The apple cider vinegar diet can’t exactly be called a fad diet since it has been in existence since the 1950s. People first became interested in promoting such a diet after the publication of Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor’s Guide to Good Health penned by Dr. DeForest Clinton Jarvis (often know as D. C. Jarvis) in the late 1950s. Among the things advocated in Jarvis’ book was the suggestion of using apple cider vinegar mixed with honey.
Since then, claims that consuming apple cider vinegar is healthful have been varied. Many consider it an actual diet that will promote weight loss. Others view it as intended to help those with varying health conditions. In this latter use, there is some real scientific inquiry about potential benefits of vinegar, but as yet, there is little proof that points to this type of diet being more healthful than others.
As a weight loss aid, the basic instructions for the apple cider vinegar diet are that people consume 1 to 3 teaspoons (4.9 to 14.7 ml) of vinegar either once a day or three times a day. This may be diluted in other drinks. An additional approach is to use apple cider vinegar supplements, which don’t have the vinegary taste issues involved. There has been some suggestion that the diet works because it promotes satiety, but the diet doesn’t work for everyone and it may be completely ineffective for most people. It doesn’t necessarily replace poor eating habits with good ones, and this has proven far more effective than any trials with apple cider vinegar.
Other people aren’t so much interested in losing weight but have other health issues they plan to treat with the vinegar. Preliminary studies suggest there might be benefit in using vinegar to lower cholesterol, but more important are some research trials that suggest it could have a positive effect on diabetes. While these aren’t proven, and an apple cider vinegar should not be tried in lieu of standard treatment, science could ultimately prove that supplementation with apple cider vinegar is appropriate to people who are diabetics.
Positive effects on cholesterol and glucose levels are worthy of note, but prolonged use of apple cider vinegar has been associated with problems too. An apple cider vinegar diet might increase risk of osteoporosis, may cause teeth decay from acidity, and creates digestion problems for some people. Those contemplating this diet should weigh these matters too.
Ultimately, the diet has not been proven effective for weight loss, though there are many anecdotal accounts of losing weight. Overall, it’s not the best diet choice and not a substitute for healthy eating. In time such a diet might be considered for people with certain health conditions, but that time has not quite arrived.