Malt vinegar does more than pucker up your taste buds. This potent comfort food offers many nutritional benefits, ranging from helping your body regulate glucose to aiding in weight management.
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A popular flavoring for fish and chips, malt vinegar also offers health benefits. It can help control blood sugar levels and keep your heart healthy.
Health Benefits of Malt Vinegar
As stated in a May 2014 review published in the_ Journal of Food Science,_ malt vinegar is a food made by producing fermented barley and grain mash. But what are the benefits of eating it on your health?
Diabetics. Diabetes has become an epidemic — more than 30 million Americans have the disease, and 90 to 95 percent of them have type 2, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As a potential aid for those with type 2 diabetes, adding malt vinegar to your diet could assist in controlling blood sugar.
In a May 2015 study published in the Journal of Diabetes Research, researchers found vinegar could improve insulin action in skeletal muscle. In this study, participants with type 2 diabetes consumed vinegar or a placebo before a mixed meal. Results showed vinegar increased glucose uptake without affecting the breakdown of fats and other lipids.
Heart disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the cause of one in four deaths in this country every year. Gender also doesn't matter: heart disease remains the leading cause of death for both men and women. Although certain risk factors of heart disease remain out of your control, such as genetics and age, eating heart-healthy foods remains one of the top factors you can regulate.
One such good-for-the-heart food choice is malt vinegar, as its acid might help lower your cholesterol level. According to the same May 2014 review from the J_ournal of Food Science_, polyphenols, present in high levels in vinegar, could control the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins (LDLs, otherwise known as "bad cholesterol") and prevent cardiovascular events, such as a heart attacks and strokes.
Weight loss. Additionally, the probiotics in brown vinegar can facilitate weight loss and help prevent obesity, according to a July-August 2016 study from Nutrition Today. Consuming probiotics such as vinegar can manipulate gut microbiomes and serve as a strategy for weight management, as the intestinal microbiome is linked to your obesity risk.
Cooking With Malt Vinegar
Also known as "brown vinegar" because of its dark coloring, malt vinegar adds flavor to your food without the calories. The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health says that a tablespoon of vinegar only contains between two and 15 calories.
Vinegar is also free of sodium and sugar, which, Harvard says, makes the condiment ideal to flavor food for those on a restricted diet. It is recommended that you read the packaging of malt vinegar to make sure no other ingredients are included.
As a brown vinegar made from ale, you can use malt vinegar for more than your fish and chips flavoring staple. Cooking enthusiasts can try adding this powerful condiment to any of the following:
- Meat marinades
- Homemade pickles
- Storing beets, as vinegar can extend the shelf life of food, according to the Harvard School of Public Health
- Boiled potatoes for a German potato salad
- Topping for your grilled fish and chicken
- Bean salad
- French fries, substituting malt vinegar for ketchup
- Coleslaw, substituting malt vinegar for white vinegar
- Acidic salad dressing for mixed greens
Although used primarily as a preservative and flavoring for food, recent studies indicate malt vinegar can provide several health benefits – so keep sprinkling the full-bodied condiment on your dishes.
- Journal of Diabetes Research: "Vinegar Consumption Increases Insulin-Stimulated Glucose Uptake by the Forearm Muscle in Humans with Type 2 Diabetes"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Diabetes Quick Facts"
- Journal of Food Science: "Functional Properties of Vinegar"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Heart Disease Facts & Statistics"
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: "Vinegar"
- Nutrition Today: "The Gut Microbiome and Its Role in Obesity"