Expert-reviewed by Ashwini S.Kanade, Registered Dietician and Certified Diabetes Educator with 17 years of experience
Wouldn’t it be great to have a natural way to control the spike in blood sugar levels after a starchy meal? Well, that’s not wishful thinking anymore, because research suggests there is indeed a natural remedy for it – apple cider vinegar (ACV).
Probiotics present in apple cider vinegar aid digestion and, if taken at bedtime, apple cider vinegar may reduce fasting blood sugar levels the next morning.
A word of caution
While apple cider vinegar is largely beneficial if taken in the right amount and at correct intervals, it’s always good to seek a specialist’s opinion before you begin. According to Luke Coutinho of Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine – Holistic Nutrition, consult a doctor before consuming apple cider vinegar if you have the following conditions:
- You are on blood sugar medication
- You have high potassium levels and chronic kidney disease
- If taken undiluted, it can damage the oesophagus and gut lining.
- Even in a diluted form, it can cause a burning sensation and sore throat.
- Those with sensitive teeth should opt to sip diluted apple cider vinegar with a straw to prevent damage to their teeth.
Keep it natural
Raw apple cider vinegar has benefits, especially if you are trying to keep your diabetes under control. Coutinho believes that only the unfiltered and unpasteurized apple cider vinegar having the “mother” culture in it is useful for the purpose. “The apple cider vinegar should appear turbid and have strands floating in it. That one’s good to keep the sugar levels in check,” he says.
Watch the quantity
According to Amrita Parab, Nutritionist & Patient Relationship Manager at Digestive Health Institute by Dr.Muffi, “You can begin with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, increasing it gradually. Though definitely not exceeding 2 tablespoons a day.”
Owing to its acidic nature, apple cider vinegar should always be consumed in a diluted form. “Drink it as a beverage. Common dosages range from 1–2 teaspoons (5–10 ml) to 1–2 tablespoons (15–30 ml) per day, mixed in a large glass of water. It’s best to start with small doses and avoid taking large amounts,” says Dr Roshani Gadge, Diabetologist consultant, Gadge Diabetes Centre.
When taken in moderation, ACV has immense health benefits. “It reduces heartburn, helps in weight loss and even helps in managing arthritis,” says Jaswandi Shinde, practising nutritionist in Mumbai.
Timing is important
The consumption of apple cider vinegar should be matched with meal times for it to work effectively. Coutinho suggests taking 1 tbsp in a glass of water 30 minutes before breakfast, lunch and dinner. “Apart from meals, people with diabetes can also take apple cider vinegar whenever they indulge on an occasional treat, which may contain sugar. However, this isn’t a free ticket to consume sugary foods. One must use this tip with care,” advises Coutinho.
Involve apple cider vinegar in a meal
While the most common way of consuming apple cider vinegar is by diluting it in water, many also prefer to make dressings for salad or sauteed vegetables with it. Parab suggests the following recipe for those who want to merge apple cider vinegar with their meal:
The dressing can be made using:
- Apple cider vinegar 1/4th cup
- Grated Ginger ½ teaspoon
- Garlic 1 clove
- Yellow mustard paste 1 teaspoon
- Lemon juice 2 tablespoons
- Honey (according to sweetness)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Top it with olive oil (also helps in preserving this dressing)
This dressing can be added to any salad or saute’ vegetables.
- White, Andrea M., and Carol S. Johnston. “Vinegar ingestion at bedtime moderates waking glucose concentrations in adults with well-controlled type 2 diabetes.” Diabetes care 30.11 (2007): 2814-2815