Every week, it seems another trendy weight loss beverage is making headlines — take the craze over apple cider vinegar, which is sometimes abbreviated ACV.
ACV is made from crushed apples combined with yeast and bacteria for fermentation. Some alternative medicine experts are praising the acidic substance as a miracle diet remedy, saying that downing 1 tablespoon per day can help you drop a few pounds fast.
“It is recommended to drink a tablespoon in a glass of water twice a day at the start of a meal to help you break down the food, especially carbohydrates,” Mia Stern, a certified holistic wellness counselor and natural food chef, told our editor. This effect is crucial for weight loss because carbohydrates that aren’t broken down effectively get stored in the body as fat rather than being used as energy.
Although ACV is packed with nutrients like vitamin C, folate, potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium, not all experts are convinced it can help you shed weight.
“Much has been made of the weight loss effects of drinking apple cider vinegar, but only one study has been done that showed a benefit,” Frances Largeman-Roth, RD, author of the book “Eating in Color,” told our editor.
The study, which was published in the August 2009 edition of the journal Biosceince, Biotechnology and Biochemistry, was conducted in Japan on a small group of obese but otherwise healthy people, and the results suggested only a minor weight loss benefit after 12 weeks, she explained.
For diabetic patients, adding apple cider vinegar to your diet may affect your blood sugar, Largeman-Rot said. The unfiltered variety “partially blocks the digestion of some starch and can act as a probiotic,” she explained.
Largeman-Roth added that, for most people, it’s perfectly safe to add a little apple cider vinegar to your diet, but if you have diabetes, you should talk to your doctor before trying it. Diabetes patients may risk serious illness or death if they do not keep their blood sugar controlled.