You’ve probably heard of apple cider vinegar, and you might have a rough idea of what you can do with it. You can use it in soups, salads, dressings, and plenty more.

The question is:

Are you allowed to consume it while keeping a ketogenic diet at the same time?

In this article,

We’ll be looking at what it actually is and how the fermentation process works. We’ll also explore the health benefits of adding apple cider vinegar into your food plan and how it could negatively impact your body if over-consumed.

What Is It and How Is It Made?

So, what exactly is apple cider vinegar, and what is the process required to make it? Well, it has two core ingredients: apples and yeast.

It can be used in a variety of ways such as acne relief, dandruff prevention, and cooking.

If you were looking to make your own, you’d start by mixing the apples with the yeast [1]. The yeast in the solution will ferment the sugar content of the apples into alcohol. When the alcohol is ready for the next stage, bacteria is added, which ferments the contents into what’s known as acetic acid: the main ingredient of vinegar.

You can make lots of different flavored kinds of vinegar in a similar fashion.

By adding yeast to an array of fruits and vegetables, it can produce an equally delicious improvement to your meals. Now that we know a little bit more about its content and how it’s made, we can look at whether or not it’s safe for your keto-diet.

Nutritional Facts and Benefits

On first glance, it seems like there isn’t a whole lot to say about the nutritional data of apple cider vinegar. It contains trace levels of macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals. The recommended serving size is 15 grams, and that includes no fat or carbs, with trace sugar and salt levels.

It can be considered very keto-friendly, as there aren’t any net carbs and bad fats that might negate your body of ketosis. Some people suggest there isn’t enough real medical proof to support the claims of apple cider vinegar. However, it’s been used for many traditional and natural remedies throughout the years.

As we know, it’s a source of acetic acid, which can help reduce inflammation [2]. It’s been known to help kill pathogens [3], the bacteria found in food, as well as being efficient in destroying other harmful bacteria.

Another perk is that it neutralizes blood sugar levels, which can be a great help for those affected by type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, a study on rats [4] showed that a dose of the vinegar could lower cholesterol levels, which we know can contribute towards a healthier heart.

Ways to Incorporate into a Keto Diet

Apple cider vinegar is a versatile addition to your keto-diet, that’s because you can add it to both your food and drinks.

One of the staple ingredients to a classic French salad dressing is indeed apple cider vinegar. Just adding this to a simple chicken and avocado salad gives it a great, tangy flavor.

It’s also become more popular to include the fruity vinegar in healthy detox drinks. You can combine a tablespoon of non-concentrated lemon juice, a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and soda water to make a fresh, revitalizing beverage.

Apple cider vinegar can also be consumed with just water, but you need to make sure that it’s been diluted enough. Otherwise, the solution might be too strong, and you could go over your daily limit.

What to Look out For

Despite it seeming like a reasonably safe option for your diet, there are certain drawbacks to over-consumption of apple cider vinegar. One serving only consists of 15ml (one tablespoon), and this is already half of the recommended daily intake.

If consumed in higher doses, it can start to get dangerous. It can slow down digestion, particularly for those experiencing symptoms of gastroparesis, as it can contribute to a reduction in the speed that food leaves your stomach to pass through to the digestive system.

There are other worries that, over an extended period, the acidity in the vinegar can cause erosion to your tooth enamel [5].

It’s been said that when drinking something acidic, you should drink water after consumption and to wait for at least a half-hour before brushing your teeth. Otherwise, it can cause further damage to your tooth enamel.

Conclusion

Now, to answer the question, is apple cider vinegar safe on keto? Speaking on ketosis alone, the answer would have to be a solid yes. It contains no fat or carbs, so it won’t interfere with your body’s ability to burn fat for energy.

The low sodium levels, coupled with equally low sugar, is also a great bonus that can help your body stay on track. Just bear in mind the negative aspects of consuming too much apple cider vinegar.

If you are having more than 30ml per day, you might be increasing the risk of slowing down your digestion, weakening the enamel in your teeth, or causing minor burning sensations around the throat.

As long as you’re staying within your daily recommended intake, you can continue enjoying apple cider vinegar on your keto diet!

References:

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1785201/ Johnston CS, Gaas CA. Vinegar: medicinal uses and antiglycemic effect. Med Gen Med. 2006;8(2):61.

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5532206/ Beh BK, Mohamad NE, Yeap SK, et al. Anti-obesity and anti-inflammatory effects of synthetic acetic acid vinegar and Nipa vinegar on high fat-diet-induced obese mice. Sci Rep. 2017;7:6664.

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5788933/ Darshna Yagnik,corresponding author Vlad Serafin, and Ajit J. Shah. Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; down regulating cytokine and microbial protein expression. Sci Rep. 2018; 8: 1732.
Published online 2018 Jan 29. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-18618-x

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16611381 Fushimi 1, Suruga K, Oshima Y, Fukiharu M, Tsukamoto Y, Goda T. Dietary acetic acid reduces serum cholesterol and triacylglycerols in rats fed a cholesterol-rich diet. Br J Nutr. 2006 May;95(5):916-24.

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16167607 Zero DT, Lussi A. Erosion–chemical and biological factors of importance to the dental practitioner. Int Dent J. 2005;55(4 Suppl 1):285-90.

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Jessica Cotzin is a freelance writer, web developer, and avid traveler. Born and raised in South Florida, she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Multi-Media Journalism from Florida Atlantic University and currently resides in Miami Beach. Her passions lie in reading great literature and traveling the world, bumping blindly into new adventures.

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