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August 30, 2009 • Healthy Eating & Nutrition, Weight Control

New “Skinny” on Vinegar

Through the ages, vinegar has enjoyed a rich and colorful position as an agent of folk medicine and intriguing new science supports that it may be of particular benefit on the weight control front.  Past studies have already shown that it attenuates the glycemic response (rise in blood glucose) when consumed with carb foods (which aids in appetite control) and Japanese researchers report in this month’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that it suppressed body fat accumulation in lab rats fed a high-fat, high calorie diet.  They found that vinegar’s acetic acid flipped on genes that produce proteins that stimulate the oxidation (burning) of fat.

I can now think of 5 science-based reasons to get into the healthy and skinny habit of including a pre-meal appetizer of tossed salad with olive oil and vinegar-based dressing:

  1. The bulk provided by the pre-meal veggies acutely reduces mealtime caloric intake.
  2. The fat in the olive oil delays stomach emptying (which boosts satiety).
  3. The oleic acid in the olive oil triggers a quick and robust release of the appetite suppressive hormone CCK.
  4. The vinegar reduces the glycemic response of carbs coming on board.
  5. The vinegar may even turn on our fat on fat-burning machinery.

As even further motivation, consider that a new report just found that the vegetables and olive oil that make up the backbone of the Mediterranean Diet are key players in its well-documented health and youth-enhancing effects and that combining them provides additional efficacy (BMJ, June 09).