This information is offered as a solution for those times when a diabetic, because of social reasons, a party, or special occasion, will be eating more carbohydrates than would normally be eaten. A study done in Sweden in 2001 showed that blood sugar spikes were held in check when pickles preserved in vinegar were consumed immediately after a high-carbohydrate breakfast. Earlier Swedish research indicated that vinegar might help control blood sugar spikes.
In his book The Diabetes Improvement Program, Patrick Quillin, Ph.D., states the following: “Real vinegar has not been filtered or pasteurized, and is rich in organic acids, pectin (soluble fiber), and acetic acid, all of which help to slow down the emptying of the stomach. This simple ‘detour’ for the digestion of food creates a slowdown in dumping glucose into the bloodstream. A meal with 2 tablespoons of vinegar can slow gastric emptying rate by 30% and drop blood glucose peaks by 30%.”
“Recipes for salad dressing with flax oil and vinegar not only taste great but can dramatically improve overall health by lowering rises in blood glucose. Red wine vinegar works best at this.”
As a result of the earlier research, Carol S. Johnston, Ph.D., from the Department of Nutrition at Arizona State University, created a study to put vinegar to the test on three groups of subjects: ten type 2 diabetics, 11 subjects who showed symptoms of pre-diabetic insulin resistance, and eight subjects with normal insulin sensitivity. None of the subjects were taking any diabetes medications.
Subjects were randomly assigned to consume the apple cider vinegar or a placebo drink. Two minutes later, each subject ate a meal consisting of a white bagel with butter and a glass of orange juice, containing approximately 90 grams of total carbohydrates. Blood samples were collected before the meal, and 30 minutes and 60 minutes after the meal.
Dr. Johnston and her team reported several significant results:
- Each of the three groups had improved glucose and insulin profiles following meals that started with the vinegar drink In subjects with type 2 diabetes who drank vinegar, blood glucose levels were cut by about 25 percent compared to diabetics who drank placebo
- In subjects with pre-diabetic conditions (insulin resistant) who drank vinegar, blood glucose levels were cut by nearly HALF compared to pre-diabetics who drank placebo
And here’s the most surprising result: Pre-diabetic subjects (insulin resistant) who drank vinegar actually had lower blood glucose levels than subjects with normal insulin sensitivity who also drank vinegar.
Dr. Johnston notes that vinegar dietary supplements may not be useful for managing glucose and insulin spikes associated with meals as they don’t contain acetic acid [ acetic acid: a colorless acid with a pungent odor that is the main component of vinegar ] — the key ingredient she feels is responsible for vinegar’s effectiveness.
Apple cider vinegar is another vinegar that works well. It is recommended that the typical apple cider vinegar product carried by large grocery chains carry be avoided. Instead, look for raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, usually available at many health food stores. To make a quantity of your own salad dressing just mix one part oil (or water) to two parts vinegar. Condiments such as garlic and/or onion powder, salt and pepper, should be added to taste.
Three tablespoons of this type of salad dressing will supply you with the two tablespoons of vinegar needed for the above results.