Condiments such as vinegar or apple cider are appetite suppressants.
Vinegar contains the diluted form of acetic acid, which keeps food in the stomach over a longer time, so the release of the hunger hormone, ghrelin, is delayed. Also, the vinegar makes the brain feel that it is being rewarded. Be mindful that moderation is key. Given its acidic quality, vinegar may irritate the esophagus and stomach, while too much acid over time may leach calcium from the bones and damage tooth enamel.
In a study published in the online version of the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, subjects were served vinegar of varying strengths together with their carbohydrate (white bread in this instance). It was found that the higher the vinegar level, the lower the blood glucose response and the stronger the feeling of satiety as compared to a meal of the white bread without vinegar at all. A similar experiment conducted at Arizona State University and published in the American Diabetes Association website also reported comparable results.
In effect, taking vinegar before meals lowers the glycemic index of the foods you consume. This means they are absorbed more slowly by your body, thus helping you stay full longer without an attack of the munchies.
It is known to stave off food cravings for up to 90 minutes. Furthermore, the effects of increased fat metabolism in the liver can extend more than three hours after a meal when vinegar is consumed.
Other appetite-suppressing foods to consider include pine nuts and green tea. Which food and method works best for you depends on your body and your willingness to create that lifechanging habit of adopting a good diet plan. Of course, in the search for weight-loss foods, one should be mindful of one’s state of health and dietary restrictions, such as when you’re pregnant, plagued with skin breakouts, recovering from the flu, or suffering from a gassy stomach.
Majmudar advises, “Pregnant women should avoid raw honey, raw vegetables, unpasteurised cheeses and raw fish because of the risk of food poisoning and dangerous exposure to food-borne infections. For clear skin, a healthy diet that cuts out skin-clogging fried foods should do the trick. For an already gassy stomach, choose light natural foods that are good for digestion, and avoid refined foods like cakes and pastries.”
Photo courtesy of Thinkstock. This article first appeared in NATURA magazine issue No.3. Find NATURA at Eu Yan Sang retail outlets, newsstands and major bookstores in Singapore.