how the human body breaks down, absorbs, and uses the carbohydrates eaten throughout the day.

In 2017, one group of authors pooled together the results from 20 different human studies (meta-analysis) to check the effects of apple cider vinegar on blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity. Their results suggest that small doses of vinegar consumption is associated with significantly lower blood sugar levels and insulin responses after meals, especially those high in carbohydrates.

It is very important to note that if you are currently taking medications that help control your blood sugar, or if you have diabetes, to check with your healthcare provider before adding vinegar to your daily routine.

 

Summary:

Apple cider vinegar may help with weight loss by increasing satiety causing less frequency of eating throughout the day. Clinical research provides some evidence that apple cider may help improve blood sugar control but it’s not fully understood how.

 

How much is safe to consume

Small amounts of vinegar are said to be safe for some people in doses of 1 to 2 tablespoons per day.

Here are some tips on how to safely add apple cider vinegar into your diet:

  • Add it to pickling liquid to pickle vegetables.
  • Add 1 teaspoon mixed with water or in salad dressing

It is difficult to determine whether apple cider vinegar consumption is a long-term, reliable way to lose weight. For weight loss, diet and lifestyle and require and apple cider vinegar can be just one addition if having poor digestion is a problem. I highly recommend anyone to see a dietitian for an individualized diet for weight loss and blood sugar control.

Written by: Marguerite Drowica, Dietetic Intern, Hunter College

Reviewed by: Nazirber Maduro, RDN, CDN, CDCES

Nazirber Maduro, RDN, CDN, CDCES

Nazirber Maduro is a bilingual registered dietitian and nutritionist who believes that healthy and delicious food should be enjoyed at any stage in life. She helps people transform the way they eat and find joy in food through the practice of food and lifestyle medicine.

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