Apple Cider Vinegar Diet – Miracle Diet or Useless Hype?

Unless you are living on another planet you’ve likely heard of the apple cider vinegar diet. You don’t have to be an organic food shopper to have seen the many ads and stories out there about this “miracle” diet and how it can assist in weight loss and overall well being. In fact “apple cider vinegar weight loss diet” was among the fastest-rising health topic searches for Google in 2017.

Many claim this diet has been used medicinally for centuries! For thousands of years, compounds containing vinegar have been used for their supposed healing properties.  These compounds have been used to improve strength, for “detoxification,” as an antibiotic, and even as a treatment for scurvy. While no one is using apple cider vinegar as an antibiotic anymore (at least, no one should be), it has been touted more recently for weight loss. What’s the evidence?

There are many people out there that believe this diet has helped them lose weight, lower their blood sugar, decrease insulin levels, improve metabolism, reduce fat storage, burn fat, and suppress your appetite. Sounds great, right? Well before you go out and buy a lifetime supply of apple cider vinegar you might want to know a few more things about it. Also before you jump into any diet you should know the facts first. You should also talk to your doctor or a health professional before starting any diet.

So what is the apple cider vinegar diet?

Well the key component is apple cider vinegar. This pungent vinegar, made from fermented apples, is a common ingredient in salad dressings and stir-fry sauces, but the raw, organic, and unfiltered version of apple cider vinegar has also gained a reputation as a weight loss aid, a digestive remedy, and a so-called preventive measure against diseases, such as diabetes. Its high levels of acetic acid, or perhaps other compounds, may be responsible for its supposed health benefits. The diet suggests you drink 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar everyday or 1 to 2 teaspoons before or with each meal.

As you know, every “super” food or diet comes with its share of pros and cons. Here we explore the benefits of the apple cider vinegar diet as part of a healthy lifestyle that can help you lose weight while at the same time, acting as a tonic for the body. We will also explore some of the cons.

For instance, one con you should definitely consider before starting this diet is the potential damage to your esophagus and tooth enamel. According to a 2006 study featured in the journal, Medscape General Medicine, drinking apple cider vinegar as a health aid can cause damage to the lining of your esophagus as well as to your tooth enamel. Since apple cider vinegar is extremely acidic the study recommended never drinking the vinegar alone. Rather the study recommended you should add a few tablespoons in a glass of water. The study believed you would still achieve the same health benefits.

What can the apple cider vinegar diet do for you?

Most likely not much. If you do lose weight quickly, your body will probably start kicking in mechanisms to make it more likely that weight slips back on in a short period of time. However, if you are patient and do not expect instant results, your fat cells will adjust to their new size more willingly and you will be more likely to keep the weight off.

There have been multiple studies about the benefits of vinegar. For instance, studies in obese rats suggest that acetic acid can prevent fat deposition and improve their metabolism. The most widely quoted study of humans is a 2009 trial of 175 people who consumed a drink containing 0, 1, or 2 tablespoons of vinegar each day. After three months, those who consumed vinegar had a few pounds of weight loss. Those that lost weight also had lower triglyceride levels than those who did not ingest the vinegar. A separate study found that consumption of apple cider vinegar promoted feeling fuller after eating. Unfortunately it achieved that feeling by making study participants feel nauseas. However, neither of these two studies looked specifically at apple cider vinegar, so the results may differ.

In looking at the various scientific evidence that vinegar consumption is a good, long-term technique for losing excess weight is not extremely compelling. With that being said there does seem to be some health benefit. A number of studies suggest that vinegar might prevent spikes in blood sugar in patients with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes by blocking starch absorption. So the health benefits may make the consumption of apple cider vinegar worthwhile.

While some health benefits may be real one real concern is the interaction between acidity levels in apple cider vinegar and medications, as well as unwanted indigestion. For these reasons we can’t reiterate enough how important it is to speak to a health care professional first, before you actually incorporate it into your everyday diet.