If we study the evolution of our food habits over centuries, then we know that compounds with vinegar have been used for centuries because of their cleansing, restorative and healing properties. Apple cider vinegar is made when yeast is added to apple juice which converts the juice’s sugar to alcohol. This in turn is converted to acetic acid. This process is known as fermentation. This is the source of vinegar’s sour flavour and pungent odour.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) can be purchased in two forms: filtered or unfiltered. Both varieties use a “mother culture” which converts apple juice from alcohol to vinegar during the fermentation process. The presence of the mother culture distinguishes between the two varieties. In the filtered variety, the mother culture is filtered out from the ACV through pasteurisation. Unfiltered ACV will most likely be organic and unpasteurised, will contain the mother culture and have a turbid appearance.
Apple cider vinegar has several remarkable health advantages, including alleviating digestive problems, flourishing gut-beneficial bacteria, and helping maintain a healthy body weight and blood sugar levels. Though evidence is not conclusive, what we must remember is that it creates conditions for body correction and indirectly contributes to weight loss.
Robert H. Shmerling, MD and Senior Faculty member at Harvard Health tracked studies on the efficacy of ACV and found some studies in obese rats and mice that just about suggested 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 modest weight loss (2 to 4 pounds) and lower triglyceride levels than those who drank no vinegar. Another small study found that vinegar consumption promoted feeling fuller after eating, but that it did so by causing nausea. Neither of these studies specifically studied apple cider vinegar.” He even quotes a 2018 study in Science Direct, which randomly assigned 39 study subjects to follow a restricted calorie diet with apple cider vinegar or a restricted calorie diet without apple cider vinegar for 12 weeks.
“While both groups lost weight, the apple cider vinegar group lost more. As with many prior studies, this one was quite small and short-term,” he says.
HOW ACV HELPS IN WEIGHT LOSS
• Boosting metabolism: Studies have shown that ACV increases the enzyme AMPK which is responsible for this property.
• Increasing insulin sensitivity, which helps in regulating blood sugar levels and thereby maintaining a healthy weight. Researchers suggest that taking ACV before a carbohydrate containing meal can increase insulin sensitivity. When you have better insulin sensitivity, you’re less likely to accumulate belly fat or visceral fat. However, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional to advise you on the dosage of ACV if you are on any diabetic medications.
• Reduces fat storage: When you have ACV, your glucose doesn’t rise as much after a meal and your body doesn’t need to make as much insulin. When there’s less insulin in the body, it can more easily break down fat and is less likely to store it. Animal studies have shown that obese diabetics fed with acetic acid or acetate protected them from weight gain and increased the expression of genes that reduced belly fat storage and liver fat.
• Burns fat: Animal studies have shown that a high-fat diet supplemented with acetic acid found a significant increase in the genes responsible for fat burning, which led to less body fat storage
• Improving satiety levels
HOW TO HAVE APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
ACV can be used in food preparations like salad dressings, marinades and vegetable juices. However, if you are consuming ACV by itself, make sure it is diluted (1-2 tbsp in 200 ml of water). Using it over a long period of time or in larger amounts or even undiluted could have its risks. Since ACV is acidic, drinking undiluted apple cider vinegar can worsen symptoms in people with digestive problems, such as stomach ulcers or acid reflux and dental health.
ACV does not work in isolation, it is also important to follow a balanced diet with healthy lifestyle habits such as exercising, following regular sleeping patterns, and keeping yourself hydrated to achieve weight loss and maintaining normal body weight.