Do the claims live up to the hype? We have the ver­dict on the lat­est health trend

Healthy Food Guide (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

What is it?

It’s vine­gar made from ap­ples and yeast. The yeast fer­ments the ap­ple sug­ars into a cider. Bac­te­ria are added to make acetic acid — the health-giv­ing com­pound that gives vine­gar its sour taste. Un­pas­teurised pre­mium va­ri­eties of­ten have a cloudy look.

How is it used?

Ap­ple cider vine­gar is great in a salad dress­ing and also for mar­i­nat­ing meat, pick­ling ve­g­ies or mak­ing your own chut­ney and rel­ish. Drink­ing it undi­luted (as some ad­vo­cate) is very acidic on your teeth and can ir­ri­tate your oe­soph­a­gus — so it’s not rec­om­mended.

Nu­tri­tion ben­e­fits

From nat­u­rally low­er­ing your blood sugar lev­els to pro­mot­ing weight loss, ap­ple cider is of­ten spruiked as a med­i­cal won­der, although stud­ies are small. A US study found that adding a ta­ble­spoon of ap­ple cider vine­gar to a meal can re­duce the gly­caemic in­dex of the meal, help­ing to slow the rise in blood glu­cose lev­els.

What’s the ver­dict?

Prob­a­bly the best stud­ied claim is in re­la­tion to low­er­ing the spike in blood glu­cose lev­els af­ter eat­ing. Re­searchers con­clude that the best way to reap the health ben­e­fits of vine­gar is to con­sume it as a food, not medic­i­nal aid – so use it to make a de­li­cious vinai­grette dress­ing for sal­ads, a tasty mari­nade for pork, or chomp into pick­led ve­g­ies.

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