Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good for You?
Have you ever wondered if apple cider vinegar is actually good for you? And if it is what are the health benefits of using apple cider vinegar? Historical references suggest vinegar of varying types has been used for centuries for health purposed including treatment of wounds by Hippocrates all the way to the late 18th century for the treatment of the common stomachache and poison ivy.
What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Vinegar can be made using a wide variety of sugar-containing foods, typically wine or cider. The process begins by adding yeast to ferment the remaining natural sugars into alcohol. Next, bacteria cultures are added and further metabolize the alcohol into acetic acid. The Food and Drug Administration has no formal standards vinegar, however, generally considers 4 g of acetic acid per 100 mL to be satisfactory for labeling as vinegar.
Apple Cider Vinegar for Blood Sugar Control
In one Arizona State University study, subjects consuming 2 teaspoons of apple cider before consuming a bagel had a 20% reduction in post-meal blood sugar rise. Interestingly this effect was not seen when the apple cider vinegar was consumed with an equal amount of carbohydrate provided as juice, suggesting that the effect is related to the breakdown of complex carbohydrates into simple sugars.
Another study of 12 healthy subjects founds using vinegar with different levels of acetic acid showed similar results. They found an inverse relationship between the level of acetic acid in the vinegar and the blood sugar and insulin response. So the higher the acetic acid level the lower the blood sugar and insulin response after the meal. Additionally, they reported an increase in the subjective rating of their feeling of fullness after the meal.
Potential Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits
- Inhibits the activity of enzymes that break down starches into sugars
- Slows emptying of food from the stomach
- Enhances glucose uptake into the cells
Should I Start Using Apple Cider Vinegar?
That depends. If you enjoy the flavor then adding apple cider vinegar to meals in various ways might be a great way to boost flavor and experience some of the possible benefits. If you’re not a big fan no need to force it. As it turns out, studies suggest it is actually the acetic acid (which is present in all types of vinegar) that may be responsible for the health benefits. Overall adding vinegar when cooking is a great way to add brightness and flavor to food without additional calories and studies show it may also help control blood sugar spikes after meals and increase satiety.