Does apple cider vinegar really help with weight loss? Claims fact-checked

Does apple cider vinegar really help with weight loss? Claims fact-checked

Shirley Ballas reveals she made a ‘mistake’ with apple cider vinegar

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Apple cider vinegar is renowned for its many health benefits, despite its unpleasant acidic taste. This powerful liquid has been used as a health tonic for centuries, aiding everything from high cholesterol to the body’s immune responses. Weight loss is another supposed side effect of regular apple cider intake, but does it really work?

Does apple cider vinegar really help with weight loss?

Years of research into apple cider vinegar (ACV) have unearthed many health benefits, but the jury is still out on its effect on weight loss.

Despite being a popular concept for many modern weight-loss seekers, there is still little defining evidence to prove its place as a rapid remedy for losing weight.

A balanced diet with plenty of exercise remains the most effective way to burn fat and lose extra pounds, but there is some evidence to suggest that apple cider vinegar could speed up the process.

According to Holland and Barrett, the weight loss benefits of ACV lie in its ability to curb cravings rather than melt away calories – so it’s all about how you use it.

How to use apple cider vinegar to lose weight

Using apple cider vinegar to lose weight can be done in a number of ways, to boost activity levels and promote a more active, healthy lifestyle.

Packed with amino acids and antioxidants, ACV can be highly beneficial for the essential functions of the digestive system and can be consumed as an undiluted shot or as part of a diluted drink.

To improve digestion

A healthy digestive system contains plenty of enzymes that help to break down foods and absorb essential nutrients.

According to the medically accredited website Healthline, one review of 21 studies reported enhancing the beneficial bacteria in your gut may reduce body mass index, fat mass, and body weight.

While the body naturally produces digestive enzymes, they can be supplemented with a number of products – including apple cider vinegar.

The cloudy substance at the bottom of a bottle of unfiltered ACV is packed with probiotic properties which can support a healthy gut.

Holland and Barrett states: “When we eat or drink anything containing probiotic bacteria, such as apple cider vinegar, the friendly bacteria it contains encourages the growth of more healthy bacteria in the gut.

“Apple cider vinegar is a highly acidic substance so the theory is that taking some each day will help raise stomach acid levels and give digestion a helping hand.”

Eating a diet rich in probiotics has been proven to reduce bloating and regulate bowel movements – both of which can make you feel more active and aid weight loss.

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To curb your cravings

Snacking is one of the main culprits and for many, one of the hardest habits to take charge of when trying to lose weight.

It’s no secret a calorie deficit is one key to shedding the pounds, and it seems a regular intake of apple cider vinegar could help to keep you on track.

Sweet snacks can trigger a sudden spike in blood sugar soon after eating, increasing the body’s insulin production and glucose levels.

The subsequent blood sugar drop after a spike is the main cause of unnecessary hunger and cravings – both of which can lead to overeating and weight gain.

Apple cider vinegar is particularly beneficial for its high levels of acetic acid – a key ingredient for stabilising blood sugar levels.

One study led by Dr James Brown from Aston University found that adding vinegar to a starchy meal such as white bread can reduce the blood sugar spike that people get after eating it.

Consuming apple cider vinegar with a carbohydrate-heavy meal can:

  • Reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes – by keeping glucose levels stable
  • Keep you fuller for longer – by slowing the stomach emptying to keep you satisfied for longer
  • Curb unnecessary cravings – by keeping blood sugar stable

What’s the verdict?

While apple cider vinegar can be used indirectly as a weight loss aid, it is not recommended to over-indulge on this highly acidic liquid.

Acetic acid can erode tooth enamel and irritate the lining of the oesophagus if taken regularly, says Holland and Barrett – but how else should it be consumed?

Dilute apple cider vinegar with 250ml of water if you are keen to reap the benefits of this simple ingredient.

  • For an even more interesting health-boosting blend, why not try:
  • Adding crushed mint leaves
  • Adding fresh stem ginger
  • Diluting the shot of apple cider vinegar in a warm herbal tea
  • Using ACV instead of white vinegar while cooking

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