Myriad Uses for Vinegar….Weight Loss Isnt One of Them

Q. I?veheard that apple cider vinegar can help me lose weight. Is that true?

A. Don’tcount on it. Despite that, the Apple Cider Vinegar Diet seems to be gainingpopularity. This version of the diet even has its own website, which declaresthe diet is intended for “normal people with normal busy lifestyles and anormal income, who wish to lose weight, cellulite and detoxify successfullywithout being on a fad diet.” Ha!

This is one of those gimmick diets that just won’t die,resurfacing with regularity, spawning several books in the process. But there’sno secret to weight loss here. The reason the diet works is simple?food intakeis restricted. Indeed, the seven-day meal plan (which directions say “canbe repeated indefinitely”) is low in calories, carbohydrates and fat. Nowonder you lose weight.

The gimmick is the vinegar?in tablet form?which isadvised “for a far greater rate of success.” You are instructed totake two upon rising, one with each meal and two at bedtime. (Why apple cidervinegar specifically? Probably because it sounds healthier.)

Why It Won’t Melt Fat. Likethe legendary grapefruit diet, this diet claims that vinegar’s acid will helpmelt fat away. That’s just plain ludicrous. Taking vinegar simply adds to thepool of digestive juices already present in the stomach.

“The acidic effect [of vinegar] would be eclipsed bythe outpouring of [even more acidic] hydrochloric acid in the stomachnaturally,” explains food scientist Manfred Kroger, Ph.D., of PennsylvaniaState University in University Park.

“If anything, the acid would help break down fats inthe diet, so you would absorb them more readily,” adds Barry Swanson,Ph.D., professor of nutrition at Washington State University in Pullman. Notexactly what you want when trying to lose weight!

What Vinegar Can Do.Vinegar is a wonderful flavoring agent that adds zest and tang to salads andmarinades. It contains a mere two calories per tablespoon, with no fat orsodium.

Besides its food uses, vinegar is touted as anenvironmentally safe grease cutter and stain remover. It’s also credited withsoothing sore throats, dissolving warts, treating fungal infections, removingmineral deposits in coffeemakers, loosening food spills and cleaning woodfloors.

EN‘s Bottom Line.Vinegar is certainly handy to have around, but not as a weight-loss aid.

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