Apple cider vinegar is typically used as an ingredient in salad dressings, but it’s also touted as a natural remedy. It’s been claimed to help with weight loss, dandruff, constipation, and in the management of conditions such as diabetes and cancer. But, is there scientific evidence to support these health claims and is drinking apple cider vinegar safe?
What is apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is made from fermented apple juice, which has been converted to vinegar by specific bacteria. The compounds in apples give apple cider vinegar a sweet and crisp flavour. Other foods, like grapes, oranges, bananas, maple syrup, grains, honey and even beer can be used to produce vinegars. All of which have their own unique flavours.
Are there health benefits from using apple cider vinegar?
- Diabetes and blood sugar control: there is some scientific evidence that consuming vinegar (any type, including apple cider vinegar) before a meal may help reduce a rise in blood sugar after the meal for both healthy adults and people with diabetes. However, the best way to manage your blood sugar with food is by meal planning, watching portion sizes of food and choosing foods with a low Glycemic Index.
- Other benefits: currently, there is not enough scientific evidence to determine a link between drinking apple cider vinegar and benefits for people with cancer, dandruff, constipation or seeking weight loss.
Is drinking apple cider vinegar safe?
Apple cider vinegar (and vinegar, in general), is safe to eat or drink in the small amounts usually found in food (like salad dressings) and can be included as part of a varied, balanced diet. A typical vinegar-based salad dressing recipe uses one to two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar (per serving). If you plan to take apple cider vinegar in larger amounts, discuss this with your doctor first; apple cider vinegar may interact with some medications.
Keep in mind that apple cider vinegar is highly acidic. Acidic foods and drinks can negatively affect your dental health. If you choose to have acidic foods or drinks, include them as part of a balanced meal. This increases the amount of saliva you make and may help protect your teeth.
Apple Cider Vinegar Recipes
- Granny Smith Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- Mixed Greens with Apple and Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- Cabbage apple slaw
- Greek pasta salad
- Slow Cooker Apple Cider Pulled Pork
Although the evidence isn’t there to back up many of the health claims associated with apple cider vinegar, you can continue to enjoy it as a part of your meals—it adds a zing to many things.
BC Dental Association: Sugar and Acid