One of the more popular recent weight-loss fads is the honey and apple cider vinegar diet. Many people avoid it because it sounds unappetizing, but the combination of apple cider vinegar and honey can be tasty if mixed correctly. The taste can be changed by using different kinds of honey: Regular clover honey is the most popular type, but orange blossom honey and apple blossom honey make excellent substitutions since they add even more depth of flavor.
The concept of using vinegar and honey to aid in weight loss was introduced by Dr. D.C. Jarvis in the late 1950s. Jarvis, who went to the University of Vermont Medical College, published several books on alternative remedies for serious medical conditions and ailments, including the popular "Folk Medicine" in 1958.
The plan is simple: Mix one tablespoon of both apple cider vinegar and honey in a glass of water. Drink one glass at least twice a day before meals for at least two weeks.
The strength of a vinegar is measured in its percentage of acid--the higher the percentage, the stronger and more harsh it will be. Apple cider vinegar has an acid content between 5 and 6 percent, while regular white vinegar contains 4 to 5 percent. So, apple cider vinegar is stronger and contains more of the beneficial ingredients than normal white vinegar, but it also must be diluted more heavily than white vinegar.
The acids in vinegar help neutralize harmful bacteria that may be causing weight gain or water retention. Vinegar in this diet is considered an appetite suppressant, and while there is no definitive evidence showing that vinegar causes weight loss, it has been shown to have other benefits. Arizona State University nutritionist Carol S. Johnston performed a study that showed that taking 2 tablespoons of vinegar immediately before a meal helps lower bloody sugar spikes that many diabetics suffer after meals. Many people believe that taking apple cider vinegar is beneficial because it may lead to lower cholesterol and a decreased chance of becoming diabetic. Apple cider vinegar can be taken in liquid or pill form.
While there are beneficial properties to honey, including smoother skin and healthier hair, the reason honey was added to this diet plan was to aid in the digestion of vinegar. Few people have the stomach to consume a spoonful of vinegar, even if it's diluted in a glass of water. The honey makes the taste less harsh and may even coat the stomach to prevent stomach aches when taking vinegar on a regular basis.
Apple cider vinegar is extremely acidic, and even in pill form has been known to burn the throat when taken by itself. That, along with the taste, are the primary reasons that apple cider vinegar is often mixed with honey or juice. Diluting the vinegar in water or other liquids effectively limits the amount of acid that hits the soft membrane of the throat, thus reducing acid burns. Honey coats the throat, further reducing the damage.