Belly fat is one of the most common fitness complaints, so it's no surprise that some foods are touted to help get rid of the inches around your middle. Olive oil won't break down stomach fat, but it can help prevent weight gain if you use it instead of unhealthy saturated fats. Apple cider vinegar has also been advertised as a weight-loss supplement, however MayoClinic.com notes that there is no clinical evidence that it works. Combining the two, however, is a healthy alternative to store-bought salad dressings, flavorings, dips and shortenings that are high in harmful saturated fats and sodium.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is touted as a weight loss remedy that helps to diminish appetite and increase fat-burning in the belly and other areas of your body, but there is no substantial evidence to support these claims. A review published in "Medscape General Medicine" notes that apple cider vinegar and other types of vinegar do have anti-glycemic effects. This means that they can help balance your blood sugar levels after eating a meal. This benefit is particularly important if you have diabetes. It can also help you lose weight by preventing excess hunger and sugar cravings that are caused by falling blood glucose levels.
Popular in Mediterranean cuisine, olive oil is a plant fat that can help you lose weight because it primarily contains monounsaturated fatty acids. MayoClinic.com notes that eating these fats instead of saturated fats such as those found in stick butter and margarine can also help lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. Olive oil may also help balance blood sugar and insulin hormone levels. This may help your weight loss by keeping you feeling energized and full longer after eating.
To reap the anti-glycemic and nutrient health benefits of apple cider vinegar, add it to flavor your meals. You can use both olive oil and vinegar in salad dressings or add them to soups and stews. Additionally, use apple cider vinegar and olive oil together as a bread dip. Pour 2 tablespoons of the vinegar on a plate and drizzle olive oil in the center. Dip toasted or fresh whole-wheat bread into the mixture and enjoy as an appetizer or snack.
Like other vinegars, apple cider vinegar is acidic and can irritate your throat. Use it sparingly and combined with other foods. Apple cider vinegar may also adversely interact with some medications and supplements; if you take any type of medication, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about adding vinegar to your diet. It should also be noted that although olive oil is a healthy fat, it is still high in calories and should only be consumed in moderation.
Nadia Haris is a registered radiation therapist who has been writing about nutrition for more than six years. She is completing her Master of Science in nutrition with a focus on the dietary needs of oncology patients.