Vinegar is indeed a common condiment. It is mostly composed of acetic acid, created through ethanol’s bacterial fermentation. People traditionally use it in the kitchen, although they have also extensively used it in various domestic, industrial and medical purposes throughout history. However, what makes it special that diabetics use it to control their medical condition?
Vinegar is particularly noted for its capacity to control blood glucose levels. Before hypoglycemic agents became popular, diabetics used vinegar teas to lessen symptoms, and medical trials have shown that vinegar mixed with food reduced the glycemic index or GI (indicating carbohydrates’ effects on blood sugar levels). It also lowers blood glucose through chromium, a component linked with glucose metabolism and insulin regulation.
Vinegar: the unlikely superfood
Medical research has demonstrated the effects of vinegar in many bodily processes. Aside from its anti-diabetic properties, it also reduces body fat levels and blood pressure. It has large amounts of silicon, sodium, copper, sulfur, potassium, iron, phosphorous, magnesium, and calcium. Hence, it supports healing for ailments like sore throats, arthritis, flu, acne, sinus infections, candida, contact dermatitis, high cholesterol, allergies, and chronic fatigue.
Acetic acid, the main component of vinegar, inhibits body fat development in mice and men, thereby prohibiting fatty acid oxidation-activating enzymes like maltase, sucrase, amylase, and lactase. Thus, vinegar in the intestines helps some starches and sugar pass without digestion – alleviating effects on blood sugar. Acetic acid also increases feelings of fullness when eating food with high glycemic index (GI), thus lowering blood glucose level.
Vinegar: the warrior against diabetes
In 1988, Japanese researchers discovered vinegar’s anti-glycemic effect in mice. When people take strawberry vinegar, insulin level dips. After a few years, Brighenti and colleagues showed how white vinegar reduced glycemic response as compared to neutralized vinegar. Adding vinegar to rice decreased GI from 20 to 35 percent in a study by Sugiyama and colleagues.
A recent study showed vinegar’s anti-glycemic effect even in patients with Type-2 Diabetes. However, vinegar’s beneficial effect decreases during meal time. After meals, vinegar helps reduce glycemia and sensitivity to insulin.
Based on studies, patients resistant to insulin also greatly benefit from vinegar. Ostman and colleagues showed that acetic acid (vinegar’s main component) decreased glycemia and insulin in the blood after meals. They also demonstrated how vinegar increased feelings of fullness after consuming bread and other foods.
A separate study with strict rules proved that healthy women take in fewer calories when they include vinegar in their breakfast. In other words, vinegar prolonged the feeling of fullness and decreased hunger pangs.
Cool ways to consume vinegarVinegar is a common ingredient in many food preparations, especially in vinaigrettes, pickles and salad dressings. Condiments and sauces like ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard, and occasionally chutneys and marinades, contain vinegar. People use vinegar for pickling.
Some also use vinegar as a condiment for cooked beetroot. British, Irish and Canadian consumers use it for chicken and fish and chips dip. For this purpose, cane vinegars, malt vinegars or brown rice vinegars are suitable. Americans, British and Canadians love consuming vinegar potato chips or crisps’ flavor.
North Americans modified the chess pie by flavoring it with vinegar in little amounts, sometimes also adding sour cream, spices and raisins. They also make vinegar into dips for crab meat and as substitutes for lemon juice in various recipes. They likewise use vinegar to steam crabs.
Vinegar is a popular ingredient in many sauces too. Combined with sliced onions and honey, it makes a delectable sauce for roasted lamb. It is a component of mint sauce as well. Vinegars are great for marinating meat and as salad dressings.
White vinegar is also ideal for salads and pickles. It is great for chicken and fish, as well as for making vinegar cake and vinegar cookies.
Vinegar is also a big favorite in Asian cuisines. The Chinese sweeten and include it in ginger stew. Chinese soups use red vinegar during special occasions. Rice vinegar is a necessary ingredient in Japanese sushi rice. Meanwhile, Filipinos use cane, palm or coconut vinegar for various viands. The popular Filipino and Guam adobo dish utilizes vinegar.
As a flavoring, Southerners in the US use vinegar to put flavor in cabbages, green beans, black-eyed peas, and collard greens. They also use white vinegar as flavoring for beans.
Purchasing vinegar wisely
Several vinegar types and flavors abound in the market. Some specifically suit specific needs, while others do not. Buy vinegar wisely by considering the following tips:
Ideal type: You should first check the type of vinegar you need to use. Some recipes call for specific vinegar types which may not be readily available in the supermarket.
Ideal amount: Buy only what you need at the moment. Using only a few teaspoons for a certain recipe may require only a small bottle. If it will be used in bigger amounts, then that is the time to buy a larger bottle. Nevertheless, as an acid, vinegars do not readily expire.
Right store: For more common types of vinegar, visit the local grocery or supermarket. However, for balsamic vinegar and other specialty types, go to a specialty store. If there are no such stores around, you can always browse online. A warehouse club store is also a good source.
Right preference: Different people have different tastes. A great-tasting type of vinegar for one may not be good for another. When buying vinegar for personal use, consider this variable and try out different kinds and flavors. Balsamic vinegar, for instance, comes in various ages and has many flavors. Other vinegar flavors include tarragon, basil, cranberry, apple, tomato, blueberry, garlic, and shallot, among others.
Thus, as a diabetic, take advantage of the vinegar, your humble and common ally in controlling diabetes. Include it in your diet and experience its wonders.
Let’s Get PersonalI remember as a child, discovering that diabetes was more than just insulin and blood sugar levels.
There were serious long-term consequences.
I learned about these very vividly, as a prominent member of my city died due to diabetes.
…of course, this was after he had both his legs amputated.
It was all on the news, and everyone knew about it.
It was tragic – this was a great guy who had really helped the city out a lot.
He was a good businessman.
As a young kid looking to get into business myself, he was an inspiration.
And just like that, he was gone.
I learned it was due to his diabetes, and I was devastated.
The fact is, he hadn’t taken care of himself like he should’ve.
He didn’t monitor his health as much as he needed to.
That being said, even if you’re perfect at monitoring your health, diabetes puts you at risk for a lot of crazy complications down the road.
These complications most often end in death.
It’s a part of being diabetic that not a lot of people talk about.
And it’s why some prominent health workers say they would rather have HIV, than diabetes.
You have diabetes.
You’ve come to terms with it.
And you know that if you take care of yourself right, diabetes doesn’t have to cripple your life.
It doesn’t have to hold you back.
And even though it increases the odds of your early death, if you take care of yourself, it doesn’t increase your odds by all that much.
There are plenty of people who live good lives with diabetes.
That being said…
…wouldn’t you rather be rid of it?
In my latest articles, I’ve been talking about diabetes reversal.
I think it’s so important for you to know everything there is to know about it.
If you want to go through with it, I strongly urge you to do so.
Because it will absolutely change your life for the better.
You’ll be happy you did.
Charles W. James