Vinegar has been used as a drink, food, disinfectant, preservative, and alternative medicine for thousands of years. There are many types of vinegar nowadays made from fruits, cereals, or dilute distilled alcohol.
For example, vinegar and balsamic (made from grapes), apple cider vinegar (made from apples), malt vinegar (made from cereals), and white vinegar (or distilled vinegar made from dilute distilled alcohol.)
Throughout the years, people used it as a natural remedy for many health problems. Some of them are osteoarthritis, leg cramps, high blood pressure, warts, jelly and fish stings, weight loss, cancer prevention, and diabetes.
Nowadays, there is even scientific evidence that supports some of its uses as a folk remedy, especially for treating diabetes.
In this article, we will tell you why vinegar is good for diabetes management, the best types of vinegar for this purpose, and the way to take it.
Vinegar contains acetic acid – a biologically active compound responsible for its pungent taste. But, this acid is also the reason for the blood sugar-lowering effects of vinegar.
It prevents the activity of amylase, maltase, sucrase, lactase, and other carbohydrate-digestive enzymes.
In other words, it allows some starches and sugars to pass through the intestines without being digested. This, in turn, reduces their effect on blood glucose levels significantly.
What’s more, research analyzing hemoglobin A1C in type 2 diabetes patients discovered that daily consumption of vinegar can improve blood glucose control.
The results showed that vinegar intake reduces blood sugar and insulin levels in people with insulin resistance, diabetes and healthy ones after meals. That’s why researchers believe it is a helpful addition to glucose-improving therapies.
The three main ways that the active ingredient in vinegar, acetic acid, reduces blood sugar are:
The available research suggests that vinegar can reduce postprandial glucose levels by 20-33%.
The best types of vinegar for blood glucose control are white, wine, and cider vinegar.
Basically, all types of vinegar contain acetic acid – the reason for their blood glucose-lowering effects. Still, they contain it in a slightly different amount. For example, wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar contain 5-6% acetic acid, and white vinegar contains 4-7%.
But, make sure you avoid the fruity, sweet types of vinegar as they won’t provide you with any benefit. There’s no official recommendation on the exact amount of vinegar when it comes to improving blood sugar levels.
But, according to the professor of nutrition at Arizona State University, Carol Johnston, 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar daily are enough for managing your blood glucose.
Dr. Johnston recommends drinking a glass of water with one to two tablespoons of vinegar along with meals, once or twice a day.
If you can’t take it in this way, you can combine it with food. One of the easiest ways is to use it in salad dressings, in which case you’ll need 50-75% vinegar.
Other ways to include vinegar in your food is to marinate chicken and meat or add it to many sauces, such as peanut sauce. Also, you can add it to soups for a more refreshing flavor.
Note – check your blood sugar levels regularly to prevent hypoglycemia. Also, don’t consume it in large amounts as it can irritate your stomach and cause nausea.