When it comes to weight loss, people are often on the lookout for natural remedies that can aid their journey to a healthier lifestyle. Among the numerous contenders in the realm of vinegar, two popular choices have emerged as potential allies: apple cider vinegar and balsamic vinegar. Both types of vinegar have garnered attention for their purported weight loss benefits, but how do they compare in effectiveness?
In this article, we dive into the tangy battle between apple cider vinegar vs balsamic vinegar for weight loss, exploring their potential contributions and shedding light on the contrasting characteristics of these kinds of vinegar.
Apple Cider Vinegar For Weight Loss
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been favored to be great for weight loss for many years. It is made by fermenting apple cider with bacteria and yeast, which turns the sugars in the cider into acetic acid. This acetic acid is believed to have many health benefits, including weight loss.
The acetic acid content has been shown to improve metabolism, leading to a higher calorie burn throughout the day1. ACV also contains enzymes that can help break down and digest fats, which may reduce the accumulation of fat in the body2,3.
Studies have also shown that ACV may help to lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity4,5. When blood sugar levels are stable, your body is better able to burn fat for energy, which can lead to weight loss.
Additionally, ACV may help to suppress appetite and reduce cravings6. This can lead to a reduction in calorie intake, which is essential for weight loss.
Health Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar offers a range of potential health benefits. These include:
Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
ACV has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, which can help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes7.
The acetic acid in ACV can help increase the production of stomach acid, which aids in digestion and can help prevent indigestion8,9.
ACV may have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation throughout your body, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases10.
Aids Weight Loss
As explained earlier, ACV can aid in weight loss by reducing fat storage, increasing metabolism, and suppressing appetite.
ACV contains beneficial acids and antioxidants that can help boost the immune system and protect the body from harmful pathogens3.
ACV has been shown to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol, also known as “bad” cholesterol, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease11,12.
Promotes Heart Health
By improving blood sugar levels, reducing inflammation, and lowering cholesterol levels, ACV can promote overall heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease13,14.
Side Effects Of Apple Cider Vinegar
While apple cider vinegar has many potential health benefits, it can also cause some side effects, especially if taken in large amounts. Here are some potential side effects of ACV:
The acetic acid in ACV can erode tooth enamel, leading to dental problems like sensitivity and cavities15,16.
ACV can cause digestive issues like nausea, diarrhea, and indigestion, especially when consumed in large amounts16.
Interaction With Medications
ACV can interact with certain medications, including insulin, diuretics, and some heart medications, potentially causing adverse effects17.
Low Potassium Levels
Consuming large amounts of ACV may lead to low levels of potassium in the body, which can cause weakness, fatigue, and muscle cramps18.
Direct application of ACV to the skin can cause irritation and burns, especially for people with sensitive skin16.
Balsamic Vinegar For Weight Loss
Balsamic vinegar, renowned for its rich flavor and culinary versatility, has recently garnered attention as a potential aid in weight management.
Compared to apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar is a form of vinegar that typically undergoes a longer fermenting process. In fact, it is known that balsamic vinegar has to be fermented for roughly 12 years in order to be produced traditionally.
Balsamic vinegar is derived from the must of cooked grapes, aged meticulously, resulting in a distinct and complex flavor profile. While it is commonly associated with salad dressings, fruit juices, meats, and even desserts, recent scientific research suggests that balsamic vinegar may offer more than just culinary delight—it may also play a role in weight loss.
Health Benefits Of Balsamic Vinegar
Balsamic vinegar can offer a wide range of benefits. These may be:
Controlling Blood Sugar Levels
Balsamic vinegar can help maintain stable blood sugar levels, aiding in effective weight management. Research has shown that consuming a small amount of vinegar, including balsamic vinegar, with a high-glycemic meal resulted in lower post-meal blood sugar levels19.
This suggests that balsamic vinegar can assist in regulating blood sugar, which may lead to improved appetite control, reduced food cravings, and support for weight management goals.
Appetite Suppression and Reduced Caloric Intake
Balsamic vinegar can assist in weight loss efforts by addressing appetite management and reducing calorie intake. The acetic acid in balsamic vinegar has been found to suppress appetite and increase feelings of fullness.
Research indicates that consuming vinegar with a high-carbohydrate meal leads to enhanced satiety and reduced calorie consumption throughout the day20. This effect helps control overeating and contributes to creating a calorie deficit necessary for weight loss. Additionally, balsamic vinegar contains antimicrobial properties, Vitamin C, and three grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon serving, derived from natural fruit juice sugars.
Improved Fat Metabolism
Efficient fat metabolism is essential for weight management. Balsamic vinegar may influence the body’s ability to break down fats. A study conducted in India demonstrated that rats fed a high-fat diet along with balsamic vinegar experienced a reduction in fat mass, body weight, and levels of certain enzymes involved in fat synthesis21.
These preliminary results imply that balsamic vinegar may lead to enhanced fat metabolism, assisting in weight loss attempts. However, more research is required to establish these effects in humans.
Help in Hypertension
Consuming balsamic vinegar could be beneficial for your cardiovascular system.
According to an experiment conducted in 2001, rats with hypertension exhibited lower blood pressure after drinking vinegar over an extended period of time. One to two teaspoons of balsamic vinegar added to a sauce or marinade can improve your dish’s flavor while promoting heart health, reducing the risk of heart attacks22.
Side Effects Of Balsamic Vinegar
When taken in moderation, balsamic vinegar is usually regarded as safe for consumption. However, a high intake or specific personal conditions can result in adverse effects. Balsamic vinegar may have the following negative effects:
Balsamic vinegar mixed in water can aid in sore throat. However, if taken raw, your throat may become inflamed, and your esophagus could be damaged.
Digestive Discomfort And Heartburn
Vinegar, including balsamic vinegar, is acidic and may trigger or worsen gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms in susceptible individuals, leading to heartburn and digestive discomfort23.
It’s worth noting that individual sensitivities and allergies can vary, and everyone may not experience these side effects. If you have specific health concerns or conditions, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating balsamic vinegar into your diet.
Apple Cider Vinegar vs Balsamic Vinegar For Weight Loss
It’s important to note that while both kinds of vinegar have shown potential benefits for weight loss, the evidence supporting their direct effects on weight management is limited. Additionally, individual responses to vinegar can vary, and results may differ from person to person.
Both kinds of vinegar have antioxidants that help lower blood lipid levels and bad cholesterol24.
Incorporating either apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar into a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle can complement weight loss efforts. However, it is essential to prioritize overall dietary quality, portion control, regular physical activity, and sustainable habits for long-term weight management.
Consult with a healthcare professional before making significant dietary changes or relying solely on vinegar consumption for weight loss. They can provide personalized guidance and help create a comprehensive plan tailored to individual needs and goals.
Furthermore, it’s worth reminding that excessive consumption of vinegar, especially in its undiluted form, can lead to negative health effects, so moderation is key when incorporating it into your weight loss regimen.
1 Shishehbor F, Mansoori A, Sarkaki AR, Jalali MT, Latifi SM. Apple cider vinegar attenuates lipid profile in normal and diabetic rats. Pak J Biol Sci. 2008 Dec 1;11(23):2634-8. doi: 10.3923/pjbs.2008.2634.2638. PMID: 19630216.
2 Johnston CS, Kim CM, Buller AJ. Vinegar improves insulin sensitivity to a high-carbohydrate meal in subjects with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2004 Jan;27(1):281-2. doi: 10.2337/diacare.27.1.281. PMID: 14694010.
5 Cobb KM, Chavez DA, Kenyon JD, Hutelin Z, Webster MJ. Acetic Acid Supplementation: Effect on Resting and Exercise Energy Expenditure and Substrate Utilization. Int J Exerc Sci. 2021 Apr 1;14(2):222-229. PMID: 34055150; PMCID: PMC8136602.
6 Kondo, T., Kishi, M., Fushimi, T., & Kaga, T. (2009, May 26). Acetic Acid Upregulates the Expression of Genes for Fatty Acid Oxidation Enzymes in Liver To Suppress Body Fat Accumulation. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry; American Chemical Society. https://doi.org/10.1021/jf900470c
10 Ostman E, Granfeldt Y, Persson L, Björck I. Vinegar supplementation lowers glucose and insulin responses and increases satiety after a bread meal in healthy subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005 Sep;59(9):983-8. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602197. PMID: 16015276.
11 LDL and HDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides | cdc.gov. (2022, October 24). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/ldl_hdl.htm#:~:text=LDL%20(low%2Ddensity%20 lipoprotein),for%20heart%20disease%20and%20stroke.
12 Kondo T, Kishi M, Fushimi T, Ugajin S, Kaga T. Vinegar intake reduces body weight, body fat mass, and serum triglyceride levels in obese Japanese subjects. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2009 Aug;73(8):1837-43. doi: 10.1271/bbb.90231. Epub 2009 Aug 7. PMID: 19661687.
13 Diabetes, Heart Disease, & Stroke. (2023, February 28). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/preventing-problems/heart-disease-stroke
14 Fight Inflammation to Help Prevent Heart Disease. (2022, November 1). Johns Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/fight-inflammation-to-help-prevent-heart-disease
15 Willershausen I, Weyer V, Schulte D, Lampe F, Buhre S, Willershausen B. In vitro study on dental erosion caused by different vinegar varieties using an electron microprobe. Clin Lab. 2014;60(5):783-90. doi: 10.7754/clin.lab.2013.130528. PMID: 24839821.
19 Johnston CS, Kim CM, Buller AJ. Vinegar improves insulin sensitivity to a high-carbohydrate meal in subjects with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2004 Jan;27(1):281-2. doi: 10.2337/diacare.27.1.281. PMID: 14694010.
20 Ostman E, Granfeldt Y, Persson L, Björck I. Vinegar supplementation lowers glucose and insulin responses and increases satiety after a bread meal in healthy subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005 Sep;59(9):983-8. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602197. PMID: 16015276.
21 Mitrou P, Petsiou E, Papakonstantinou E, Maratou E, Lambadiari V, Dimitriadis P, Spanoudi F, Raptis SA, Dimitriadis G. Vinegar Consumption Increases Insulin-Stimulated Glucose Uptake by the Forearm Muscle in Humans with Type 2 Diabetes. J Diabetes Res. 2015;2015:175204. doi: 10.1155/2015/175204. Epub 2015 May 6. PMID: 26064976; PMCID: PMC4438142.
22 Kondo S, Tayama K, Tsukamoto Y, Ikeda K, Yamori Y. (2001) Antihypertensive Effects of Acetic Acid and Vinegar on Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats, Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, 65:12, 2690-2694, DOI: 10.1271/bbb.65.2690
24 Hadi A, Pourmasoumi M, Najafgholizadeh A, Clark CCT, Esmaillzadeh A. The effect of apple cider vinegar on lipid profiles and glycemic parameters: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. BMC Complement Med Ther. 2021 Jun 29;21(1):179. doi: 10.1186/s12906-021-03351-w. PMID: 34187442; PMCID: PMC8243436.