There are many different types of vinegar on the market. Some are used for cooking, while others can help with cleaning and other applications. Vinegar is an acid liquid that occurs when ethanol alcohol is fermented.
Any ingredient with ethanol can be used in the creation of vinegar. Some of the most common types include cider, beer, champagne, wine, and distilled grain alcohol. Of all the types of vinegar available, apple cider vinegar is among the most popular with the natural health community.
Apple cider vinegar has many claimed health benefits, and though not all of the claims are supported by science, many are. Apple cider vinegar can be used in a variety of ways, but it’s important to use it safely.
Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
While apple cider vinegar doesn’t function as a cure-all for every ailment and disease, several of its health benefits have scientific backing. One of the potential benefits is weight loss.
Some diabetes patients have experienced improved symptoms when they add apple cider vinegar to their diet, and it’s been shown to promote lower blood sugar and reduced cholesterol. Apple cider vinegar has a high acetic acid content, which means it has a strong effect on an individual’s biology.
Vinegar can be used to kill harmful bacteria thanks to the acid content. Vinegar has had its most successful applications when given to type 2 diabetes patients.
Using vinegar has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity when an individual has a high-carb meal, reduce fasting blood sugar in the morning, and lower overall blood sugar.
If patients take other medications to lower their blood sugar, they should always check with a doctor before adding supplements like apple cider vinegar.
Uses of Apple Cider Vinegar
In addition to having health benefits when used in cooking, there are also ways to use it around the house. Some of the other uses for apple cider vinegar are improving the function of skin, preserving food, cleaning around the house, and even washing hair.
All types of vinegar are effective at preserving foods. Vinegar has been used to pickle and preserve foods for thousands of years all over the world. When using vinegar to pickle food, it makes the food more acidic and kills the bacteria that would cause it to spoil.
In addition, apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties that make it a good agent to use as a deodorizer. Some individuals use this substance as an all-purpose cleaner rather than investing in commercial cleaners.
If individuals do use apple cider vinegar as a cleaner, though, they should be aware it hasn’t been proven to be as effective at killing bacteria as commercial cleaners are.
Potential Side Effects
As with most substances, there can be too much of a good thing. Apple cider vinegar may have documented health benefits, but consuming too much of it can result in side effects.
Whenever someone is introducing an acidic substance to their diet, they should always make sure to follow the instructions for consumption. Small amounts of apple cider vinegar are fine, but too much can be potentially hazardous.
The way apple cider vinegar lowers blood sugar is by slowing the digestive process, which means sugar enters the bloodstream at a lower rate. This may cause delayed stomach emptying, which can worsen gastroparesis symptoms in type 1 diabetes patients.
This condition causes delayed emptying of the stomach, and apple cider vinegar can slow it further. Some individuals may also experience indigestion.
Any acidic food or beverage has the potential to damage tooth enamel, especially if it’s sipped throughout the day instead of consumed quickly. The acid in apple cider vinegar can also burn the throat.
How to Use Safely
If an individual is adding apple cider vinegar to their diet, they need to know how to use it safely. If they have any underlying health conditions, they should talk to their doctor before adding any supplements to their diet.
They should also be aware apple cider vinegar can interact with certain medications. If someone takes blood sugar lowering medication for diabetes, for instance, apple cider vinegar might cause their blood sugar to drop to dangerously low levels.
Some diuretics also reduce the body’s potassium, and taking them with apple cider vinegar can cause potassium to drop to dangerously low levels. To consume apple cider vinegar safely, individuals should start with small amounts and gradually work up.
They should also not consume more than two tablespoons a day. Individuals should minimize the exposure of their teeth to the acid. One way to do this is by diluting the vinegar in water and drinking through a straw.
After taking the vinegar, individuals should rinse with water to protect their teeth. They should also be aware of any allergies they may have to the substance.
Comparison to White or Malt Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has numerous things in common with white and malt vinegar, but it also has several marked differences.
One difference is that white vinegar is clear, while apple cider vinegar tends to be murky and brown.
Vinegar is made by fermenting alcohol. Apple cider vinegar is made by crushing apples and then bringing them through a two-step fermentation process, but standard white vinegar is created by fermenting grain alcohol.
White vinegar has about four to seven percent acetic acid, while the rest of the substance is ninety-three to ninety-six percent water.
Like apple cider vinegar, white vinegar has antibacterial properties due to the acid content, and it can be used as a disinfectant and cleaner in the home. Apple cider vinegar tends to have five to six percent acetic acid to ninety-four to ninety-five percent water.