Why You Should Start Your Holiday Meal With Vinegar (2:27)
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are you’ve heard about the much-touted health benefits of vinegar — in particular, apple cider vinegar. The ancient condiment — the earliest known use of vinegar dates back more than 10,000 years and has been used as both food and medicine — is enjoying a real resurgence lately. “Cleansing diets and juicing have become so popular, and I think that’s created the recent buzz around vinegar,” says Bonnie Taub-Dix, registered dietitian and author of Read It Before You Eat It.
As with any trend, it’s easy to get lost in the hype and start believing that vinegar is a miracle medicine (it isn’t). In fact, one of the most popular claims — that drinking a small amount of apple cider vinegar before a meal helps curb appetite and burn fat — has little scientific support, according to the Mayo Clinic.
So we did some digging and found some valid, science-backed benefits to vinegar that are worth sharing. In fact, research shows that vinegars contain antioxidants, which slow premature aging and reduce the risk of cancer, for example.
Here are a few more ways vinegar can give your health a boost:
Vinegar improves blood sugar levels. Drinking apple cider vinegar before a high-carbohydrate meal improves insulin sensitivity — slowing the rate of blood sugar levels rising — in people who are insulin resistant (a prediabetes condition) or have type 2 diabetes, according to a 2004 study. The researchers note that vinegar may possess physiological effects similar to the anti-diabetes medications acarbose and metformin.