You’ve likely heard lots about the Apple Cider Vinegar Diet. But, how much do you really know about it? We give you all the details right here. You’re welcome!
If you’re like us, you might long for a diet without any fancy ingredients or rules. Enter the Apple Cider Vinegar Diet. It is as simple as its name. In our world of fad diets and complex new diet rules seemingly cropping up every day, a return to common sense advice is without doubt appealing.
The Apple Cider Vinegar diet has been making waves on the diet scene lately. Its simple premise is that of adding apple cider vinegar into your diet. The latest craze is advising people to put into their day this time-tested drink that has been used as far back as ancient times.
They used it to heal a number of ailments and fight inflammation. It was also used to boost digestion, increase metabolism, improve skin health and more. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is truly one of the world’s oldest and most useful superfoods.
That’s why it makes sense to include it as part of a healthy diet.
Calling the Apple Cider Vinegar Diet a diet is perhaps misleading.
It’s less of a diet in and of itself, and more of an advised add-on of daily doses of the vinegar. Let’s break down all you need to know about apple cider vinegar. We’ll let you know how it works so you can decide if you should give it a shot.
The Basic Facts On The Apple Cider Vinegar Diet
Before diving into the way ACV works in your body, let’s unpack exactly what the amber-hued liquid is in itself. Apple cider vinegar is made during a two-step process. It starts with fermenting apples. This is a process that turns the sugars extracted from crushing the apples into alcohol. During the second step of the process more, bacteria are added to this alcohol to create the active ingredient in all vinegars, acetic acid.
Apple cider vinegar, in its raw and organic form, which most experts advise you opt for, contains what is known as the mother. This is a murky layer of dark stuff that usually sinks to the bottom of the jar. It is where the proteins, enzymes, and healthy bacteria in vinegar reside.
People have been using ACV as something of folk remedy for centuries. Modern research partially supports claims of it boosting weight loss, metabolism and helping with diabetes and controlling of blood sugar. The craze has increased in recent years, with mixed reviews. But, it’s indisputable that many have claimed the drink has helped them with a huge number of health conditions.
Here Are Some Tips To Keep In Mind
When we think diet, we typically picture prescribed meal plans, calorie ranges and exact details of what and when to eat. As stated, the ACV diet is more general advice to begin adding several daily shots of ACV into your existing, hopefully, already-healthy diet.
The specific recommendations are murky at best. They can also vary depending on the expert. Recommendations range from drinking anywhere from one to three tablespoons of the vinegar, up to many times a day.
Many prescribe the drinking of it right before a meal, or at the start of the day, on an empty stomach with a wake-up shot. Most suggest a number of teaspoons at a time. Some suggest starting smaller with just one tablespoon to get used to the flavor and effects. Most experts advise taking it before a meal. As a result, you may want to shoot for 15 to 20 minutes before a major mealtime, taking a shot. That will boost digestion of your meal.
Here’s What To Watch For
Some more extreme detox style diets including the use of ACV suggest starting each day, for three straight days, with a large shot of water mixed with ACV. They also suggest eliminating all processed, fatty, caffeinated or sugary foods from your diet. The truth is that a daily practice of ACV need not be a one-time extreme thing. Instead, just a part of a healthy, long-term lifestyle.
Whether you mix your vinegar shots with water, fruit juice or some other drink, it’s advised to dilute it down as much as 10 parts water to 1 part vinegar. Even doing this, be sure to rinse your mouth out after. Of course, you could also brush your teeth right after drinking it. You can consume your vinegar with a straw to help keep it from coating your teeth and mouth.
Since ACV on its own has a 5% acid content, which may not seem high but it actually fairly harsh for most taste buds, adding it to another acidic substance like tea or fruit juice can also spell trouble for your teeth. Studies have found that drinking a glass of apple cider vinegar can erode tooth enamel quickly if done often. Make sure you’re thinking about the care of your mouth too.
Some have found the taste of the drink itself to be an issue, so adding honey can also help with the flavor. Of course, some can find it too harsh at first. As your taste buds get used to it, downing your dose will get easier with time.
Benefits Of The Apple Cider Vinegar Diet
The laundry list of possible ACV perks is striking. There are claims of it treating everything from diabetes to heart health to digestion. The magic of it lies in the fact that by including it in your diet, it’s possible to treat a whole host of ailments, boost your overall function and prevent issues before they arise. That is if the hype is to be believed.
In a country where heart disease is a leading killer, we might all benefit from adding a dose each day and seeing how it can help. After all, improved heart health is a highly lauded benefit of ACV. One study found that consumption improved heart health, cholesterol and triglyceride levels in animals.
It appears to be due to the acidic acid, the active ingredient of vinegar. In humans, this effect was noted in a study that found those who regularly ate salad dressings and other foods with vinegar had a reduced risk of fatal heart diseases.
When it comes to whittling your waistline, a chief component found in both whole apples and ACV is pectin. This can help prevent overeating and increase satiety. This gel-forming, viscous dietary fiber works to boost your sense of fullness and satisfaction after a meal.
Here’s What The Science Says
A 2014 study tested the hunger and craving to eat among test subjects who had consumed pectin-containing foods versus those who hadn’t. The result was that those who had consumed foods containing pectin in a gel form experienced increased satiety and reduced energy intake. These results, though small, were found to be steady over time. So it could be argued that adding ACV to your diet can help over time to ensure that you consume fewer calories and control what you eat.
A well-known perk of ACV lies in its ability to aid in the digestion process. The vinegar helps our stomachs to more readily break down food, by supporting the natural stomach acid in its task. With this digestion process working at top notch, we are able to better absorb protein. This can then be synthesized and used to help muscle growth.
Our entire metabolic process is sped up as a result of ACV. This, of course, is the friend to any weight loss goals. Why? It means food is digested and used rather than left sitting in your digestive tract for long periods of time.
While ACV is working wonders on the inside of your body, the effects will often show themselves on the outside as well. When your systems are working the way they should, your skin reflects this vitality. As a result, many drink ACV and report glowing skin and improved acne. It can even be applied topically to insect bites, burns, and rashes, as well as used to treat fungus.
Chances are if you’ve ever enjoyed the zingy taste of a salad dressing or ketchup, ACV might be the secret ingredient. By enjoying it not just as a drink on its own but in your foods, you can replace salty, high-fat ingredients and kick up the flavor to many of your favorite meals. You’ll be enticing your taste buds. This can help to crush cravings for unhealthy options and allow you to enjoy healthy, whole foods more.
Last but not least, ACV stands apart for one more very important reason: Its unique ability to balance the body’s pH levels. As you may recall from high school, everything falls on a pH scale ranging from acid to alkaline. The human body is no exception.
Though the range in which your body can fluctuate is fairly rigid, a slight change can spell the difference between great and poor health. Luckily, the pH of your body rests largely in your hands. Many of your diet and lifestyle choices create an excess of acidity. Many also veer your body back toward alkalinity.
Of all the vinegars, ACV is the only one that can swing your body’s pH levels back toward alkaline, though vinegar itself is an acidic substance. Since most foods, stressors, medications, alcohol and mainstays of our modern diet have an acidifying effect on your body, ACV can be used to combat this and bring your pH levels back to a healthier place. This, in turn, will assist in everything from energy levels, digestion, weight loss, heartburn and more.
Is The Apple Cider Vinegar Diet For You?
If social media is any sign, the ACV diet is certainly not lacking in followers and praise. Many claim they’ve been helped. Many feel improvements from regular consumption of it.
While it’s likely that this is true, as centuries of ACV users would attest, researchers and experts throw in a word of caution. There’s little data to back up these claims. So by all means, a safe, modest use of ACV can lessen many ailments over time, depending of course on the person. Still, if you’re looking for the hard science, you might be disappointed.
One concern about the ACV diet is the lack of clear guidelines as to how much of it should be consumed. More is not always better, and many dieters may drink too much. This could have harmful effects like stomach burn, reduced potassium levels, nausea and even tooth decay.
The main gripe against the ACV diet is that many are falling prey to over-hyped promises of weight loss and instant results. Experts have widely stated in regards to this diet fad that there is never a magic pill that will lessen all issues or help shed the fat for good. Though helpful as it may be, putting too much stock into the ACV craze can be risky.
The claims are widespread and far-reaching of how ACV can help with everything from diabetes to digestion. Still, few studies back up these claims. Experts warn that putting too much faith into ACV as a cure-all can be unwise.
Also, pregnant or nursing women should always consult their doctor before starting any new diet or adding any supplements to their existing one. Some say pregnant women should avoid unpasteurized foods. That includes raw, organic apple cider vinegar that contains the mother substance. Those with extreme acid reflux, stomach ulcers or pain should always consult with a doctor before adding it to their diet.
As with any diet, approach the ACV craze with a healthy dose of caution and common sense. Don’t forget that a healthy diet and achieving a healthy body is a marathon. It’s never a sprint. There is no quick fix that will be the answer to all of your troubles. It is far more likely that a varied, colorful, balanced diet and a long-term approach to health will bring you the results you crave than any quick fix diet.
By Emily Schneider-Green