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Apr 17

How a dash of vinegar can help you lose weight – and live longer – Daily Mail

By Jessie Inchauspe For The Daily Mail 21:24 16 Apr 2023, updated 03:44 17 Apr 2023

When Im enjoying a lavish restaurant dinner and suddenly feel the urge for a slice of sticky toffee pudding, I know exactly what to do: Ill ask the waiter if theyve got any vinegar in the kitchen.

I dont mind if its wine vinegar, balsamic, rice vinegar or the rich brown Sarsons you might sprinkle on your chips, but Ill surreptitiously decant a spoonful into a glass of water and knock it back while Im waiting for my dessert to arrive.

Equally, if Im out for the day and I suspect my only lunch options are going to be bread-based, I might slip down a glass of diluted vinegar solution before leaving home in the morning or decant a little vinegar into the water bottle I always carry in my backpack.

But why vinegar? Because it contains acetic acid which slows the rate at which digestive enzymes in your gut break down sugars and starches into glucose.

This means the glucose molecules from the cake or biscuit youve just eaten will be released into the bloodstream more slowly.

Vinegar has a second benefit: once acetic acid gets into the bloodstream, it penetrates the muscles, encouraging them to soak up glucose molecules and store them away.

These two factors - glucose being released into the body more slowly and our muscles taking it up more quickly - mean that after taking in vinegar, you should end up with less free-flowing glucose in your blood, and a much smaller glucose spike.

As a biochemist, I am fascinated by the way our blood sugar levels rise and fall, the far-reaching impact those peaks and troughs have on our health, and on finding - and testing - different ways to flatten those curves.

In this final part of my exclusive series for the Mail, I will show how a little vinegar can protect you from the erratic blood sugar fluctuations which could be jeopardising your health and longevity.

It can also help you burn more fat, improve focus, mood and energy.

When we eat sugary or starchy foods, they end up as glucose in the blood, where it is delivered around the body to cells and then used for energy. Eat too much too quickly and your blood glucose levels will spike. This affects most of us, not just diabetics, and carries consequences that can harm both our physical and mental health.

But studies have shown that one tablespoon of vinegar before a meal can reduce the glucose spike of that meal by up to 30 per cent, thereby reducing inflammation, slowing down ageing, increasing energy, balancing hormones and helping the brain. With that, cravings are curbed, hunger is tamed and more fat is burned.

If you dont like vinegar in a drink, get your daily dose from a vinegar-based salad dressing or by nibbling some pickles.

The bodys natural response to a glucose spike is to release the hormone insulin, which takes that glucose out of the blood and stores some of it as fat for possible future use. It is a carefully calibrated system which works well when blood glucose levels are relatively stable.

But eating too many highly processed and sweet foods can cause dramatic spikes, triggering too much insulin; this is bad for our cells and ultimately leads to alarming drops in glucose levels.

But vinegar appears to have an impact on insulin, too, reducing levels in the blood. The same studies show that a single tablespoon of vinegar can reduce blood insulin levels after a meal by 20 per cent.

This means theres less chance that any excess glucose in the blood is being added to your fat reserves.

Vinegar has also been shown to have a remarkable effect on our DNA (the molecules inside cells which contain all the important genetic information), instructing it to reprogram slightly so that the cells burn more fat.

Just consuming one or two tablespoons of vinegar before a meal for three months helps cut the amount of harmful visceral fat which gathers around your organs, so lowering the levels of circulating blood fats that can lead to heart disease.

It seems to aid general weight loss too. In one study, vinegar drinkers lost 2 lb to 4 lb over three months.

In another study by researchers in Brazil of two groups on a strict diet, the group drinking vinegar each day lost twice as much weight as those who didnt (11 lb compared to 5 lb).

All vinegars work: white wine, red wine, apple cider, malt, balsamic, sherry, rice. Just avoid syrupy, aged balsamic vinegars, which can be too high in sugar, and cleaning vinegar you should never drink that.

The easiest way to take advantage of vinegars blood-sugar levelling qualities is to drink one tablespoon each day in a tall glass (300 ml) of still or sparkling water. Some people find stirring vinegar into hot water is more soothing.

Many of my readers take theirs as a morning drink, before breakfast, because its easier to remember to do so then.

But you can also sip it during the day (if you dont like the taste of vinegar, then start with a teaspoon in a glass and build your taste tolerance) or make one of my tasty vinegar mocktails (see below).

But the most powerful moment to have vinegar is ten minutes before eating something sweet or starchy (such as pasta, bread, potatoes or rice) which will rapidly break down into glucose during the digestive process.

You do have a little leeway, so if, for example, youre given an unexpected slice of office cake, target your vinegar hack for up to 20 minutes before eating it, while youre eating, or up to 20 minutes after youve eaten the last crumb. The spoonful of vinegar trick is brilliant and could enable you to eat your cake without the risk of a glucose spike or cravings rollercoaster.

Be warned, though, that although vinegar curbs blood sugar spikes, it doesnt erase them. So dont try to use it as justification to eat more sugar.

Glucose goddess tip: Use an ice cube tray to freeze a tablespoon of vinegar in each cube. It makes your ready measured dose easy to pop in a drink.

Ginger giant

Serves 1

3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Ice cubes

Soda water

Slice of lime to garnish

Mix the ginger and vinegar together in a glass and fill to the top with soda water and ice. Garnish with the slice of lime.

Mojito slushie

Serves 1

Mint leaves (picked from 2 sprigs)

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar


Soda water

Blitz leaves, vinegar and ice in a blender until it has the consistency of a slushie. Transfer the mixture to a cocktail glass, top up with soda water and serve. Garnish with extra mint leaves.

Non-orange juice spritzer

Serves 1

2.5cm piece of ginger, chopped

2 mint sprigs

1 rosemary sprig

Zest of 1 small orange, plus a slice to decorate

tsp ground turmeric

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Ice cubes

Soda water

Put the ginger, mint, rosemary, zest, turmeric and vinegar in a glass and mash with a wooden spoon. Add soda water and strain into new glass. Serve with ice and an orange slice.

Original post:
How a dash of vinegar can help you lose weight - and live longer - Daily Mail

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