Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fertility Diet: Is Vinegar Allowed? Doesn't It Contain Sugar? Also: Conversations with Heartfelt Healthcare Providers

A reader asked an excellent question: Is vinegar allowed? Doesn't it contain sugar (which is not allowed)? Can I marinade with it?

The answer is YES, vinegar is allowed BUT check the list of ingredients on the label to make sure no additional sugar or flavorings or anything else has been added in (which happens with some varieties). Here is the low-down on vinegar:

If it’s fully distilled (as in white distilled vinegar) the vinegar contains NO sugar. The sugar from the apples or grapes is converted to acid via a fermentation process.

The makers of other varieties of vinegar, such as Organic Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar (from Trader Joe's), will stop the fermentation process short so that some of the natural sugar from the apples or grapes remain. These varieties are still OK because the sugar is natural and it is assumed that you will consume them ONLY in small amounts. (In other words, you’re not going to pour yourself a glass of vinegar and drink it up in one shot.) So, using as a marinade or salad, for example, is OK.

Then there’s the third variety of fancy vinegars that add sugar (and other "goodies") to the pure vinegar to create new flavors – such as the Tuscan Balsamic Fruit Marinade that someone gave us as a gift. These are NOT allowed because of the added sugar (and possible other additives). So check labels!

Here’s a fun article on the topic from the Vinegar Institute
And another fun article here.

Next week: It's been a LONG time since I've posted a recipe. I will post one next week for sure: Chicken with Portobello Mushrooms - another favorite at our cooking demos and tastings!

Photo by: which has this to say about vinegar, by the way: "According to a study conducted in Japan, ordinary household vinegar used to make oil-and-vinegar salad dressings appears to turn on genes that help fight fat." Interesting...