Can Drinking Distilled White Vinegar Help Me Lose Weight?

Chances are you've heard about using apple cider vinegar to lose weight, but what about using white vinegar for weight loss? Does it work? Does the type of vinegar you use really matter?

Instead of drinking white vinegar, use it to add flavor to foods. (Image: LarisaBlinova/iStock/GettyImages)

Tip

There’s no evidence to support that using white vinegar for weight loss is more effective than diet and exercise alone.

Using White Vinegar for Weight Loss

According to Poison Control, vinegar can be made from any number of fermentable carbohydrates such as grains, wine, potatoes, and honey. White distilled vinegars typically contain four to seven percent acetic acid, while cider and wine vinegars contain only five to six percent acetic acid. It's the acetic acid that's thought to provide health benefits.

There are several white vinegar uses that are good for your health, such as reducing blood sugar levels, and improving blood flow. Other vinegars, such as date vinegar, may provide different health benefits, such as cholesterol reduction, as shown in a March 2019 study in the Journal of Herbal Medicine.

A meta-analysis of clinical trials published in May 2017 in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice found that vinegar can be effective in reducing blood sugar and insulin levels, suggesting it may be an auxiliary tool in glycemic control.

A July 2015 study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics revealed that white vinegar for weight reduction isn't due to its effectiveness as an appetite suppressant because of the amount of nausea reported. It also revealed vinegar's specific influence on metabolism isn't yet determined, and it may be a result of the delay in gastric emptying, or the effects on carbohydrate absorption, or glucose uptake.

While blood sugar levels may contribute to weight loss in general, there are no human studies that demonstrate the effect of white vinegar for weight reduction. Until we see multiple large-scale studies say otherwise, it's safe to look to other white vinegar uses.

Apple Cider Vinegar vs. White

Apple Cider Vinegar has been touted as an amazing cure all, but its powers have been overestimated. Though it too is a vinegar, it is not the same thing in terms of the nutritional value it offers. However, all vinegars are highly acidic, which can make them hard on the stomach.

Apple cider vinegar comes from the fermentation of crushed apples or apple cider. White vinegar comes from the fermentation of grain or sugar cane. Because of the different nutritional aspects of the source food used to make the vinegar, the resulting product also has different nutritional values.

Once any vinegar has been distilled, the liquid component has been separated from the base mixture to purify it. As such, distilled vinegars have a lower concentration of acetic acid compared to a standard white vinegar. If it is the acetic acid you're after you should use white vinegar, not distilled white vinegar.

Focus on Lifestyle Changes

Rather than relying on white vinegar for weight reduction using something like the vinegar and water diet, it's best to make small, simple lifestyle changes such as increasing your fruit and vegetable intake or aiming to increase your daily physical activity levels. According to Mayo Clinic, aim to reduce your caloric intake 500 calories per day to get about a one pound weight loss every week, since one pound is equal to about 3,500 calories.

There are a range of white vinegar uses, but relying on drinking it, even mixed with water, to help you reach your weight loss goals is not an ideal one. If you wish to include vinegar as part of your diet, there are many types to experiment with, including adding to recipes for flavor.

Expand your horizons outside of white and apple cider vinegars to include various fruit, wine and rice vinegars. You may find you enjoy their taste much more than white vinegar anyway.

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