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Healthy Recipe Doctor

with Elaine Magee, MPH, RD

Elaine Magee's blog has now been retired. We appreciate all the wisdom and support she has brought to the WebMD community throughout the years.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Can a Drizzle of Vinegar Help You Cut Calories?

If you are armed with a bottle of balsamic, can you actually eat less at the end of the day and cut daily calories? Well, it’s not a magic bullet, by any means, but it can’t hurt – and it might actually help you feel full longer.

There have been a few recent studies suggesting that adding some vinegar to meals, particularly those with a high glycemic load, decreases the post-glucose response to that meal and may decrease the calories consumed later.

What’s so special about vinegar? How might vinegar be promoting satiety and a longer lasting feeling of fullness?

  • Vinegar stimulates the palate making the taste buds more receptive to other flavors, which can improve the flavor satisfaction of the meal.
  • Vinegar may also help delay the emptying of the meal from the stomach to the small intestine (promoting a longer lasting feeling of physical fullness).
  • Improving glycemic control after meals might also play a role.

Vinegar is made up of a minimum of 4% acetic acid which is why young students though the years have illustrated a mini-volcano by pouring vinegar into baking soda or bicarbonate of soda (the base in baking soda reacts with the acid in vinegar to produce carbon dioxide bubbles).

Here are 5 Ways To Add Vinegar

  • Balsamic vinaigrette added to a cold pasta dish
  • A light vinaigrette dressing added to a main dish salad
  • Balsamic vinegar drizzled over sandwiches instead of mayonnaise, dressing or sauce
  • Making a tuna salad or chicken salad with a light vinaigrette instead of a mayo-based dressing
  • Use a flavored vinegar (balsamic, champagne or raspberry) in your meat or fish marinade before cooking or grilling. This has also been shown to significantly reduce the AGEs (advanced glycation end products) formed when higher fat animal-derived foods are cooked — particularly with dry heat methods. AGEs are thought to contribute to increased oxidant stress and inflammation in the body.

Journal of the American Dietetic Association, December 2005, volume 105, number 12, pages 1939-1942.
Nutrition Research, December 2009, volume 29 number 12, pages 846-849.
Diabetes Research & Clinical Practice, May 2009, volume 84 number 2, pages e15-e17.
Journal of the American Dietetic Association, June 2010, volume 110 number 6, pages 911-916.

Do you have creative and delicious ways of adding vinegar to a dish? Share your recipe suggestions with the Food and Cooking Community.

Posted by: Elaine Magee, RD at 6:00 am

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