Are you ready for a surprise? You will be forgiven if you have heard of the Apple Cider Vinegar Diet before and immediately dismissed it as just another fad diet; maybe something like the Cabbage Soup Diet, or the Lemon Detox Diet. It turns out there is more to the Apple Cider Vinegar Diet than meets the eye. A recent scientific study on weight loss confirmed the claim that a couple of tablespoons of vinegar (or vinegar diet pills) before meals can actually help melt those spare pounds away!
Two tablespoons of vinegar before each meal help your body maintain the necessary balance in your blood sugar levels to keep those dreaded food cravings at bay. The ingestion of carbohydrate rich foods cause a spike in your blood sugar levels immediately following the meal, which explains why our bodies love carbs so much. The sugar rush makes us feel so good. The initial spike in your blood sugar levels is then followed by a severe drop in blood sugar levels an hour or two later because your body overcompensated for the increased blood sugar levels by releasing too much insulin. Low blood sugar levels in turn result in feelings of hunger and food cravings. Your body is programmed to try and re-balance your blood sugar levels and before you know it, you are hungry again and caught in a vicious cycle of overeating.
Apple cider vinegar taken before a meal will reduce the sugar load into your bloodstream immediately following that meal. The energy contained in the food will be released slower and more gradually. You will feel fuller for longer and eat less because you are more in control of you appetite. For a more in depth discussion see this weight loss research article on the relationship between apple cider vinegar and slimming. It is fair to say that you will most probably see the same results with most types of vinegar, so if you don’t like apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar can be a great alternative. If you don’t like vinegar in its liquid form at all, help is available in the form of diet supplements.
The Apple Cider Vinegar diet first became popular as a weight loss strategy in the 1950’s when it was promoted in a book by D. C. Jarvis called Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor’s Guide to Good Health. Many people find the taste of vinegar before each meal distasteful, and prefer taking the vinegar in supplement form. Today, largely thanks to the boom in alternative medicine, apple cider vinegar is a popular health supplement and diet pill that can be found in most department and health stores.
Of course, as with many of these health products, apple cider vinegar is reported to cure anything and everything from all sorts of infections and headaches to lice infestations and warts. It is even said to reverse the aging process. Vinegar has been included in many treatments and remedies for thousands of years. Hippocrates prescribed it for persistent coughs as early as 377BC. While some of the purported benefits of vinegar, such as its ability to help people lose weight, are supported by scientific studies; similar studies found no scientific evidence of many of the other claims made for example vinegar’s ability to treat lice or warts.
Quite a few scientific studies and clinical trials confirmed the claims that apple cider vinegar can help reduce blood glucose levels, which of course is great news for diabetics. Another study, published in 2006, demonstrated that vinegar may also assist in reducing cholesterol levels in rats, but further research will be required to confirm that the same results can be achieved for humans. Other studies suggest a lower risk of heart disease for people who eat plenty of salad with vinegar and oil salad dressings.
While vinegar is still a long way off that miracle cure for obesity we are all after, it is great to know that the inclusion of more vinegar products into your diet can help you lose weight a bit faster and easier if you also follow a balanced diet. Just a word of caution though. As with everything in life that is good for you, the motto “everything in moderation” still applies. Abuse of vinegar can result in esophageal injury in the shorter term, while excessive ingestion of vinegar over extended periods can result in bone density problems, and well as potassium deficiency and other related problems.
If you intend using vinegar in its liquid form, limit your intake to two tablespoons before each meal. Always dilute the vinegar with water or juice before you take it. The taste of the mixture can be improved by adding a little bit of honey. You can also increase your vinegar intake by having more salads with vinegar-based dressings, or more pickled foods. When indulging in salads and pickled foods; keep an eye on the sugar and salt content of the food.
For many people it is easier to take an apple cider vinegar supplement before a meal, especially when they are working or out and about over weekends. The health supplement industry is not well regulated and the quality and safety of natural health supplements vary immensely. Always choose to buy your supplements from reputable suppliers, and never take more than what is recommended by the manufacturer.