When it comes to losing body fat, one factor that is often overlooked in insulin sensitivity. By working to increase insulin sensitivity, you are able to increase the efficiency with which your body can burn fat. Let’s take a look at how all this works.
Insulin sensitivity simply refers to how the body is able to manage the insulin that is released in response to food intake. Insulin is released to lower blood sugar levels that are increased by eating foods, mainly carbohydrate-dense foods – although, all foods will have some effect on blood sugar, even if it’s a small effect. Higher insulin sensitivity refers to a body being able to control blood sugar with less insulin, so the body doesn’t need to release as much after a meal.
Why is this important? Well, if the body has chronically high insulin levels, which remain elevated over a period of time, it may develop insulin resistance, which can lead to things such as obesity, and is considered the preliminary stage of type 2 diabetes. This means that working to stabilize blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity can aid in maintaining a healthy body weight, and help prevent diabetes. Also, the more insulin you produce the less fat you burn, which is why all diets in which weight loss is the main goal should be focused on keeping insulin levels as low as possible.
Scientific research has shown one very simple trick to help improve insulin sensitivity, by controlling the amount released after a meal, and thus, helping lose body fat. The trick? Adding vinegar to your meals. Acetic acid, or vinegar, has been shown to have many benefits on body composition and overall health, when consumed daily as part of a diet.
Since 1988, scientists have been studying the metabolic effect of vinegar consumption, with promising results. They have found positive impacts on insulin levels, blood sugar levels, body fat reduction, energy expenditure, and staying full after meals, all caused by consuming vinegar with the meal in some form. One particular group of researchers in Japan have found that even just consuming 15 ml of vinegar per day, roughly a tablespoon, had an effect on body fat, waist circumference, BMI, and energy expenditure in obese subjects. This daily intake also helped control blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes patients.
The average effect over the course of the studies showed a roughly 20-35% decrease in blood sugar levels when vinegar was consumed, which means a lower amount of insulin release.
Easy ways to get vinegar in your diet are through adding it to vegetables or salads in dressing form, eating foods picked in vinegar, or even just drinking a tablespoon or mixing it in a beverage if you cannot get it in your food. It will make your food taste good, help you lose fat, help stabilize your blood sugar and reduce the risk type 2 diabetes – a lot of benefits for such a simple dietary addition.