Apple cider vinegar is having a bit of a moment.
Is this just a new fad, or are there any real health benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar?
Vinegar has been touted as a healthy remedy for centuries. And it turns out with good reason….
I used to roll my eyes when someone asked me if they should drink apple cider vinegar daily, but then I did some research of my own and now it is something that I not only do myself but recommend to my clients.
What are the benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar? (It’s not just a fad).
The main reason I advise my clients to drink apple cider vinegar before a meal is because studies have shown that it decreases the amount of insulin released after a meal.
And this is a really good thing, as I explain in my Intermittent Fasting course because insulin is a storage hormone which means it stores food as energy (in the liver as glycogen and in the body as fat).
So keeping insulin levels low is great for weight management and blood sugar stability.
Of course, we can also stop our blood sugar levels from elevating (and therefore high levels of insulin being released) by making sure that our meals contain healthy fat and protein and are not too starchy, sugary, or refined carb-heavy.
But what is cool about drinking apple cider vinegar is that if you are going to have a starchy or sugary ‘treat’ it will help to keep insulin lower and stop blood sugar from spiking too high (which is always followed by the inevitable crash). Of course, this isn’t a recommendation to eat cookies and crips all day long, more of a useful hack for those now and again slices of birthday cake, or celebratory meal.
How exactly does it work?
Acetic acid in vinegar helps transform sugar and starch into glucose more slowly, so the glucose hits our system more softly.
Once acetic acid gets into our bloodstream it penetrates our muscles: there it encourages our muscles to make glycogen faster than they usually would, which in turn leads to more efficient uptake of glucose.
These two factors – glucose being released into the body more slowly and our muscles uptaking it more quickly – mean that there is less free flowing glucose present, so less of a glucose spike.
What’s more acetic acid not only reduces the amount of insulin present -which helps us to get back to fat burning mode – it also has a remarkable effect on our DNA. It tells our DNA to reprogramme slighly so that our mitochondria burn more fat.
The knock on effect of keeping blood sugar levels stable are:
- Weight loss
- Increased energy
- Fewer mood swings
- Less cravings
Does it only work with apple cider vinegar?
I recommend using apple cider vinegar as it has other health benefits other than balancing blood sugars.
Because it is a fermented product (make sure to buy unpasteurised, with the mother) it comes packed with gut-boosting pre & probiotics and healthy enzymes. Plus I think it tastes good.
But if you are only after the blood sugar/weight loss benefits research shows you can use any vinegar.
Frequently asked questions:
- The more the better?
No. Vinegar is acidic and too much can cause issues.
Stick to 1-2 tablespoons diluted in water before each meal.
- Will it corrode my teeth enamel?
Remember you’re only drinking a small amount in a highly diluted glass of water, so it’s unlikely to harm your enamel.
If you’re worried about it, drink using a straw.
- What can I do, I don’t like the taste of vinegar in water!
Add it to your food instead.
Using vinegar as salad dressing that you eat before your main meal or as your main meal will also yield much the same benefits as drinking it. Get the recipe for my favourite vinaigrette here.
Even adding vinegar to a portion of chips will reduce the glucose spike after eating them!
Let me know if you start drinking apple cider vinegar before your meals and notice a difference.
With love, Miranda x