Anyone who is interested in natural health knows about apple cider vinegar. This ancient tonic has significant health benefits that can be applied to any lifestyle. With the explosion of the ketogenic diet, people are always looking for ways to improve ketosis to magnify its benefits. In this article, you will discover 4 ways to use apple cider vinegar on a ketogenic diet.
I have covered apple cider vinegar extensively on my website for its versatile benefits. There are 4 ways to use apple cider vinegar that I have found extremely helpful for improving blood sugar stability and supporting ketone production in the body.
Apple Cider Vinegar
There are many types of vinegar on the market, but in my opinion none of them compare to that derived from apple cider.
This tonic is actually fermented from the juice of apples and contains beneficial enzymes, acetic acid, and other beneficial organic acids that provide amazing health properties.
While other vinegars, such as white distilled or balsamic, may taste good in certain recipes, they simply do not provide the same healthful effects. I recommend buying the unpasteurized, unfiltered form of apple cider vinegar with the mother still intact.
Although apple cider vinegar contains an array of beneficial compounds, acetic acid is one compound that provides many of the benefits.
Acetic acid is a product of the fermentation that converts the sugars in apple cider, first to alcohol, then into acetic acid.
There are several reasons why I think getting more of this organic acid in your life can benefit your ketogenic diet.
Ketogenic Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar
To be clear, almost anyone can benefit from adding apple cider vinegar into their diet. I have just found these benefits to compliment the ketogenic diet very well.
Improves Blood Sugar Balance
One of the biggest benefits of a ketogenic diet is that it regulates blood sugar levels. This helps curb insulin resistance and drastically downgrade inflammation in the body.
If you have read many of my articles on the ketogenic diet, you know I am a strong proponent of occasionally cycling out of ketosis by consuming a higher carbohydrate meal (learn why here).
While cycling out of ketosis does have its benefits, consuming a carbohydrate-rich meal can be somewhat inflammatory in nature due to an increase in insulin and temporary burning of sugar for energy.
Apple cider vinegar has actually been shown to help balance this blood sugar response when strategically utilized around meal time. In fact, research has shown that in certain instances, apple cider vinegar was able to reduce the glycemic index of a carbohydrate-rich meal (white bread) from 100 to 64 (1)!
Swap the white bread for a low-glycemic carb source and you have done yourself a huge favor.
May Improve Fat Burning
Ketosis is literally the physiological state of burning (oxidizing) fat for energy within the body. So, by improving your body’s ability to oxidize fat, you will support a state of ketosis. Some research has suggested that apple cider vinegar may actually have a modest boosting effect on fat oxidation in the body. (2, 3)
You may have heard of people losing excess body fat simply by adding apple cider vinegar into their daily routine, in addition to improving blood sugar balance, maybe upregulating fat oxidation is the reason why.
A ketogenic diet is higher in fat than what most people are used to. People who are used to digesting primarily carbohydrates and proteins may need some additional support with breaking down their meals.
Apple cider vinegar can improve stomach acid and gallbladder function to help with the digestion of fats. Additionally, many people are simply not producing enough stomach acid for effective digestion. Adding apple cider vinegar to foods or consuming before meals can help with this.
Curbs Carb Cravings
Many people swear by consuming apple cider vinegar or sour foods to ward off sugar cravings. This can be helpful when following a ketogenic diet, especially if you are in the beginning stages or experiencing keto flu symptoms.
One of the main reasons many people get sugar cravings is due to blood sugar imbalance. Because of its blood sugar stabilizing effects, apple cider vinegar may be helpful if you are experiencing sugar cravings on a ketogenic diet.
Typically, these cravings are much stronger at the beginning stages of ketogenic diet because your body is adapting to burning fat. At this point some people have a temporary span where they ar not producing ketones while having low blood sugar at the same time, leading to sugar cravings.
This benefit can also be derived from citric acid derived from lemons and limes so utilize these three liquids to keep cravings at bay.
Ways To Use Apple Cider Vinegar
Considering the benefits mentioned above, you may find it beneficial to add this powerful tonic to your ketogenic diet plan. I personally use it just about every day in one of these 4 ways.
Put On Food
Perhaps one of the simplest ways to incorporate apple cider vinegar on a ketogenic diet is to simply add it to your meals. 1-2 Tbsp goes a long way on meats, veggies, and especiialy on higher carb meals when cycling out of ketosis.
Sometimes when I cycle out of ketosis I like to have rice or quinoa. To cut down the glycemic index of these I will add a splash of apple cider vinegar directly to the cooking liquid. To take it a step further, I love to throw in some grass-fed butter, coconut oil, turmeric, and black pepper to turn this meal into a delicious anti-inflammatory delicacy.
I personally love the way it tastes on a nice grass-fed steak or mixed in with quinoa on a higher carb day. In fact, using apple cider vinegar as a base for marinade is a great way to make your meat very easy to digest, tender, and tasty!
Drink Before Meals
Some people do not like the way apple cider vinegar tastes in their foods or even at all. For these people to still get the benefits, I will recommend mixing 1 Tbsp in 2-4oz of water so it can be downed quickly. Drinking this about 15 minutes before a meal helps promote stomach acidity to improve digestion.
This method will also help stabilize blood sugar if consumed before a higher carbohydrate meal. This is a simple and effective way to use apple cider vinegar to help balance blood sugar and support the production of ketones.
Mix With Soups & Stews
In addition to putting apple cider vinegar on your foods, it is actually great for soups and stews as well. Adding in a splash to a beef stew or chicken soup can tang up the flavor a little while also helping pre-metabolize the meal.
The enzymes and acetic acid in there will help to start breaking down the proteins and vegetable fibers to help with digestion and extraction of nutrients. This is a really great way to use apple cider vinegar on a regular basis.
Finally, one of my favorite ways to use apple cider vinegar is as a morning energy tonic. 1-2 Tbsp in an 8oz glass of water or warm cup of bone broth first thing in the morning is a great way to start the day. This is a great way to help prime the kidneys, control microbial balance in the gut, balance the body’s pH, and provide a gentle energy lift.
Most people I work with report feeling a great boost in overall wellbeing when they do this on a regular basis. Try this out daily for two weeks and see how you feel. You can also use apple cider vinegar in this fashion any time you need a pick-me-up.