Does apple cider vinegar help with diabetes management?

Estée van Lingen, a registered dietitian, explores the potential advantages of apple cider vinegar for diabetes management.


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What is apple cider vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is fermented juice from crushed apple. It has all the nutrients of apple preserved in vinegar liquid.

Raw unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar is usually the best choice. It may be cloudy, but this means it’s higher in beneficial bacteria.

Complementary therapy for diabetes

Apple cider vinegar has various health benefits and one of those benefits is regulation of blood glucose levels. Diabetes, which is characterised by high blood glucose levels, is managed by medication and dietary and lifestyle changes. However, many people with diabetes also incorporate natural remedies, such as apple cider vinegar, to complement their primary treatment and overall management of their diabetes.

Health benefits 

Regulating blood glucose levels – It has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood glucose levels after meals, especially in people with insulin resistance or Type 2 diabetes. It occurs due to its effect of reducing a glucose spike after a meal through acetic acid that helps to inhibit the digestion of refined carbohydrates, slowing down the conversion of starches into sugars.

Enhancing insulin sensitivity – Insulin resistance is a key factor in Type 2 diabetes, where the body’s cells become less responsive to insulin’s action. Studies suggest that it may help enhance insulin sensitivity, allowing cells to better utilise glucose from the bloodstream. This can lead to improved glycaemic control and reduced reliance on insulin.

Weight management – Obesity is a significant risk factor for Type 2 diabetes; maintaining a healthy weight is essential for managing the condition. It has been suggested that apple cider vinegar helps with appetite suppression and increased feelings of fullness. This may help to consume less calories and achieve weight loss goals since it only has three calories per tablespoon which is way less than standard salad dressings or marinades.

Supporting heart health – People with diabetes are also at increased risk for cardiovascular complications, such as heart disease and stroke. Apple cider vinegar consumption has been linked to improvements in various cardiovascular risk factors, including lower blood pressure, reduced LDL (bad cholesterol) and improved cholesterol levels. By supporting heart health, it can contribute to overall diabetic management.

Anti-inflammatory effects – Chronic inflammation plays a significant role in development and progression of diabetes and its complications. Apple cider vinegar possesses anti-inflammatory properties attributed to its bioactive compounds like phenols and antioxidants. By reducing inflammation, it may help minimise the complications experienced in diabetes and also improve overall health.

Gut health and digestive benefits – Maintaining a healthy gut microbiota is essential for optimal metabolic function. Apple cider vinegar promotes gut health by acting as a prebiotic (food) for probiotics which is the good bacteria in the gut. Additionally, it may assist in alleviating symptoms such as bloating and indigestion.

Easy and versatile – Apple cider vinegar is a versatile ingredient that can be easily incorporated into various foods. From salad dressings and marinades to beverages and condiments, there are numerous creative ways to add it into your diet. However, it’s essential to dilute it properly and not over consume it due to the potential side effects like tooth enamel erosion and throat irritation.

How to take apple cider vinegar effectively:

  1. Dilute it in water (20ml in 40ml of water).
  2. Consider taking it before meals to help control blood glucose.
  3. Make your own salad dressing or marinade by mixing it with olive oil, fresh or dried herbs.
  4. Remember that individual responses vary, so it’s essential to monitor your blood glucose levels closely.

Always consult your healthcare provider

While apple cider vinegar shows promise as a complementary approach to diabetes management, it’s essential to use it cautiously and in conjunction with medical advice and conventional treatment methods.

Incorporating apple cider vinegar (about two teaspoons per day) into a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle may offer several potential benefits. These include improved blood glucose control, enhanced insulin sensitivity, and better overall health for people living with diabetes.

As with any natural remedy, it’s advisable to consult with your healthcare professional before making significant changes to your diabetes management regimen.

Estée van Lingen is a registered dietitian practicing in Randburg and Fourways, Gauteng. She has been in private practice since 2014 and is registered with the HPCSA as well as ADSA and served on the ADSA Gauteng South Committee for 2020 – 2022.

MEET THE EXPERT


Estée van Lingen is a registered dietitian practicing in Randburg and Fourways, Gauteng. She has been in private practice since 2014 and is registered with the HPCSA as well as ADSA and served on the ADSA Gauteng South Committee for 2020 – 2022.


This article is sponsored by Safari Vinegar in the interest of education, awareness and support. The content and opinions expressed are entirely the contributor’s own work and not influenced by Safari Vinegar in any way.

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The merits of good diabetic nutrition

We learn about the six must-have foods for good diabetic nutrition and when to add a nutritional supplement to fill any nutrient gaps.


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Defining good diabetic nutrition

As a person living with diabetes, you may feel overwhelmed with all the things you need to do to manage your health. Good nutrition can assist to manage symptoms of diabetes that you may experience, such as weight loss, feeling very hungry and tired, sores that heal slowly, and having more infections than usual.1

Nutrition is also an important part of a healthy lifestyle to help keep your blood glucose level in your target range. Nutrient requirements for people living with diabetes are likely to be higher than those set for people who don’t have diabetes. This is due to the following:

  • People with diabetes are prone to deficiencies in magnesium and zinc.2,3.
  • Some medications used to treat diabetes can result in increased nutrient requirements.2,3.
  • Nutrition therapy is critical in the management of diabetes to ensure the maintenance of correct blood glucose levels.2,3.

Eating healthy foods in the right amounts at the right times so your blood glucose stays in your target range as much as possible is key. It’s also important to eat foods that helps prevent diabetes complications like heart disease.

Figuring out the best foods to eat when you have diabetes doesn’t have to be tough and you can also include a nutritional supplement to make sure you’re filling any nutrient gaps.

Some of the best foods for people with diabetes are high in protein and low in sugar like avocados (consume in moderation) and grilled fatty fish.

The must-have super six

The following foods can help manage your blood glucose levels:

  1. Fatty fish like salmon and sardines are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have major benefits for heart health.
  2. Leafy greens are low in digestible carbs.
  3. Avocados have less than a gram of sugar, few carbohydrates, a high fibre content and healthy fats.
  4. Chai seeds are extremely high in fibre which reduces hunger. They are also low in digestible carbs.
  5. Beans are rich in B vitamins, beneficial minerals (calcium, magnesium, potassium) and fibre.
  6. Broccoli contains only 3g of digestible carbs.4

Adding a nutritional supplement

If you’re considering using any supplements if you have diabetes, it’s important to get nutritional advice from your healthcare professional prior to using anything.

More than likely, once you have gotten the go-ahead from your healthcare professional, you may choose a nutritional supplement on the merit of the scientific facts of the product as well as what others have to say about it.

For this reason, here are all the beneficial facts of adding LIFEGAIN® Advanced Nutritional Supplement to your diet as well as patient testimonials.

LIFEGAIN® Advanced Nutritional Supplement is scientifically formulated to offer beyond everyday nutrition that can support chronic illness. The Triple Protein Formula in LIFEGAIN® can help you to feel fuller for longer and assist with recovery of muscle tissue and a healthy weight.

The Lifegain® formula:

  • High in energy, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • 24 minerals and vitamins, several being key for immune support.
  • High in iron and zinc.
  • Contains fibre.
  • Trans fat-, gluten-, lactose-, and cholesterol-free.
  • Low in carbs (no refined carbs).
  • No added sugar.

Patient testimonials

Monique Mentoor

(On behalf of her dad)

My dad’s health was deteriorating fast in October 2019. He is a diabetic and hypertension sufferer and has had two transient ischaemic attacks due to not managing these illnesses. He was constantly tired, and his quality of life was so poor as he was sleeping all the time. I insisted he come live with me and offered only nutritious meals and added LIFEGAIN® Advanced Nutrition Supplement to his diet – and I believe this was the perfect compliment.

Within weeks there was a noticeable difference in his health and the lethargy was improving too. Throughout the lockdown my dad continued taking his LIFEGAIN® Advanced Nutrition Supplement and he has not looked or felt better in years. ​

Tebogo Maesela

(Caregiver of his father who has diabetes)

I love Lifegain® Advanced Nutrition Supplement vanilla flavour. I currently use Lifegain® to boost my body and support my immune system.

My father is a diabetic patient, and he uses Lifegain® to boost his immune system. My journey with Lifegain® started two years back when my father was very sick, he was losing weight and he couldn’t eat anything. At that moment we thought that we were losing him. His body was small and frail. Then a family friend suggested that we buy Lifegain® supplement for my father. We did, and he started to eat again, and regained energy. Since that day Lifegain® has been our supplement.


References

  1. Diabetes Symptoms.2022 Dec 30. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/symptoms.html
  2. Walker, A.F., 2007. Potential micronutrient deficiency lacks recognition in diabetes.
  3. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/diet-eating-physical-activity. Accessed: 05/08/2020.
  4. Kelly E. Diet for People Living with Diabetes: The Best Foods to Choose and More. 2023 Feb 23. Healthline.com Available from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/16-best-foods-for-diabetics      
Header image by Adobe Stock

Diabetes data tips

We learn tips for recording diabetes data and how digital support, such as smartphone apps, make managing it so much easier.


Listen to this article below or wherever you get your podcasts.
Visit our channel mypod.zone/diabetessa

You know how important it is to document diabetes data. You also know that keeping a diabetes diary requires patience, discipline, and neat handwriting because your diabetes healthcare team should ultimately be able to make sense of it. What you may not know is how much easier it can be with digital support, such as smartphone apps.

Diabetes diary or app: means to an end

In theory, it doesn’t matter whether you electronically extract your diabetes data from the blood glucose meter, manually write it in a diabetes diary, or initially stick colourful Post-it notes with values on the refrigerator.

However, healthcare professionals often report that handwritten diabetes diaries are incomplete or that errors creep in. This can affect the quality of the recorded data, ultimately harming the quality of diabetes therapy.

Therefore, especially if you prefer to keep your diabetes data in a classic diary, it’s essential to proceed systematically and with discipline. This way, the data can support you in organising your life with diabetes to improve your quality of life. For example, take notes for individual measurements; this will help you better understand how specific events, such as a birthday party or a hiking trip, influence your blood glucose levels. This allows you to become more familiar with your body’s reactions, regardless of the choice of tool.

If you want to keep up with the times, you can also take advantage of the numerous benefits of digital solutions for your therapy. With some technical assistance, you can:

  • Quickly and easily review data.
  • Better recognise the connections between insulin, blood glucose and meals.
  • Increase your awareness of blood glucose values and how they are influenced.
  • Share your data with your healthcare team.

Diabetes apps: more than just a diabetes diary

One of the simplest ways to keep track of your diabetes documentation is by using a tool that you probably already have with you all the time: your smartphone.

By using a diabetes app, you can easily ensure that you document all measured values. If you opt for a solution where the measured blood glucose values are automatically transferred to the app, the process becomes even easier.

The pros of mySugr app

If you use a blood glucose meter like the Accu-Chek Instant, the mySugr app automatically stores every measured value on your smartphone via Bluetooth. This combination offers additional features such as meal photos and a bolus calculator.

Do you want to customise how you view your health data? With mySugr, you can choose from charts, tables, or statistics that work best for you. It’s easy to use; just swipe through your phone to see more.

Have you been experiencing slightly elevated values lately? Quickly check your average values for the past seven days to see if you’re on track or if there’s a pattern to recognise. Also, try to identify when your blood glucose trend changes. This can often help you understand which life circumstances contributed to these values.

Please note that some features mentioned here are only available with mySugr Pro. However, if you pair your Accu-Chek Instant meter with the mySugr app and synchronise your readings, you’ll automatically upgrade to mySugr Pro for free.

Remember, you don’t have to manage diabetes on your own. There are plenty of resources available to help you stay on track.

Download the mySugr app now!

You can download the mySugr app in the Google Play store or the App Store.

 

 

 

Please contact our customer support team to check if your mobile device is compatible with the mySugr app.

For more information, contact your healthcare professional.

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