Apple Cider Vinegar & Healthy Weight Goals
Maintaining a healthy weight is something that plagues the minds of men and women alike. It’s an innate concern that stems from the advertisements and ideal image personifications shown in the media. Another thing that regularly circulates the media spheres are fad diets, but ACV is not one of these diets. Rather, it’s a life choice that can have positive impacts on healthy weight maintenance when paired with exercise and a healthy diet.
According to the CDC, the most recent data available is from 2015-2016, which says that more than 39% of adults and 18% of American youth were obese. While the most recent statistics indicate the numbers have stabilized, the focus of public health efforts by national organizations remains high due to the high cost of medical care involved in the diseases caused by obesity.
The methods and strategies that exist for losing weight are limitless, but what actually makes sense? Weight loss is a result of a chemical process that happens within the body.
In order to understand weight loss, one has to understand glycemia and the glycemic index (GI). Glycemia is the measure of glucose (a monosaccharide sugar) in the blood. Hyperglycemia refers to too much glucose and hypoglycemia refers to too little.
After a meal containing carbohydrates, blood sugar levels increase as the carbohydrates are broken down into glucose in the intestines and then absorbed into the bloodstream.
Carbohydrates, as simple sugars that convert rapidly, are high on the glycemic index, whereas complex carbohydrates that convert more slowly into glucose are low glycemic index foods. The key is to eliminate those foods high on the glycemic index in favor of foods that take much longer to break down into glucose so that you don’t flood your blood with too much glucose after a meal.
This is an article about apple cider vinegar, right? So, where does that come into play? The first thing that adding apple cider vinegar to a healthy diet may do is help you feel less hungry. One of the most difficult things to control when trying to lose weight is hunger. There are many diets out there that tell you to control portion size, eliminate carbs, eat only protein, drink only grapefruit juice or say that putting on weight is related to combining too many foods together leading to poor digestion, and so on.
Usually, you lose weight because whatever you eliminate reduces calories, but as soon
as you go back to eating normally, chances are you gain the weight back because you are not addressing the issue that matters—how the body processes the calories that you eat into glucose that convert to energy or get stored into fat.
Of interest here is the correlation between blood sugar control and feelings of hunger (satiety). As mentioned in the previous pages, blood glucose studies discovered a surprising side effect to apple cider vinegar—a feeling of satiety, easing hunger and feeling full after a meal.
In one study, researchers narrowed the effect down to its acetic acid content. In a complex enzyme processing activity following a meal of white bread, the acetic acid in vinegar was reported to have interfered with starch digestion. This resulted in lower blood sugar and insulin response, and depressed hunger. (Östman., 2005).
In a different trial, healthy adult women who were given vinegar at breakfast were found to consume fewer calories during the day (Johnston, 2005). Another factor that may contribute to dieters losing more weight is by adding vinegar to a lower-glycemic index diet for a synergistic effect. In the 22 years between 1977 and 1999, 20 studies were conducted on low-glycemic foods and 16 found a connection between low-glycemic foods and how satisfied participants felt after a meal (Johnston, 2006). Furthermore, the review found that eating high glycemic foods promoted increased hunger leading to overeating. The data suggests that keeping blood sugar levels low may result in more control over appetite and feeling less hungry. The most serious offenders are highly processed sugars and starches, while complex carbohydrates from whole grains take longer for the body to break down resulting in lower spikes in blood sugar.
Another aspect of losing weight to consider is the addictive nature of sugar. Recent stories in the press even indicated that Oreo cookies were as addictive as cocaine. And while this may be a bit exaggerated when it comes to the cookies themselves, a review of available research, as well as recent animal experimental research on sugar, did indicate that sugar and sweetness can induce craving comparable to those induced by addictive drugs (Ahmed, 2013).
This may explain why people have difficulty sticking to a diet and why a low glycemic diet with the adjunct of apple cider vinegar may help reduce blood sugar levels, making you feel less hungry and over time, reducing dependency on sugar cravings.
Based on these studies and outside research, adding vinegar helps reduce blood sugar. When added to low-glycemic foods, blood sugar control may lead to reduced hunger and prolonged satiety. It could help you feel less hungry, eat less, and result in weight loss. Something to keep in mind is that apple cider vinegar is not a diet itself, but an additive that can encourage weight loss based on considerations of hunger and blood sugar levels. The most significant correlation between weight loss and ACV is the fact that hunger is diminished with consumption of ACV. Not done away with entirely, but reduced significantly.
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