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Included in foods for centuries, white vinegar, a natural source of distilled acetic acid, provides significant and substantial health benefits when consumed in moderation. Anecdotal evidence suggests possible further astonishing benefits, including improving calcium absorption, and moderating type 2 diabetes and even some cancers.
Types of Vinegar
Vinegar comes to the marketplace in several flavors. Fermenting carbohydrates makes vinegar. If apples are used for the carbohydrates, it makes cider vinegar. If red grapes are used, the process produces red wine vinegar. If any colored (or impure) vinegar is distilled, then it becomes white vinegar.
The primary compound in white vinegar is acetic acid, which is a mild acid that can bring out the taste in many foods while providing health benefits for many, especially older women with calcium needs. Acetic acid can be produced artificially using specially cultured bacteria, much like in wine and cheese-making.
White vinegar adds a wonderful zest to many foods and can replace more fatty ingredients. Make coleslaw with vinegar instead of mayonnaise. Mayonnaise contains a lot of fat, more than people's diet needs. Vinegar can dress up many foods just as well as other condiments. Skip ketchup, with its added sugar, for low-calorie vinegar. In doing so, you reduce both calories and fat and make your diet healthier.
Absorption of Essential Minerals
White vinegar can assist the body in the absorption of essential minerals. In particular, it can potentially be very helpful to women who are not absorbing enough calcium to keep their bones healthy. If someone cannot digest dairy products, then calcium needs to come from another source. The alternative to dairy products for calcium is a steady diet of leafy greens. However, some of these plants have compounds that make it harder to absorb calcium. A few dashes of vinegar, or vinaigrette that contains acetic acid, can help counteract the compounds that make it harder to absorb calcium. There's another effect that is just now being explored, but with no conclusive scientific evidence: Acetic acid may restore a balance to the digestive system, slowing the rapid absorption of food high in refined carbohydrates.
Although there is no scientific proof of these claims, some people believe that white vinegar can also help high blood pressure and fight cancer. People who believe that white vinegar can help reduce high blood pressure suggest that white vinegar can be a healthier substitute to high fat and cholesterol condiments like mayonnaise or ranch dressing. Many claim that using white vinegar regularly prevents and even slows certain other diseases, including digestive tract cancers. The reason may be that white vinegar balances digestion against the harms of refined sugars and white flours in Western diets.
Health Benefits for People with Diabetes
There are studies from the Applied Nutrition and Food Chemistry at Lund University in Sweden that suggest white vinegar might be able to help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar. Vinegar may help inactivate digestive enzymes that break foods into sugar. Limiting the digestive enzymes means slowing the absorption of sugar into the blood stream. This prevents sudden spikes in blood sugar levels.