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How to drink apple cider vinegar for weight loss

How to drink apple cider vinegar for weight loss

While an apple a day might not really keep the doctor away, apple cider vinegar is rich in many of its own nutrients. The fermented juice, which is derived from apples, contains an active ingredient that experts say may slightly help with weight loss, and the product has several other health benefits as well.

But apple cider vinegar isn’t the magical weight-loss answer it’s touted by some, and some medical professionals are pissed off about exaggerating its benefits while research is still ongoing. Still, there are at least some known benefits of including vinegar in your diet occasionally, and almost no known downsides.

What is apple cider vinegar?

As the name suggests, apple cider vinegar is literally vinegar made from apples. It is made by squeezing apples into apple juice and then fermenting it.

Often mixed with sugar, the yeast and water mixture has become a popular ingredient in foods like pickles, salad dressings, and marinades. It is sometimes sold in pill, gum, or powder form, but is most commonly purchased in grocery stores as a pasteurized, clear, and filtered product.

An unfiltered form of the liquid is also available. This type contains a thick, cloudy layer of probiotic bacteria on the surface of the vinegar known as the “mother.”

What Are the Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar’s “mother” layer contains probiotics, which are advertised as good for gut health, but supporting research is sparse. Acetic acid is the main active ingredient in apple cider vinegar (and other types of vinegar) and has been linked to beneficial health effects such as reducing some risk factors associated with heart disease.

Josh Redd, NMD, author of “The Truth About Low Thyroid,” says additional research shows that consuming apple cider vinegar may also help lower cholesterol, “particularly in people with type 2 diabetes.” The vinegar is also rich in magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium, which are essential minerals for health and proper organ function. And apple cider vinegar is packed with antioxidants that scavenge free radicals from blood cells to help prevent or reduce illness or disease.

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help You Lose Weight?

Apple cider vinegar has also been linked to aiding in weight loss. Such claims usually include a small study that found that eating vinegar could prevent obesity by improving metabolic and inflammatory issues. Lisa Young, PhD, associate professor of nutrition at New York University and author of Finally Full, Finally Lean, says the vinegar also “increases feelings of fullness, which in turn can decrease appetite.” She says the recommended amount of apple cider vinegar to take daily should be no more than 1-2 tablespoons.

“Eating apple cider vinegar with meals may also help reduce blood sugar spikes and improve insulin sensitivity, which may aid weight loss,” Redd explains, but adds that such research is ongoing. Pending more conclusive results, it’s safe to read up on some of the product’s other health benefits as long as doses stay small. Even then, “due to its high acidity, apple cider vinegar can erode tooth enamel over time and should be diluted with water,” he suggests.

Barbara Olendzki, RD, associate professor of population and quantitative health sciences at UMass Chan Medical School, agrees that diluting the product is smart, saying that while vinegar is “not a miracle cure” for obesity, there is some ongoing research that indicate positive support for the gut microbiome. “And that’s very important when it comes to losing weight,” she says.

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