Can Vinegar Help Lower Blood Sugar?

Q: I have read that regular daily doses of vinegar help lower blood glucose levels. Is that true? If so, what dosage is recommended?

A: Some studies on small numbers of people have shown that taking 2 tablespoons of vinegar before a starchy meal can reduce the rise in blood glucose after the meal. But this may not be true for everyone with diabetes. If you want to try it, check your blood glucose two hours after the meal and see if your blood glucose is lower. Make sure you check after several meals before reaching a conclusion about whether the vinegar helps.

Vinegar has no calories or carbohydrates and makes a great low-sodium, low-calorie salad dressing, which may help you add more nutritious nonstarchy vegetables to your diet. It's not, however, a magic solution. If you mix the vinegar with oil, be aware that each tablespoon of oil has about 100 calories, so use more vinegar than oil. If you want a sweeter dressing, add a packet of artificial sweetener.

Madhu Gadia, M.S., R.D., is a certified diabetes educator.