Apple Cider Vinegar and Keto
ACV: apple cider vinegar. You've heard of it. You may have even used it. But do you know all the health benefits it offers, particularly to those who follow the ketogenic diet? Once you get caught up on everything apple cider vinegar has to offer, I bet you'll think twice before you go another day without it. Just don't confuse apple cider vinegar with other types of vinegar, it's ACV that has the healthy benefits... the other types just stink.
There are several apple cider vinegar brands spanning different levels of quality, and if you're going to incorporate this into your diet, you might as well do it right. We recommend Bragg for its raw, organic qualities, that ensure you'll be getting the most out of your apple cider vinegar. This brand can be found at most grocery stores, all health food stores, or online. Although it may not be a popular additive to recipes, its health benefits are unrivaled.
Regulates Blood Sugar
Apple cider vinegar boasts many health benefits, but one of the most notable - in relation to the keto diet - is its ability to regulate blood sugar, preventing insulin levels from spiking (1). Taking ACV on keto right before consuming a higher carb meal helps the body's ability to absorb carbs quickly, resulting in a lower glycemic intake which helps you maintain your ketogenic state much easier. As ACV balances blood sugar, it assists in evening out the body's pH and creating a boost of lasting energy, enabling you to be more active and burn more calories throughout the day.
Appetite Suppressant & Improved Digestion
Another benefit of supplementing your keto diet with apple cider vinegar is its appetite suppressing effect (2). The acidic value, when ingested, creates more acidic production in the stomach, making you feel full while aiding in digestion. Why is improved digestion important? Because when your body efficiently digests, your system is able to draw the most nutrients out of your food, improving energy and cell reproduction while minimizing sluggishness.
Curbs Carb Cravings
It may be particularly helpful to incorporate apple cider vinegar in the beginning stages of your keto journey because the acid in ACV will minimize carb cravings (2). As you stay in ketosis, the cravings will slowly fade away, but the carb cravings can wreak havoc on a successful diet launch. Set yourself up for success by utilizing the properties of ACV to crush those cravings!
ACV as a Probiotic
Because apple cider vinegar is produced via a fermentation process (3), it contains many health benefits, including those of a powerful probiotic (4). This is one of the most uncontested benefits of apple cider vinegar and a huge boon to the keto process. However, it is important to note that these probiotic benefits are only found in raw, organic, unfiltered ACV where the "mother" is still intact (5). For this reason, it is recommended you ingest it raw rather than heating it to levels where the probiotics are cooked out and the health benefits are negated.
Increase Fat Burning
It's been shown that consistently ingesting apple cider vinegar promotes oxidation of fat cells as an energy source. In layman terms, ACV encourages your body to burn fat at an accelerated rate to produce energy (6), giving keto's powers to do the same thing an added punch. Many report losing weight by simply adding apple cider vinegar to their diet (7), so imagine the potential effects of coupling ACV with the fat-burning beast mode of ketosis. It's definitely worth a try, wouldn't you agree?
How Much to Take and When to Take It
Apple cider vinegar is a wonderful supplement to the ketogenic diet, but more is not always better. Take only the recommended daily dose to reap the most benefits ACV has to offer without negative side effects (8). Take 1-2 tablespoons mixed with a glass of water in the morning right after you wake up. Because ACV is a strong acid, it is recommended you not take more than 2 tablespoons per day, as it can lead to irritation of the esophagus and stomach lining (9, 10). If you are one of the many who has a low tolerance for the strong flavor of apple cider vinegar, particularly when ingested through drink, consider sneaking it into your diet in tastier ways: try drizzling it over your salad as a dressing substitute, dipping raw veggies in it for an added zing, or freezing it mixed with whole cream to create a healthy dessert.
(1) Brighenti, F., Castellani, G., Benini, L., Casiraghi, M. C., Leopardi, E., Crovetti, R., & Testolin, G. (1995). Effect of neutralized and native vinegar on blood glucose and acetate responses to a mixed meal in healthy subjects. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 49(4), 242–247. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7796781.
(2) Ostman, E., Granfeldt, Y., Persson, L., & Björck, I. (2005). Vinegar supplementation lowers glucose and insulin responses and increases satiety after a bread meal in healthy subjects. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 59(9), 983–988. https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602197.
(3) Budak, N. H., Aykin, E., Seydim, A. C., Greene, A. K., & Guzel-Seydim, Z. B. (2014). Functional properties of vinegar. Journal of Food Science, 79(5), R757-764. https://doi.org/10.1111/1750-3841.12434.
(4) Cousin, F. J., Le Guellec, R., Schlusselhuber, M., Dalmasso, M., Laplace, J.-M., & Cretenet, M. (2017). Microorganisms in fermented apple beverages: current knowledge and future directions. Microorganisms, 5(3). https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms5030039.
(5) Aykın, E., Budak, N. H., & Güzel-Seydim, Z. B. (2015). Bioactive components of mother vinegar. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 34(1), 80–89. https://doi.org/10.1080/07315724.2014.896230.
(6) Fushimi, T., & Sato, Y. (2005). Effect of acetic acid feeding on the circadian changes in glycogen and metabolites of glucose and lipid in liver and skeletal muscle of rats. The British Journal of Nutrition, 94(5), 714–719. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16277773.
(7) Kondo, T., Kishi, M., Fushimi, T., Ugajin, S., & Kaga, T. (2009). Vinegar intake reduces body weight, body fat mass, and serum triglyceride levels in obese Japanese subjects. Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, 73(8), 1837–1843. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19661687.
(8) Spritzler, F. (2016, August 10). 7 side effects of too much apple cider vinegar. Retrieved August 31, 2018, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/apple-cider-vinegar-side-effects.
(9) Hill, L. L., Woodruff, L. H., Foote, J. C., & Barreto-Alcoba, M. (2005). Esophageal injury by apple cider vinegar tablets and subsequent evaluation of products. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 105(7), 1141–1144. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jada.2005.04.003.
(10) Sissons, C. (2018, April 23). Apple cider vinegar and diarrhea: Causes and side effects. Retrieved August 31, 2018, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321579.php.