Apple cider vinegar vs white vinegar: Which is healthier?

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Last Updated on October 12, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

In the realm of condiments, where humble bottles hold the potential to transform your culinary creations, two vinegar varieties take the spotlight: apple cider vinegar and white vinegar. While both serve as flavour enhancers, they also come packed with potential health benefits. To make an informed choice for your meals and well-being, let’s embark on a journey to explore the nutrition profiles and health advantages of these two vinegar powerhouses. It’s a quest for flavour and health, guided by the science of nutrition.

Apple cider vinegar, often abbreviated as ACV, is a product derived from the natural fermentation of apple juice. This process involves crushing apples, extracting their juice, and allowing them to ferment with the assistance of yeast and bacteria. The end result is a tangy, amber-coloured liquid with a pronounced apple flavour. What makes ACV unique is its raw, unfiltered, and unpasteurized form, often marked as ‘with the mother’. The ‘mother’ consists of valuable enzymes, proteins, and beneficial bacteria like Acetobacter, which develop during fermentation.

White vinegar, on the other hand, is typically produced from distilled grain alcohol. The distillation procedure removes most of the flavour, colour, and nutrients present in the original grains, yielding a clear, sharp-tasting liquid. White vinegar is highly acidic and is commonly employed in cooking, cleaning, and preservation due to its neutral flavour profile and high acidity.

Nutritional profile

When comparing the nutritional content of apple cider vinegar and white vinegar, apple cider vinegar takes the lead. This is primarily due to the presence of the ‘mother’, which adds to its nutritional value. Here’s a breakdown of their nutritional profiles per 100 ml:

Nutrient Apple Cider Vinegar (per 100 ml) White Vinegar (per 100 ml)
Calories 22 18
Total Fat (g) 0 0
Sodium (mg) 5 5
Potassium (mg) 73 73
Total Carbohydrates (g) 0.9 0.9
Sugars (g) 0.4 0.9
Protein (g) 0 0

What are the health benefits of apple cider vinegar (ACV)?

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has gained popularity in recent years due to its potential health benefits. While we need more research to fully understand its effects, here are some of the potential benefits of apple cider vinegar:

Blood sugar control

Some studies suggest that ACV may help improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels, making it potentially beneficial for individuals with type 2 diabetes or those at risk of developing the condition.

Weight management

ACV has been linked to appetite control and feelings of fullness. Some people incorporate it into their weight loss routines to help curb cravings and reduce calorie intake.

apple cider vinegar

Antimicrobial properties

ACV has antimicrobial properties due to its acetic acid content. You can use it topically to clean and disinfect wounds and as a natural preservative in food.

Potential heart-health benefits

Some research suggests that ACV may have a positive impact on heart health by helping to lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

Improved skin

People often use ACV in skincare routines. However, a recent fact check proved that apple cider vinegar may not prevent acne. However, we need more research papers for the same.

Potential antioxidant effects

ACV contains polyphenols, which are antioxidants that can help protect cells from oxidative damage. Antioxidants can have various health benefits, including a reduced risk of chronic diseases.

Gut health

ACV may support a healthy gut microbiome by providing beneficial bacteria and promoting the growth of beneficial microorganisms.

What are the health benefits of white vinegar?

White vinegar or distilled vinegar is primarily used in cooking, cleaning, and food preservation. While it may not have the same wide range of potential health benefits as apple cider vinegar, it still offers some advantages when used in moderation. Here are some potential health benefits of white vinegar:

Improved digestion

Like other types of vinegar, white vinegar’s acidity may aid in digestion by stimulating the production of digestive enzymes. This can help break down food more effectively, potentially reducing symptoms like bloating and indigestion.

Blood sugar control

Some studies have suggested that vinegar, including white vinegar, may help lower post-meal blood sugar levels when consumed with high-carb meals. This could be beneficial for individuals with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes.

white vinegar

Weight management

White vinegar may contribute to feelings of fullness and reduce appetite, similar to other types of vinegar. This can potentially assist in managing calorie intake and supporting weight loss efforts.

Antimicrobial properties

White vinegar has antimicrobial properties due to its acetic acid content. People use it for cleaning and disinfecting purposes both at home and in various industrial settings.

Does apple cider vinegar contain alcohol?

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) typically contains trace amounts of alcohol. During its fermentation process, yeast converts the sugars in apple cider into alcohol. Subsequently, acetic acid bacteria transform this alcohol into acetic acid, the main component of vinegar. The alcohol content in ACV is usually very low, around 0.5% or less.

Does kombucha have apple cider vinegar?

Kombucha is not made with apple cider vinegar, but it may include apple cider vinegar as an ingredient in some recipes or brands. Both have a tangy taste due to acetic acid but are produced differently. Always check the product’s ingredients if you’re unsure.

Does apple cider vinegar have probiotics?

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) does not inherently contain probiotics, the live beneficial bacteria found in some fermented foods and beverages like yogurt and kefir. However, ACV is produced through the fermentation of apple juice by yeast and bacteria. While it doesn’t retain live probiotics, it may contain trace amounts of beneficial compounds like acetic acid, which can indirectly promote gut health by supporting the growth of beneficial bacteria. For probiotics, consider sources like yogurt or fermented foods.

Can white vinegar remove dandruff?

White vinegar can assist in managing dandruff by adjusting the scalp’s pH and reducing the growth of the fungus associated with dandruff. To use it, mix equal parts white vinegar and water, apply it to the scalp, and leave it for a few minutes before rinsing. However, it may not work for everyone, and its strong smell can be off-putting. Medicated shampoos designed specifically for dandruff are often more effective for long-term control.

Can white vinegar be used on the face?

Research suggests that one should avoid using white vinegar on the face. Its strong acidic nature can disrupt the skin’s natural pH balance, leading to irritation, dryness, and potential burns. Applying vinegar to the face can cause redness, peeling, and sensitivity. Instead, choose skincare products designed for facial use, which are formulated to be gentle and effective without harming the skin’s delicate balance.

Does white vinegar help in weight loss?

Researchers suggest that white vinegar may potentially aid in weight loss due to its acetic acid content. This may help control appetite and reduce blood sugar spikes. Some studies indicate that consuming vinegar before meals can induce a feeling of fullness and reduce calorie intake. However, the effects are modest, and vinegar alone is not a magic solution for weight loss. For the best results, use it in conjunction with a balanced diet and regular exercise.

White vinegar has been suggested as a potential aid in weight loss due to its acetic acid content, which may help control appetite and reduce blood sugar spikes. Some studies indicate that consuming vinegar before meals can promote a feeling of fullness and lower calorie intake. However, the effects are modest, and vinegar alone is not a magic solution for weight loss. You should use it in conjunction with a balanced diet and regular exercise for best results.

The verdict

The choice between apple cider vinegar (ACV) and white vinegar depends on your intended use. ACV is milder and has potential health benefits but is best for culinary and health purposes. White vinegar is sharper and best suited for cleaning and pickling due to its strong acidity. There isn’t a definitive ‘best’ vinegar; it depends on your specific needs.

FAQ on Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) vs White Vinegar

If I have a heart condition, which is better: apple cider vinegar or white vinegar?

Neither apple cider vinegar (ACV) nor white vinegar is a primary treatment for heart conditions. ACV is often chosen for its potential health benefits, but it should not replace prescribed treatments or dietary recommendations for heart health.

If I have a kidney problem, which is better: Apple cider vinegar or white vinegar?

Both apple cider vinegar (ACV) and white vinegar are acidic, which is potentially harmful to the kidneys if consumed in excessive amounts.

If I have a liver problem, which is better: Apple cider vinegar or white vinegar?

If you have a liver problem, it's essential to be cautious with vinegar consumption. Both apple cider vinegar (ACV) and white vinegar are acidic and may not be suitable for individuals with liver issues.

If I have diabetes, which is better: Apple cider vinegar vs white vinegar?

If you have diabetes, apple cider vinegar and white vinegar both may be good for you. There have been studies about their potential to help lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.

If I have high cholesterol, which is better: Apple cider vinegar vs white vinegar?

Neither apple cider vinegar (ACV) nor white vinegar is a proven treatment for high cholesterol. Dietary changes, exercise, and medications prescribed by your doctor are more effective in managing high cholesterol. If you're considering vinegar for health reasons, ACV is often chosen for its potential benefits, but it should not replace prescribed cholesterol-lowering treatments.

If my bones are weak, which is better: Apple cider vinegar or white vinegar?

If you have weak bones or concerns about bone health, neither apple cider vinegar (ACV) nor white vinegar is a primary solution. Both types of vinegar are acidic and do not provide essential nutrients for bone strength. To support bone health, focus on a balanced diet rich in calcium, vitamin D, and other bone-boosting nutrients, along with exercise.

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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Last Updated on October 12, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on October 12, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on October 12, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on October 12, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on October 12, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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Last Updated on October 12, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on October 12, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on October 12, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on October 12, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on October 12, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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Garima Dev Verman
Garima Dev Verman
A qualified and experienced dietitian, Garima is analyses and fact checks content around diet and nutrition.
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