The Keto Diet and Apple Cider Vinegar: Facts and Myths

Can you take apple cider vinegar (ACV) on a keto diet? The simple answer is yes!  ACV has plenty of benefits to offer you even if you are on a keto diet. 

Apple cider vinegar is a common condiment, extensively researched for its various health benefits, and often used in cooking as well as home remedies.

The Ketogenic diet is famous for its extreme carb restriction to induce a metabolic state called ketosis.

Let’s take a look into what apple cider vinegar can and can’t do to benefit your health and answer some common queries regarding the keto diet and apple cider vinegar: “Will apple cider vinegar kick you out of ketosis? and What does apple cider vinegar do for your body during keto?”

So keep on reading and reap maximum benefit from using this potent diet combination.

The Keto Diet and Apple Cider Vinegar

What is the Keto Diet?

Dieting has been a part of human evolution and used widely in treatment of medical conditions. In the modern age, dieting with natural methods and food additions for weight loss has become a fad.

The keto diet is a high-fat, low carbohydrate diet that is intended to provide various health benefits.

Recommended as a treatment for epilepsy in 1920, the ketogenic diet based on a drastic reduction in carbs, supplemented with moderate protein intake and high levels of fatty foods. has evolved into a strategy for weight loss.

The diet followed in percentages of 55% to 60% fat, 30% to 35% protein, and 5% to 10% carbohydrates aim to initiate weight loss by making the body burn fat as a fuel source. (1)

Studies have shown that the keto diet can improve body composition by increasing fat oxidation for weight loss. (2)

The keto diet has also proven to be useful in the treatment of cancer, providing a protective effect for neurological disorders, and lowering blood glucose levels in patients with diabetes. (3), (4), (5)

Summary: The keto diet, originally intended as a treatment for epilepsy, is an effective method to lose weight. The strategy of low carb and high fats concept has been proven effective in also treating multiple medical conditions.

About Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar(ACV) is a type of vinegar made by fermenting apple juice with yeast and using the natural bacteria to turn the ethanol present into acetic acid.

1 tablespoon (14.9 g) of ACV contains around 95% water, 5% acetic acid, and some minerals such as potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and sodium. (6)

Modern medicine has seen ACV as being used for weight loss, lipid control, glycemic control and to eliminate harmful bacteria from the gut. (7)

Nowadays, ACV is now a common household staple used in both cooking and home remedial purposes.

Summary: ACV is made from fermented apple juice and has water, acetic acid, and some minerals. Use for cooking and home remedies, studies have indicated its efficacy for treating a host of medical conditions.

Can ACV be Used During a Keto Diet?

Definitely yes! The second you read that, your next queries would most certainly be ‘Is Apple cider keto-friendly’? or ‘How many carbs in apple cider vinegar?’, because the whole emphasis of a keto diet is to avoid too many carbs.

Apple cider vinegar has a negligible carb content of 0.193 g in one tbsp which makes it ideal for use during a keto diet. Plus you get the benefit of several minerals and phytochemicals which makes it ideal and extremely keto-friendly. (8), (9)

Controlling the carb level is crucial in a keto diet to support maximum ketosis or fat burning for energy. Being extremely negligible in carbs, apple cider vinegar can aid ketosis and not kick you out of it.

ACV with its content of acetic acid has also been known to have positive effects on blood sugar and lipid levels. This makes it a splendid addition to the keto diet to offer many health benefits. (10)

Another main reason to combine ACV in a keto diet is that both aid in weight loss. Animal studies on acetic acid have suggested that it can suppress fat accumulation and liver lipids by upregulating genes. (11)

Apple cider vinegar is more potent when it has the “mother, raw and unfiltered”. This refers to the cloudy layer of acetic acid bacteria and yeast which forms a layer in ACV and contains more phytochemicals for efficacy. (12)

ACV can be used either as a tonic or added to food preparations, while the keto diet is available in the form of pills. So, apple cider vinegar and keto pills can be a simple yet powerful combination to get the best of health benefits.

Summary: ACV is extremely low in carb and is ideal in a keto diet. The acetic acid content can have positive effects on sugar levels and fat loss both of which help the keto diet. Also, some brands of ACV have the ‘mother’ which extends extra efficacy.

Benefits of Using ACV in a Keto Diet

Vinegar has a history of use right from the Babylonian period, when it was discovered and used in medical treatments to treat wounds, as a disinfectant during autopsies, treat poison ivy rashes, stomachache, etc. (13)

Modern medicine has supported the use of apple cider vinegar for providing multiple health benefits. Listed below are some of the main benefits of using ACV in a keto diet.

ACV in a Keto Diet can Help Improve Blood Glucose Levels

Diabetics are often benefited by a keto diet as there is an inherent restriction of carbs in it. The carb restriction has a direct impact on insulin which regulates blood sugar. ACV too has a low carb content that has a negligible impact on glucose levels. (14)

Research also suggests that vinegar has a positive impact on the blood glucose levels without affecting lipolysis (the process of breaking down fats for energy).

Many studies affirm the fact that vinegar can help reduce postprandial sugar and insulin levels to assert glycemic control. (15), (16)

Animal studies have indicated that ACV may lower HbA1c levels which is a standard marker to assess glucose control in diabetes. (17)

Summary: The keto diet is a beneficial diet for people with diabetes owing to its heavy carb restriction. ACV with its low carb content is proven beneficial in lowering glucose levels which makes it a valuable addition to the keto diet.

ACV in a Keto Diet May Aid in Appetite Suppression

The keto diet is perceived as a good method to lose weight as it helps in the suppression of appetite. Studies indicate that the keto diet may help in suppressing appetite once ketones are released and sustain it afterward. (18)

Studies also indicate that ACV consumption increases satiety effects which can curb hunger pangs. (19)

Using ACV in a keto diet can help in increasing a feeling of fullness and help resist the temptation to give in to eating more carbs.

Summary: Keto diets can reduce appetite and sustain it through release of ketones. ACV also has the potential to increase satiety. Together they can be efficacious in extending longer feelings of fullness to avoid carb binges.

ACV in a Keto Diet can Support Weight Loss

The keto diet may be a positive method to lose weight effectively. Studies have shown that keto diets may be more effective in inducing more weight loss than other kinds of diets. (20)

Apple cider vinegar consumption brings a host of benefits including weight loss. Studies suggest the acetic acid in vinegar may induce loss of fat mass and body weight in obese subjects. (21)

ACV is known to help with satiety and in regulating blood glucose levels as well, both of which are essential for support with weight loss in a keto diet.

Summary: Keto diets can initiate weight loss and consumption of ACV during a keto diet adds to the benefit. The acetic acid in ACV can induce fat loss which can offer additional support through a keto diet for weight management.

ACV in a Keto Diet may Promote Cardiovascular Health

Keto diets focus on carb restriction and this may have a potentially beneficial effect on triglycerides that is one of the main markers, apart from LDL cholesterol, for heart health.

Studies show that increased carb consumption can trigger high triglyceride levels that can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. (22)

Research also has indicated that ketogenic diets being low carb diets may help attenuate triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels and improve HDL (good) cholesterol levels. (23)

Considering ACV during a keto diet might be a sensible option. Studies have shown that ACV too decreased triglyceride levels and has the potential to prevent atherogenic risks. (24), (25)

So the ACV keto diet may play out to be an efficacious method of controlling markers that may result in a risk to cardiovascular health.

Summary: The keto diet with apple cider vinegar may be a potential method to lower cardiovascular risks as both keto and ACV help lower triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and improve HDL control to benefit heart health.

ACV in a Keto Diet may Help in Treatment of Neurological Disorders

Neurological disorders may be destabilizing and require maximum effort to make them manageable. Keto diets were notably introduced to treat epilepsy, a type of neurological disorder. (26)

Studies have shown that keto diets inherent with a low carb consumption release ketone bodies that may correlate with improved memory in older adults to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. (27)

Studies support keto diets in being safe and effective in improving non-motor movements in patients with Parkinson’s disease compared to a low-fat diet. (28)

Research on ACV has indicated that the phenolic compounds present in ACV have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties that can help mitigate the oxidative stress on cells that cause Alzheimer’s. (29)

Studies have shown that ACV has been used as a therapeutic intervention to alleviate symptoms of gastrointestinal distress in patients with Parkinson’s disease. (30)

So, apple cider vinegar use in a ketogenic diet may be useful in lowering or treating symptoms of neurological disorders.

Summary: Introduced to treat epilepsy, keto diets have been used in the treatment of other neurological conditions too. As ACV with its phenolic compounds can reduce oxidative stress and gastrointestinal distress, it may be fruitful to use an ACV keto diet to treat or mitigate such neurological disorders.

ACV in a Keto Diet may Enhance Gut Microbiota

Bacteria and viruses wreak havoc on the immune system in different ways. The keto diet has shown to modulate gut microbiota which may have beneficial impacts on health. (31)

ACV has a history of being used in both medicine as a disinfectant, in wound dressings to prevent infections, and as a preservative. (32)

Apple cider vinegar is fermented and contains many polyphenols which exhibit antimicrobial properties to fight different kinds of gut bacteria. (33)

Together, the ACV keto diet may be powerful to control or eliminate harmful bacteria and promote the proliferation of gut microbiota for a healthy life.

Summary: Apple cider vinegar in a keto diet may be useful in minimizing harmful gut bacteria. The low-carb, polyphenol-rich combination may promote better immunity by increasing good microbiota in the body.

Tips to add ACV in a Keto Diet

Incorporating apple cider vinegar in a keto diet is very simple once you know how to do it. Below are some of the popular ways to add ACV into your diet.

  1. Use as a morning tonic – Add a tablespoon of ACV to a glass of warm water and drink in the morning. Cinnamon, ginger, or lemon juice may be added for extra taste and make it more palatable.
  2. Add as a Dressing for Salads – ACV has a mildly astringent taste that makes an amazing addition to your salad dressings such as Caesar’s, vinaigrettes, and yogurt laced ones.
  3. Use it in Stir-fried Preparations – Most hot-and-sour sauces use vinegar as their primary ingredient. So a trickle of ACV should add a delightful twist to your stir-fried veggies.
  4. Makes for a Great Marinade – Marinating meat or seafood is a popular way to make the dish tender and enrich the flavors. ACV can make a quick substitute for lemon but still add a great taste to your marinades.

Summary: ACV can be incorporated easily into your daily diet in different ways. Have it in the morning as a tonic or use it in salad dressings, stir-fries, and marinades to add flavor and a wonderful twist to your food preparations.

Precautions and Risks of Using ACV

Apple cider vinegar is a natural condiment that has been scientifically-backed in providing many health benefits. But excess consumption of ACV can result in discomfort and lead to certain adverse effects. 

Some of the risks of consuming ACV are listed below.

  • Can worsen symptoms of gastroparesis, a condition common in diabetics, where food movement from the stomach to the small intestine is slowed down. This can result in malnutrition or dehydration. (34)
  • Lower appetite owing to Intolerance of vinegar can be experienced due to the astringent taste and smell of ACV, which can induce nausea and a dislike for food
  • Erosion of tooth enamel can occur owing to the acidic nature of ACV
  • Regular and increased consumption of ACV may cause throat burns due to its caustic nature. (35)
  • People prone to skin allergies or with sensitive skin can experience skin irritation or burns on ACV consumption.
  • ACV can produce an anti-glycemic effect and hence result in dangerously low levels of blood sugar that can be disastrous. 

Exercising certain precautions while using ACV can help in minimizing risks with ACV. Some suggestions to use ACV safely are: 

  • Start slowly with minimum amounts and gradually increase to tolerable limits. Cap consumption at a maximum of 2 tbsp (30 ml) a day. 
  • To reduce the effect of acetic acid on teeth, you can dilute ACV with water. Rinse the mouth well with water once done.
  • Individuals prone to gastroparesis can avoid ACV or limit intake to a maximum of 1 tsp (5 ml).
  • Check with your doctor for possible interactions of ACV if you are taking prescribed medications or if you are prone to allergies.

Summary: ACV though beneficial can result in some serious side effects if taken in excess. Understanding possible consequences and limiting ACV intake may help in reducing such risks.

The Final Note

The keto diet is a high-fat and extremely low carb diet that was originally intended as a treatment for epilepsy but has been proven to be useful in treating a host of medical conditions.

Apple cider vinegar is a common condiment that has been used from the ancient Babylonian period and used to date as a preservative, in home remedies and treatments for certain medical conditions.

Adding ACV into a keto diet can provide multiple benefits including weight loss, satiety, improved glucose levels, lower cardiovascular risks, and better immunity against viruses and bacteria.

ACV can be used as a morning drink or used in food preparations for added taste and palatability. ACV is still acidic so moderation in consumption is advisable to avoid stomach upsets or damage to tooth enamel.

With its negligible carb content and powerful phenolic compounds, ACV makes an effective addition to the keto diet, does not get one out of ketosis, and can provide a host of benefits that adds to one’s health and well-being.

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