If you're up on the latest health and wellness trends, you've probably heard about the potential benefits of consuming apple cider vinegar for a couple of years now. In addition to consuming it in its natural state, you can also incorporate it into recipes, or you can opt for taking it in capsule or gummy form.
Be warned, though: not all forms of ACV-containing products are created equal, and consuming it in capsule or gummy form may not promote the long-term health benefits you're after. Read on to hear how a dietitian breaks it all down.
According to Erin Palinski-Wade, a New Jersey-based registered dietitian and certified diabetes expert, and author of "2-Day Diabetes Diet," apple cider vinegar can provide multiple health benefits such as promoting healthy cholesterol levels and improved blood sugar levels, especially after meals. But if you're after other rumored benefits like supposed weight-loss and fat-burning properties, we hate to break it to you that those are more fiction than fact.
You've likely seen apple cider vinegar in the condiment section, and perhaps you've also found capsules in the vitamins and supplements aisle at the drugstore. If you find you can't handle the tanginess of liquid ACV, even if diluted, your next best bet is to opt for capsule form. But while capsule supplements can be comparable, you need to analyze the dosing carefully to get those same health benefits, Palinski-Wade warns.
"You'd want the supplement to contain 750mg acetic acid in one daily serving to provide the same potential benefits of the liquid ACV," she explains.
While Palinski-Wade doesn't recommend ACV gummies as your main source to reap its benefits, they can be helpful for occasionally mixing things up if you prefer them in this form.
"Gummies typically contain only 5% acetic acid, which means you'd need to eat about 30 gummies to gain the health benefits of ACV," she explains. "If you consumed that many gummies, you'd cancel out any potential health benefit due to the excess added sugar and calories you'd be taking in."
According to Palinski-Wade, in order to reap its key health benefits for cholesterol and blood sugar levels, you need to consume at least 750mg of acetic acid, which is the amount of acetic acid found in 1 tablespoon of liquid ACV. This means that you're best off consuming the real thing in liquid form.
"If taking liquid ACV, I recommend always diluting 1 tablespoon into 8 ounces of liquid to help protect tooth enamel, or you can incorporate it into salad dressings and marinades as well," she says.
If choosing liquid ACV, Palinski-Wade recommends eyeballing the bottle to ensure it contains the 'mother,' which provides beneficial probiotic bacteria via a combination of yeast and bacteria formed during fermentation. You should be able to see these strands floating around in the bottle.
"However, this is an unpasteurized product, so certain high-risk individuals, such as pregnant women, should talk to their physician before consuming any unpasteurized food," she warns.
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