Although its popularity has surged in recent years, Apple Cider Vinegar has been used for centuries. Recent research suggests an ACV diet can aid in weight loss, regulate blood cholesterol, blood sugar, and improving gut health among other benefits.
ACV has been used for centuries to promote weight loss.
In this review, we examine the different benefits, recipes and side effects if any.
1. What is it: A Closer Look at Apple Cider Vinegar Diet
ACV diet involves eating a balanced diet with small doses of Apple Cider Vinegar. Contrary to the name, this diet does not only contain ACV. It includes vegetables, fruits, lean meat, and whole grains plus a dose of the Apple Cider Vinegar.
ACV Diet combines fruits, vegetables, lean meat and a touch of Apple cider vinegar.
More About ACV
ACV is available in two forms; filtered and unfiltered (1).
Filtered Apple Cider Vinegar is made of water and apple juice. Plus, it is clear and amber-colored. Unfiltered ACV, on the other hand, contains strands of protein, enzymes, and probiotics (a combination referred to as ‘mother’) which give it the murky appearance.
It is believed that the ‘mother’ is responsible for most ACV benefits, though there are no studies to support this.
N/B: When buying ACV, buy the ones with the word ‘mother’ on them.
How ACV is made
Apple Cider Vinegar is made from crushing real apples, extracting the juice and mixing it with bacteria and yeast. The juice contains acetic-acid which is responsible for the fermentation and the sour taste.
One tablespoon of ACV contains only three calories. There are no vitamins in ACV. However, it contains potassium and trace amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, and zinc.
2. ACV diet and Weight Loss
ACV diet can help you shed a couple of pounds. However, keep in mind that the weight will be modest, and you need to combine it with a healthy and exercise to see significant results.
ACV suppresses fat accumulation
Acetic acid, found in ACV, can prevent body fat accumulation, suggests a research study. A 12-week double-blind study involving 175 obese, yet healthy Japanese subjects showed a significant loss in body weight, BMI, visceral fat, serum triglycerides, and waist circumference.
Note; The subjects consumed between 15 ml and 30 ml of ACV daily (2).
ACV gives satiety
Acetic acid is also linked to increasing satiety especially if you combine it with a high-carb diet (3).
ACV has shown to effective in suppressing appetite (4).
How to use ACV for weight loss:
Dilute ACV with water to limit the amount of acid intake
For long-term results, drink ACV before meals
Use the vinegar occasionally. Too much intake can cause throat irritation.
3. Other Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar Diet
Regulation of Blood Glucose
Regulating blood glucose is by far the most successful use of Apple Cider Vinegar. Although limiting intake of refined foods is the healthiest way of managing diabetes, taking ACV has shown to have a powerful effect in blood glucose.
Apple Cider Vinegar can improve glucose tolerance and glycemic control by managing several mechanisms like:
Activation of free fatty acids
Increasing AMPK (5’ adenosine Monophosphate- activated protein Kinase). This enzyme has been linked to enhancing the metabolic process, increasing insulin sensitivity, and reducing abdominal fat (5)
Improving insulin sensitivity and increasing satiety (6)
Did you know taking an Apple Cider Vinegar Diet before bedtime can affect the ‘dawn phenomenon’ effect? Research indicates that taking a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar can reduce morning hyperglycemia by 4% (7).
The dawn phenomenon is the abnormal increase in fasting glucose between 2 am, and 8 am in people with diabetes.
Lowers Blood Cholesterol
Do you know the liver makes 75% of cholesterol? Moreover, cholesterol, a fat-like substance is needed for regulating sex hormones and vitamin D synthesis. However, high levels of Low-Density Lipoproteins or bad cholesterol can cause plaque build up in the arteries.
ACV has been found to promote a healthy heart by lowering Low-Density Lipoproteins and increasing HDL High-Density Lipoproteins in the body (8).
Besides Apple Cider Vinegar, you can lower your blood cholesterol through:
Increasing soluble fiber which reduces cholesterol absorption
Reduce saturated fats
Eliminate trans fats
Improves Gut Health
Unfiltered ACV contains probiotics or healthy bacteria. Probiotics help to enhance the immune system, reduce symptoms of lactose intolerance, and improve intestinal tract health (9).
Additionally, ACV destroys pathogens and inhibits bacteria like E.coli from growing and contaminating food (10).
4. The Recommended Dosage of Apple Cider Vinegar
The best way to take ACV is with salad or mayonnaise. You can also add it to your drinking water.
One to two teaspoons or 5 to 10 ml of ACV
One to two tablespoons or 15 to 30 ml per day (aids in moderate weight loss)
Avoid taking large amounts of ACV as it can cause side effects.
5. Will It Work With Your Diet?
A high-carb diet works great with ACV.
6. Potential Side Effects
Although Apple Cider Vinegar diet is termed as safe, too much intake of the ACV can cause harmful side effects. One of the significant side effects is delayed stomach emptying. Apple Cider Vinegar reduces the rate at which the food leaves your stomach (11).
Other side effects linked to too much acidity include enamel erosion, throat burns, and indigestion.
7. Acid Vinegar Products
Multiple ACV brands are available in major grocery stores.
Here are the top ACV products you can buy.
Remember to buy unfiltered or ACV products with ‘mother.’
Here are three ACV recipes you can add to your daily regimen:
Apple Cider Vinegar vinaigrette
One tablespoon Dijon mustard
One garlic clove, minced
¼ cup of ACV
One tablespoon of lemon juice
One to two tablespoon of honey
Four tablespoons of extra virgin oil
One teaspoon of fresh herbs
½ teaspoon of ground black pepper
How to prepare
Mix the ingredients in a glass jar
Shake well and drizzle it over your salad
ACV strawberry banana smoothie
½ cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
¾ cup of frozen strawberries
A tablespoon of honey
One tablespoon of crushed flaxseed
How to prepare
Mix and blend the ingredients
You can add more or less of the ingredients to achieve the right consistency.
Tip: you can use maple syrup instead of honey
Apple Cider Vinegar and Cinnamon
One cup of water
One teaspoon of ACV
½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder
How to prepare
Mix the cinnamon with water and boil
Let it cool before adding ACV
Stir and drink
9. What Users are Saying
These testimonials are for the Bragg’s ACV (it’s the highest rated product on Amazon).
“After my lost over 40 lbs using the Bragg’s apple cider vinegar, I decided to do the same. Well in less than a month and a half I’ve lost close to 20 pounds, and I’ve tightened my belt by more than an inch. I put 2 tbsp. of this into a glass of water the first thing in the morning drink then eat two boiled eggs and one slice of low carb no high fructose corn syrup toast.
Moreover, I eat a large salad and a couple of boiled eggs and about 3 oz cheese for lunch, and I use a portion plate for my dinner so I can eat with the family. Drinking the vinegar and water does help me not to get food cravings during the day. I was also diagnosed as being insulin resistant with PCOS. After I started this, I starting being regular as well, and later I read that apple cider vinegar helps with insulin resistance. I want to say I’m not a doctor and the way I’ve lost weight may not work for others.
I can speak for myself that this is a Godsend, I hate working out and I didn’t think I’d ever been able to lose weight being 40. With the portion control and the ACV, it works. I still 20 lbs remaining to get to my ideal happy weight, but I’m very confident I will get there with the continued help of this ACV.”