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Six Types Of Vinegar And Their Health Benefits

Vinegar is something we all have in the kitchen shelf, used for removing grease, mould to cleaning carpets and stubborn crayon marks, and not just that, even drizzled on top of salads and pickles for that mild acidic flavour.

You may all be familiar with the common white vinegar, and even the apple cider vinegar which has come to have a definite place in the weight loss and beauty field now. However, there are dozens of vinegar available in the market right from apple cider vinegar to white vinegar.

The most common forms of vinegar found in India are - distilled white vinegar and apple cider vinegar, which are also known for their various health and beauty benefits. On a basic level, vinegar is produced by the fermentation of an alcoholic liquid (a sugary liquid that has already been fermented to create ethanol) by acetic acid bacteria [1].

Several fermented ingredients, including coconut, rice, dates, persimmon, honey, etc., can be used to make vinegar. Here is a list of the different types of vinegar that are available in the markets and their uses and possible benefits.

Read on to know about different types of vinegar and their health benefits.


1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar, also known as cider vinegar, is made from cider or apple must. The apples are fermented and passed through an extensive process to develop the final product [2]. This pale-yellow coloured vinegar is made from pressed apples, which adds a fruity flavour to it. Rich in nutrients, apple cider vinegar is used in salads, chutneys, food preservatives and marinades.

Health benefits of apple cider vinegar:

From regulating your blood sugar levels to improving gut health, the advantages of apple cider vinegar are in abundance; and they are as follows [3][4][5]:

  • Aids in weight loss.
  • Manages blood sugar levels.
  • Prevents acid reflux.
  • Reduces cholesterol.
  • Cures sore throat.
  • Improves heart health.
  • Improves metabolism.
  • Manages healthy pH levels.
  • Improves skin health.
  • Downsides of apple cider vinegar:

    • Excessive consumption can worsen the symptoms of gastroparesis.
    • It may decrease appetite and promote feelings of fullness [6].
    • It can cause erosion of tooth enamel.
    • When consumed without diluting, it can cause throat burn.
    • It interacts with diabetes medication and certain diuretic drugs.

2. Red/White Vinegar

Red/white wine vinegar is also known as traditional vinegar, which is popularly used in the cooking process. These types of vinegar are made from a blend of either red wine or white wine [7]. White vinegar has a tangy taste, while red vinegar is flavoured with natural raspberry [8]. Red vinegar is commonly used in pork preparation, while white vinegar is used in chicken/fish preparation.

Health benefits of red/white vinegar:

  • Excellent remedy for indigestion [9].
  • Help slow down ageing signs.
  • The acetic acid in this type of vinegar proves to be useful in reducing body fat.
  • Help improve skin quality.
  • Downsides of red/white vinegar:

    • Although white vinegar is generally safe, excessive consumption can cause worsen inflammatory conditions in the upper gastrointestinal tract such as heartburn or indigestion [10].

3. Rice Vinegar

Rice vinegar is one of the ancient forms of vinegar, which did not gain much popularity in the health industry [11]. Made by fermenting rice wine, rice vinegar is available in white, red or black colour and also is available in the seasoned or unseasoned form and contain acetic acid and a moderate amount of amino acids [12]. White rice vinegar is used for pickling vegetables, while red rice vinegar is used in the preparation of sauces or dips.

Health benefits of rice vinegar:

  • Help improve digestion.
  • Can treat fatigue.
  • Help improve the immunity level [13].
  • May help improve heart and liver health.
  • Downsides of rice vinegar:

    • Regular consumption of rice vinegar can cause dental damage [14].

4. Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is traditionally known as dark brown colour vinegar that is made from unfiltered and unfermented grapes. Unlike other kinds of vinegar, balsamic vinegar is not obtained from fermented alcohol but is made from pressed grapes and is left to age like wine. Balsamic vinegar is rich in antioxidants and contains low cholesterol and saturated fats [15].

Health benefits of balsamic vinegar:

  • May help reduce the risk of cancer [16].
  • Reduces the risk of heart-related problems like a heart attack.
  • Works well as a pain reliever.
  • May work as an appetite suppressant.
  • Downsides of balsamic vinegar:

    • Drinking raw balsamic vinegar can cause throat inflammation and damage to the oesophagus.
    • It can cause stomach pain.

5. Malt Vinegar

This light golden coloured vinegar is popular in Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands. It is particularly made from beer and is malty and sharp in taste. Malt vinegar contains acetic acid, diluted between 4 per cent and 8 per cent acidity, which makes it an excellent ingredient in weight management [17].

Health benefits of malt vinegar:

  • Aids in controlling sugar levels and may be beneficial in treating type 2 diabetes [18].
  • Low in calories, so beneficial for weight loss.
  • Help reduce cholesterol.
  • Downsides of malt vinegar:

    • Damage to the oesophagus, stomach lining and kidneys can result from the overuse of malt vinegar.
    • It can also cause tooth decay and increase the risk of osteoporosis.

6. Sugarcane Vinegar

Popularly known as cane vinegar, this type of vinegar is extracted from sugarcane and is commonly used in the Philippines. The taste of sugarcane vinegar is like that of rice vinegar. However, contrary to the name, sugarcane vinegar is not sweet and has a flavour similar to other kinds of vinegar.

Health benefits of sugarcane vinegar:

  • Can help improve skin quality [19].
  • Can help manage granular myringitis.
  • May help manage glycaemia.
  • Downsides of sugarcane vinegar:

    • If consumed excessively, policosanol present in sugarcane can cause insomnia, upset stomach, dizziness, headaches and unhealthy weight loss.
    • Affects blood cholesterol levels
    • May cause blood thinning [20].

On A Final Note…

Vinegar is a liquid consisting mainly of acetic acid and water and is used in medicinal practices, scientific research and experiments, and culinary practices. Vinegar should be consumed in small portions or after diluting in water.

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