Apple cider vinegar has often been in the press because of its supposed health benefits. The vinegar diet, as it is often called, involves using apple cider vinegar as a weight loss aid. This diet has its critics and staunch supporters. But is the vinegar safe, and does it work?
Vinegar has long been used as a folk remedy, supposedly for its ability to help people digest the food they eat, absorb more nutrients, and gain more energy with less food consumption. Apple cider vinegar is the popular vinegar that has made the rounds of dieters everywhere. A vinegar diet does not involve rigorous exercise or a strict avoidance of certain foods. Rather, it simply involves adding more vinegar to the diet by drinking it.
Vinegar is made of acetic acid, which is supposedly converted by the body into a compound that can push metabolism and speed it up. Once ingested and converted, acetic acid can help the body, in theory, break down complex compounds faster in food so that the body can use them as energy sources. According to this model, vinegar should therefore make you burn fat faster by using your food more efficiently.
There is still no completely elucidated pathway by which vinegar works, and as a result, there is no official vinegar diet. The simplest way is to take apple cider
vinegar thrice a day with a meal; or to mix apple cider vinegar and honey in a glass of water, and then take the mixture around 20 minutes before a meal.
With the rise in energy, moderate exercise is also recommended. Some people recommend brisk walking or even running in the afternoon. Others recommend treadmills or elliptical trainers. This should help the body burn off the energy created by the vinegar’s effect on metabolism.
There are also apple cider vinegar pills available, and enthusiasts recommend taking them once to three times a day, as a weight loss aid. The claims of weight loss put forth by the makers of these pills have not been substantiated, however, so care should be taken when consuming them.
There have been small studies on apple cider vinegar. According to several studies, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bedtime can help lower blood glucose levels by as much as 6% come morning. This can be important for preventing or managing diabetes. Small effects of apple cider vinegar have also been seen to lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, although these studies are small. There might also be evidence that vinegar can aid in weight loss: a study showed that people who ate bread and vinegar felt full before a meal, which also kept their appetite at bay.
However, there is still very little data to support or refute the effects of vinegar. Moreover, in some people, over-consumption of vinegar can lead to irritation of the stomach lining and stomach pains. Long term consumption of apple cider vinegar can also lower potassium levels, eat away at bone calcium, and even interfere with insulin levels in the blood. Continued below….
Some reviews for the vinegar diet have been glowing, with people claiming that they lost as much as 40 lbs in two months. Other reviews have been outright indifferent, where people claimed that there was no change in their weight at all even with consumption of apple cider vinegar, as recommended, for several months.
The vinegar diet has been touted in the press by such personalities as Dr. Oz and Megan Fox. Dr. Oz recommends apple cider vinegar in water and honey as a way to slim down for the summer. He endorsed apple cider vinegar on his show, and claims that you can lose as much as 18 lbs in a month.
Megan Fox also credits her shape to apple cider vinegar, although some have criticized her because she might also have hired health food chefs and had access to a personal trainer – both of which could be more effective for weight loss.