Vinegar Before High Carb Meals?

This is actually a follow-up to the last Sin and Redemption post, but why not pass on a not-yet-thoroughly-proven but intriguing tip for blunting glycemic impact, blocking starch absorption, decreasing appetite and possibly losing weight for those who are interested in that sort of thing?

Also, we shall answer the question: did Crabby indeed go out and have a hot fudge sundae the way she said she was going to as a reward for good behavior, or did she wuss out and settle for some faux nondairy low carb nonsugar substitute?

And in a totally unrelated side note, the awesome Jenn over at Fit Bottom Girls was nice enough to interview me over at the FBG site, do check out the Crabby McSlacker interview if you have a second, there were some great questions!

Vinegar As Carb-Blocking Weight Loss Miracle?

I had vague recollections that vinegar was supposed to be good for you in some weird way, but had forgotten what it was.

What reminded me was the latest Prevention Magazine, which mentioned weight loss and glycemic benefits of vinegar in one of their irritating inserts trying to sell some diet book or another.

And so I googled, and there are indeed some studies out there suggesting vinegar ingested before a high carb meal apparently reduces the post-prandial plasma glucose levels generated by a high-carb meal, even in non-diabetics. The most recent one found that "daily vinegar ingestion reduced fasting glucose in an immediate and sustained manner" and concluded that "incorporating vinegar into the food matrix may favorably influence blood glucose."

The stuff about weight loss I couldn't find a lot of research on, which is weird considering I kept reading over and over that "people have used it for thousands of years" for this purpose. You'd think there'd be a study or two along the way?  There have been a couple studies out of Japan that support this notion, but there never seems to be a link to them in any of the pro-vinegar research.

There are other possible but unproven vinegar health benefits as well, including lowering blood pressure, fighting cancer, boosting heart health, and lowering cholesterol.

How Much Vinegar? What Kind?

Seems a frequently recommended dose is a 1-2 tablespoons a day diluted in 8 ounces of water or another liquid, not straight up. Don't get all excited and forget to dilute. Straight up could damage your throat and mess with your mouth.  Indeed I have discovered from personal experience that insufficient dilution makes you cough and you talk real funny for a while.  Best avoided. However, given many of us use salad dressings that are not this dilute, I confess I'm personally using less than 8 ounces but would not actually be so dumb as to recommend you do that yourself.

I've read that the vinegar should be at least 5% acidity, though I'm not sure why this is important if you're going to dilute it anyway? Couldn't you just use more of a lower acid one?

Apparently any old vinegar will do, but for some reason all the cool kids use Apple Cider Vinegar, or "ACV."  The cloudier and funkier the better and there are all kinds of hyperbolic health claims about the stuff.  I have NOT researched this yet, but dutifully went out and bought my bottle of hippy-dippy Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar.  I don't even know what "the Mother" is yet, but it sounds pretty potent doesn't it? I am eagerly awaiting vibrant health, clearly defined abs, and assorted superpowers.

So the timing of all this was perfect, because, as my 3 regular readers all know, I promised myself a big-ass reward for getting back to more rigorous exercise and healthy eating since my Toronto house swap adventure.

Well, I didn't want to be one of those people who just talks about being a glutton but never follows through.  My follow-through may be lacking on a lot of fronts, but gluttony is not one of them.

So as you may have suspected, the answer to the question posed in the intro: of COURSE I had my sundae.

The Crabby McSlacker Crazy-Pants Way to Enjoy a Hot Fudge Sundae

I kept my calories low that day and my exercise expenditure extra high, and had a light low-carb, high protein/fiber meal before the sundae and a walk afterwards.

So I could justify the calories. But I did not want to spoil my treat with remorse about the sugar.  (I generally eat a diet that's fairly low carb and am mindful of research that says how much sugar messes with one's insulin sensitivity and the dire consequences of that).

Note: this is not to suggest you be an idiot and start eating sugary refined processed crap instead whole foods and then thinking you can magically erase the consequences by downing vinegar.

But anyway, being the freak that I am, I actually tossed some vinegar in a bottle of a flavored fruity drink of a low calorie but entirely unnatural and embarrassing kind, and brought it with me to Ben and Jerry's.

It didn't taste bad at all!

Though the vial used above is a recycled 5 hour energy drink, which I discovered was too small for proper dilution of 2 tablespoons. (Cough, cough.)  The Lobster, who does not drink coffee, has recently discovered these; I have no need given my love of java.

Oh, and I put a couple of cinnamon caplets in my pocket because I've read cinnamon can be useful too in terms of lowering blood sugar.

Et voila! I came, I saw, I scarfed. And took yet another blurred camera phone picture.

Notice the Caramel AND Hot Fudge Toppings

Here's what I can report after this experiment:

Effect on glycemic response and insulin sensitivity: I have no freakin' clue.  I did not rush to a laboratory to find out.

Effect on enjoyment of sundae: Positive and Enormous!

By swigging a pre-pigout concoction that had a sweet/sour taste like some sort of prescription liquid, and by popping a couple of pills, I felt I had "taken my medicine" and was thus duly protected from any unfortunate health consequences of my sin.   The fact that this might be wholly imaginary didn't matter! The point was I pre-absolved of guilt and enjoyed every damn bite.

Anyone else every try the vinegar thing or does it sound bogus? Or, if you were to have a pig out, what would you feast on?

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