Everything You Need to Know About Apple Cider VinegarArticle posted in: Diet & Nutrition
Whether it’s in homemade salad dressings, marinades or homemade pickles, apple cider vinegar is an essential ingredient in your low-carb kitchen. It brightens the flavor of recipes, acts as a natural preservative and imparts acidic flavor—one of the four elements needed in every balanced recipe.
Just as its name suggests, apple cider vinegar is made from crushed, distilled and fermented apples, says Harvard Health. For centuries, it’s been used to cure a variety of ailments including scurvy and infection. It’s still commonly used today as a homeopathic cleaner and disinfectant to help kill fungus and germs.
There’s a reason why this healthy pantry staple has been around for so long. Learn the facts about this simple superfood and why you should add it to your healthy lifestyle.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Weight Loss
In the last few years, the Apple Cider Vinegar Diet has become a popular idea for potential weight loss. According to Harvard Health, the diet typically consists of taking one to two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar at mealtimes. They explain that the reason for this theory might be due to the compound acetic acid, which has been shown to “prevent fat deposition” and improve the metabolism of obese mice.
In 2009, Japanese researchers wanted to see if vinegar had similar weight loss effects on humans. In a 12-week study, published in Bioscience, Biotechnology, Biochemistry, 175 men and women were randomly assigned to three groups of similar body weight, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference. The subjects either ingested 15 milliliters of vinegar (diluted in a beverage), 30 milliliters of vinegar (also diluted) or no vinegar. At the end of the trial, the two groups who consumed vinegar experienced some weight loss and decreased triglycerides.
The Bitter Truth
Despite participants dropping some pounds in the study above, the amount of weight loss was meager; just two to four pounds at the end of the 12 weeks. There’s also no mention of how the subjects felt throughout the trial. However, in a similar study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, subjects reported nausea after ingesting vinegar. Vinegar has also been shown to cause acid reflux, erode teeth enamel and alter insulin levels.
Even though apple cider vinegar won’t dissolve your unwanted pounds, it can still be incorporated into a healthy diet. According to The University of Chicago Medicine, vinegar and vinegar-based foods contain probiotics. Probiotics are live microorganisms (commonly found in fermented foods or supplements) that are said to increase the immune system, aid in weight loss, digestive health and more, says Healthline. Raw, unfiltered varieties of vinegar contain “mother,” which consists of these probiotics, protein and enzymes.
Health professionals recommend consuming probiotic-rich foods daily, so small amounts of vinegar in SBD-approved foods can be quite beneficial to health. Here at South Beach Diet, apple cider vinegar (and all other varieties except for balsamic) is considered a Free Food. Free Foods contain 10 calories or less and no more than one gram of net carbs per serving. Feel free to mix up your own salad dressings or sauces to enhance the flavor of foods. Not sure which oil to pair with your new favorite vinegar? Click here for eight of our favorites >
In addition to its probiotic powers, vinegar can provide some helpful, healthy hacks for your life. According to Food.com, vinegar can make peeling hard-boiled eggs a breeze. They recommend adding two teaspoons to the water before boiling. Tasteofhome.com suggests using vinegar to make your own household cleaner that is a safer alternative for cleaning floors, windows, drains and dishes. They also recommend mixing it with a little dish soup to create a terrific flytrap.