November 5, 2008

You Ask, I Answer: Vinegar

Does vinegar have any positive or negative affects on the body?

--Lori (last name withheld)

Ottawa, ON

Although vinegar is a great low-calorie (roughly 14 calories per tablespoon) flavoring agent, it doesn't offer significant amounts of any nutrient.

Some fasts and detox plans claim that downing a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar before each meal helps reduce cravings and speed up fat loss.

I have absolutely no idea how they came to such a conclusion, though, given that there is nothing in the scientific literature demonstrating that vinegar has specific fat-loss properties.

There has been some preliminary research on vinegar's effect on blood sugar levels of diabetics, but nothing that would warrant the suggestion of making vinegar a daily staple.

There is no reason to avoid it, either -- there are no harmful effects from consuming it in moderate amounts (i.e.: a tablespoon in salad dressing).

That said, going overboard and drinking multiple tablespoons in an attempt to speed up the metabolism is not only futile -- it can also cause tooth enamel damage.

1 comment:

Jennifer Armstrong said...

Andy, this reminds me of a question I meant to ask you: pickles. I know most pickles have a high sodium content, but I'm wondering if the vinegar and processing destroys the nutrients in the veggies. I know cukes don't have a whole lot going for them, but pickled green beans are yummy. Do they have the same nutrients as unpickled green beans?