Don’t know about you, my friends, but I eat a salad two-to-three times a week. I love salad. And for my dressing, I do something super quick and easy. I mix 1 Tbs. Apple Cider Vinegar with 2 Tbs. Olive Oil. If my salad is a bit larger, then I double the amounts. I do it to help manage my weight. And so I wonder, are you consuming apple cider vinegar — for weight loss?
Like other health “enthusiasts,” I believed a lot of the hype surrounding apple cider vinegar. But as a health coach, I feel it necessary to investigate further. With the information I provide for you below, you can make up your own mind or investigate further.
We regularly hear about trendy, new foods and products in the marketplace being touted as miracle cures for stubborn weight, acne or other health conditions — even cancer, right?
Well, apple cider vinegar — or ACV — is such a food. ACV has been used as a folk remedy for thousands of years for everything from losing weight to lowering cholesterol, to treating acne and stabilizing blood sugar levels and much more.
ACV is thought to be naturally sourced and perfectly safe to consume (and use topically). But is it a miracle cure for so many health ailments as its avid supporters claim?
Apple Cider Vinegar – Healthy or Hyped?
Apple cider vinegar is basically made from apples, sugar and yeast. And it undergoes a double fermentation process. It’s also quite popular among fans of natural health.
Many claim that consuming just a small amount of ACV can result in all sorts of health-optimizing wonders such as:
- Reducing the appearance of acne
- Weight loss
- Lower cholesterol
- Lower blood sugar levels
- Decrease in symptoms of Diabetes
Some supporters go so far as to claim that apple cider vinegar can kill cancer cells.
But are any of these miracle claims proven by science?
Can these health issues truly be alleviated simply by consuming ACV?
Is Apple Cider Vinegar A Miracle Health Tonic?
Here are some of the claims about ACV:
WEIGHT LOSS: There are those users who include, in their diet, apple cider vinegar — for weight loss. Some studies performed on humans show that consuming apple cider vinegar can increase satiety (the feeling of fullness). So when you feel full, you are less inclined to eat more food. Thereby you decrease your calorie intake and lose pounds.
Live a lifestyle of healthy eating and exercising daily will contribute to a healthy weight as well. (You may want to read two of my previous posts, Weight Loss Magic and Do You Envy Scarlet O’Hara’s Waistline?)
LOWER CHOLESTEROL: Cholesterol is one of many numerous risk factors related to heart disease.
Some studies show that consuming apple cider vinegar can lower these risk factors, including cholesterol levels. Note though that these studies were performed on animals and not humans.
REDUCE BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS: Apple cider vinegar is known for helping those with (and without) diabetes who want to keep their blood sugars low.
Improved insulin sensitivity, decreased blood sugar levels and reduced fasting blood sugar levels are some of the benefits associated with apple cider vinegar. These benefits can effectively decrease symptoms for those living with Diabetes.
PROTECTS AGAINST CANCER: Even though various studies show that apple cider vinegar can kill cancer cells and reduce the size of tumors, these studies were mostly done in a laboratory setting.
More research involving humans needs to be performed before recommending apple cider vinegar to help protect against cancer.
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Safe to Consume, and How Much Should You Use?
If you decide you want to experiment with apple cider vinegar, the commonly recommended dosage is 1-2 teaspoons per day, but up to 2 Tbs. spread throughout the day.
It is also recommended to use raw, unfiltered ACV with the “Mother” still intact. (Personally, I use Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with the “Mother,” raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized and gluten-free.) The “Mother” refers to a sediment in the vinegar that consists mainly of cellulose and acetic acid bacteria. Filtered apple cider vinegar removes this bacteria.
However, be aware that too much apple cider vinegar can lead to unpleasant side effects. And some may even be harmful, including the following:
- Delayed stomach emptying (gastroparesis): This is a common condition for people with Diabetes Type 1. Food stays in the stomach too long, which can result in heartburn, bloating and nausea.
- Unpleasant digestive effects including indigestion and throat “burns.”
- Drug interactions. Be sure to check with your pharmacist and/or doctor to make sure any prescriptions or over-the-counter medications you are taking, including medications for lowering blood sugar, do not interact with apple cider vinegar.
ACV does not contain any chemicals or other ingredients that some feel are unsafe or unhealthy. However, it is not recommended that one consume apple cider vinegar straight up. The acid can cause damage to your teeth if there is direct contact with your teeth enamel.
Therefore, mix apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink it through a straw (reusable, of course!), or use it diluted in a recipe. A good idea is to rinse your mouth with water. Then wait at least 30-minutes before brushing your teeth after drinking it. This will help to prevent damage to your tooth enamel.
Here’s a quick, simple and tasty recipe for an apple cider vinegar beverage:
2 cups sparkling mineral or spring water
4 Tbs. apple cider vinegar, raw and unfiltered with the Mother
¼ to 1 tsp. pure honey
Optional: Ice cubes or a few pieces of frozen fruit, like berries
Place all the ingredients in a glass. Mix until the honey is dissolved. Add ice cubes or frozen fruit for chill and flavor, if desired.
And remember, it makes a great salad dressing. If you make either the recipe listed above or use it as a salad dressing, be sure to let me know how you like it!
So, are you a fan of apple cider vinegar? Please let us know in the box below if you use ACV or plan to use it and what you use or may use it for. As you know, we love hearing from you!