I’m currently doing a Ketogenic diet which I’ve blogged about on my personal blog if you’re interested. It means I need to seriously control my carb intake and eat mostly fat and protein.
I made the leafy green salad that I recommend in the blog entry and doused it in Balsamic Vinegar which I’ve always thought was a great idea for the following reason: Vinegar is known to reduce the glycemic index of any food it is added to. That means it significantly lowers the insulin spike you get from any food. This is awesome news for Low GI and Ketogenic diets – pretty much the best diets available these days.
However, when I tasted the balsamic vinegar I had used, it tasted sweet – too sweet. I checked the ingredients and was horrified to discover that it was basically sugar syrup with a vinegar flavor. This seems to be very common among balsamic vinegars as the USDA nutritional reference database indicates.
Here is the data of various vinegars and the amount of carbs (sugar) in each from which you can infer the glycemic index:
- Balsamic (43g carbs, 38g of which is sugar). AVOID!!
- Cider Vinegar (2g carbs, 1g sugar). Very good.
- Distilled Vinegar – basically pure acetic acid. (0g carbs, 0g sugar). The lowest GI of all vinegars.
- Red Wine Vinegar (1g carbs, rounds down to 0g sugar). Also very low GI.
So choose your vinegar wisely and try to stick with Distilled Vinegar, Red Wine Vinegar and Cider Vinegar in order of lowest to highest glycemic index. Enjoy!