Should I take a shot of apple cider vinegar for health?

Q: Should I take a shot of apple cider vinegar for health?

A: Short answer: Not so fast.

You may have heard that apple cider vinegar can help detox your body, significantly assist with weight loss, and provide anti-aging benefits. Despite the rumors (and terrific marketing), after much investigation here's the verdict: these claims are not substantiated by research.

That being said, if you are looking for a hand when it comes to controlling your blood sugar, consider enjoying a small amount of apple cider vinegar before a complex-carbohydrate rich meal (think whole grains and starchy vegetables). This amber-colored vinegar can minimally help your body break down carbs, resulting in a smaller blood sugar spike after eating. Do this regularly over time, and it may have a small impact on weight loss, but it's a far, far, farrrr cry from "eat this, lose weight." Of course, it also depends what else you're munching on throughout the day; in other words, a few swigs of vinegar will not negate a junky diet.

And before you throw back a shot of vinegar, remember this: an acidic shot of straight vinegar may actually do more harm than good. That's because the potent acid can burn the delicate tissue of your mouth and esophagus, and even lead to tooth erosion. If you must take a shot, let's make a deal: dilute 2-3 teaspoons vinegar in an 8-ounce glass of water, then drink it before your meal, okay?

Better yet, I recommend incorporating apple cider vinegar into your diet by tossing it with veggies. Try an apple cider vinaigrette drizzled over lettuce greens to start your lunch or dinner. This way, you'll fill up on fiber and nutrient-rich vegetables, which have been shown to effectively steady blood sugars, while also preventing you from overeating at the main course. And bonus: you'll actually enjoy apple cider vinegar's unique and delicious flavor. No harm, no foul.

Here's my easy Apple Cider Vinaigrette. You can make it in advance and store in the fridge in a resealable container.

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Makes about 1 cup


  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup

  • ¼ cup water


Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix until everything is well combined.


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