Weight Loss and Apple Cider Vinegar

March 17th, 2009

Ask Vin“I was wondering what you think about the apple cider vinegar diet for weight loss. I thought it seemed like one of those diet fads, but after reading about it on health websites, it seems that the diet actually works and isn’t bad for you. In fact, they even say there are other benefits as well.”

Apple cider vinegar has been regarded as a health food for a long time. As such, it’s even sold in supplement form. While very few of the beneficial claims associated with vinegar are supported by trustworthy evidence, there is research suggesting that apple cider vinegar has a beneficial effect on diabetes and weight loss. This information has given rise to the so called “apple cider vinegar diet” that consists of 2 teaspoons or tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed with water and consumed twice per day.

Diabetes and excess body fat are two alarmingly common problems that are typically caused by excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates and sugar. Apple cider vinegar is believed to help prevent and reverse these two problems by moderating the high levels of blood sugar that result from eating these foods. In addition, it’s also believed that apple cider vinegar further contributes to weight loss by suppressing appetite.

A Larger Problem

Diabetes and weight gain aren’t the only problems associated with refined carbohydrates and sugar. Among other things, these foods also contribute to other serious health problems by suppressing the immune system and promoting excessive growth of harmful flora in the intestines. While apple cider vinegar may alleviate the blood sugar issues brought on by sugary foods, it does nothing to prevent these additional problems.

Those looking for an easy way out are likely to think that apple cider vinegar will allow them to continue eating unhealthy foods. However, despite the possibility that this vinegar may reduce the risk of diabetes and weight gain, other health issues associated with excessive sugar consumption will likely take their place. Furthermore, if sugar consumption is excessive enough, as is commonly the case, apple cider vinegar probably won’t make much difference anyway. Diabetes and weight gain will likely prevail. The only true way to avoid the problems associated with blood sugar fluctuation is to avoid the foods that cause it.

Finally, the idea of controlling your weight by directly manipulating your appetite is a bit misguided. Hunger is a signal from your body indicating it’s need for nutrients. Hiding this signal is like pulling the fuse out of your car to shut off the check engine light. It’s a shame that people are more concerned about weight loss than their health, especially since weight loss is a natural byproduct of good health. Furthermore, eating natural whole foods that correlate with your Metabolic Type will naturally satisfy your appetite anyway. While processed foods are literally designed to make you overeat, it’s very difficult to do so with nutritious whole foods.

The Importance of Balance

The major control systems of the human body, such as the autonomic nervous system, oxidative system and endocrine system, are all directly stimulated by diet. Because of the significant impact these systems have on health, keeping them in balance is essential to excellent health. We each have genetic strengths, weaknesses and tendencies within these systems, and as such, it’s important to balance them with the food we eat. This is the basis for the Metabolic Typing Diet.

Because apple cider vinegar is highly acidic, it has a strong effect on the body’s major control systems. For example, the acidity will increase the rate of oxidation and will stimulate the sympathetic nervous system. Anyone with a natural tendency for fast oxidation or sympathetic dominance will be pushed further in these directions. Long term, this imbalance will lead to organ and gland malfunction, and in turn, can eventually cause serious disease.

Acidity and Osteoporosis

Another notable risk associated with frequent use of apple cider vinegar is bone loss and susceptibility to osteoporosis. When an acidic substance such as vinegar is consumed, the body must find a way to buffer it. If necessary, calcium will be taken from teeth and bones to do so.

Another Fad?

In my opinion, anything that aims to provide a health benefit through a quick fix approach and without addressing root factors is both a gimmick and a fad. Apple cider vinegar does not address the root causes of diabetes, nor does it address the root causes of weight gain. As such, I consider it’s use for these conditions to be no different.

A major flaw in modern medicine is the preference of doctors to chase symptoms with dangerous pharmaceutical drugs instead of addressing root causes. Using supplements or natural foods such as apple cider vinegar in place of the drugs is not much better. While it reduces exposure to toxic chemicals, it’s nothing more than temporary symptom relief that allows the true cause of the problem to persist and potentially worsen.

A Better Way

In today’s fast paced world, most of us expect solutions to our problems that are fast and effortless. The “apple cider vinegar diet” is an example of this. It gives people the false hope that they can resolve their problems without having to dedicate themselves to a healthier lifestyle. While it may provide short term results, it certainly won’t promote optimal health as a healthy lifestyle does.

In my opinion, the only worth while way to lose weight is through achieving better health. If you’re overweight and think you’re already living a healthy lifestyle, think again! Trying to lose weight any other way is prioritizing your appearance over your health. This sad and unfortunate mentality is far too common in modern society and is a major reason why poor health and disease are so prevalent today.

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