Apple cider vinegar has been used as a traditional drink for ages. It was initially prepared using ancient methods of fermentation.
It’s now made from apples that have been crushed, distilled, and fermented. Vinegar, in general, is considered to have healing properties. It was used in ancient times to improve strength, as an antibiotic, and as a treatment for scurvy.
Nowadays, many trending videos and articles claim that apple cider vinegar has weight loss benefits. Let’s dig deeper into the different properties of ACV and find out whether it’s beneficial for weight loss.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is prepared by the fermentation of apples. Apples are crushed and combined with Brewer’s yeast to convert their sugar to alcohol. Bacteria is added to ferment the alcohol into acetic acid or vinegar.
This process can take days to complete in industrial conditions or months if done in the traditional way. Acetic acid is the main component of ACV. The term acetic comes from acetum, Latin for vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar also contains water and malic acid. Acetic acid is also known as ethanoic acid.
Acetic acid is a short-chain fatty acid and can provide several health benefits. Some of them are listed below:
- Lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. It increases the ability of the liver and muscles to utilize glucose in blood
- Reduce the ratio of insulin to glucagon. Glucagon is a hormone that favors fat burning
- Increase the metabolic rate of the body, which can help in fat burning and weight loss.
- Suppress appetite and reduce the overall calorie intake, which can aid in fat loss indirectly.
- Activates genes responsible for fat loss
- Decrease blood triglycerides
- Improve ovulation in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- May increase ‘good’ HDL cholesterol and reduce ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol
- Decrease blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels
- Kills bacteria that can cause food poisoning, including E. coli.
- Helps promote fullness due to delayed stomach emptying, leading to lower calorie intake.
How to Take Apple Cider Vinegar?
There are several simple ways to incorporate Apple Cider Vinegar into the diet. Some of them are listed below.
- Mix with water as a drink
- Use as salad dressing. It tastes best when mixed with olive oil and drizzled on leafy greens, cucumbers and tomatoes.
- Pickling vegetables. Pickles have been made using vinegar from a long time.
- Make cottage cheese at home, imparting a tangy flavor
- Added directly while cooking.
Risks and Safety
The high acidity of apple cider vinegar can damage tooth enamel when consumed directly, so it should be diluted before drinking. It can decrease potassium levels, which can be bad for health.
People with low potassium levels must not drink vinegar without advice from medical professionals. As apple cider vinegar impacts insulin levels, diabetics must be extremely careful to prevent any sudden fluctuations in their insulin and blood glucose levels.
Dosing is extremely important when consuming apple cider vinegar. Excess consumption can lead to side effects. It’s a relatively safe supplement to consume in moderation.
Moderate amounts of apple cider vinegar may have some health benefits, such as improved insulin sensitivity, decreased cholesterol, decreased triglycerides, and improved appetite. Other types of vinegar may provide similar benefits as well.
These benefits depend on the percentage of acetic acid present in the vinegar. Apple cider vinegar can help improve symptoms of PCOS and promote weight loss. Further research is required to prove its benefits on a long-term basis.
It should be kept in mind that a proper diet with regular exercise is essential for fat loss and weight management. One should not look for shortcuts. Take proper guidance from certified fitness professionals.