From fitness gurus to health experts, it seems that just about everyone has jumped on the apple cider vinegar bandwagon lately, and for good reason. This superstar ingredient has been associated with a number of powerful health benefits, from better blood sugar control to heart health support and beyond.†
But in addition to supporting overall health, many have also started using apple cider vinegar to help shed stubborn body fat and kick start weight loss. But should apple cider vinegar be dismissed as just another fad or does it actually live up to the health hype? Here’s what you need to know.
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help With Weight Loss?
Promising research has found that apple cider vinegar could help promote weight loss through several different mechanisms. In fact, one study conducted by the Central Research Institute in Japan actually found that participants who consumed 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar for 12 weeks experienced significant decreases in body weight, belly fat and waist circumference, even without making any other changes to their diet or lifestyle.†
Taking apple cider vinegar with meals has been shown to increase feelings of fullness, helping to cut calorie consumption and ramp up weight loss. Interestingly enough, one study actually found that drinking vinegar alongside meals decreased calorie consumption by 200-275 calories over the course of the entire day. Theoretically, this could lead to around two pounds of weight loss each month, simply from consuming a bit of vinegar alongside meals.†
Apple cider vinegar may also help support healthy blood sugar levels, helping to prevent spikes and crashes and protect against low blood sugar symptoms like fatigue and increased appetite.† According to one study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consuming vinegar with white bread reduced the glycemic response by 31.4 percent. Another study in Diabetes Care demonstrated that vinegar was effective at improving the body’s ability to effectively use insulin, which is the hormone responsible for transporting sugar from the bloodstream to the tissues where it can be used as fuel.
Plus, it enhances digestive health by boosting your intake of beneficial bacteria, also known as probiotics. Some research suggests that probiotics play an integral role in weight management and may aid in the treatment and prevention of obesity. Probiotics may also increase nutrient absorption and regulate appetite, both of which could also be beneficial when it comes to weight loss.†
However, it’s important to remember that apple cider vinegar shouldn’t be considered a quick-fix for fast weight loss. Instead, it should be used in combination with a nutritious diet and active lifestyle to help reach your weight loss goals while also improving overall health.
Best Ways to Incorporate ACV Into Your Diet
There are several different ways to add this superfood into your daily diet. The most common method is to simply mix 1-2 tablespoons of ACV with eight ounces of water to make a tonic and then drink it directly before meals to optimize weight loss. You can also mix it into tea, add it to your favorite salad dressing or drizzle it over roasted veggies for a punch of extra flavor and health benefits.
Ideally, look for apple cider vinegar that is organic, raw and unfiltered to maximize the potential health benefits of this incredible ingredient. Not only does this ensure that your apple cider vinegar is unprocessed and free of genetically modified organisms, but it also guarantees that the “mother” is still intact, which is a group of enzymes, beneficial bacteria and proteins that contribute to many of the powerful health benefits linked to apple cider vinegar.
Additionally, never drink apple cider vinegar as is without diluting it in water or another liquid first. Because of its acidity, it can actually cause adverse side effects like burning of the throat, erosion of the tooth enamel or skin irritation if used directly.
Start with a low dosage to assess your tolerance and slowly work your way up to 1-2 tablespoons per day. Schedule your doses around your mealtimes and try consuming a bit before eating to maximize weight loss. For best results, be sure to use apple cider vinegar to supplement a healthy lifestyle and well-rounded diet full of whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats.
†These statements have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.