Balsamic Vinegar: Swapping out oil with vinegars in PIAZ for a healthy onion relish.
Traditional balsamic vinegar originates from Modena, Italy, where families have been using the same techniques for generations. Balsamic vinegar is made from pressing and fermenting grapes. It ages in wooden barrels for years, sometimes decades. The longer it ferments, the more intense the flavor becomes and the thicker it gets. Balsamic vinegar has an array of health benefits.
Low Calorie Balsamic vinegar adds lots of flavor to any dish, without packing in too many calories. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, balsamic vinegar provides a minimal 5 calories per teaspoon. This is far less than a 1-teaspoon serving of olive oil which has 45 calories. Swapping out oil or fatty dressing for balsamic vinegar shaves a significant number of calories from your diet, making it a healthier alternative.
Effects on Cholesterol Balsamic vinegar is beneficial for stabilizing your blood cholesterol levels. Low-density lipoprotein, or LDL cholesterol, is the harmful cholesterol that blocks arteries, causing hardening and clogging. Researchers at the Tokyo Institute of Environmental Science for Human Life looked into effects of balsamic vinegar on cholesterol. In 2010, researchers published their findings in the "Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology." In the study, researchers observed that polyphenols from balsamic vinegar inhibit oxidation of LDL cholesterol. This benefit minimizes the risk of damage to cells from the harmful cholesterol. Drizzling balsamic vinegar on your salad at lunch can be helpful in keeping your cholesterol within a healthy range.
Beneficial for Blood Pressure Your blood pressure is the amount of force your blood places on arterial walls. In 2006, researchers at Arizona State University looked into vinegar benefits on heart health and published their review in "Medscape General Medicine." Since balsamic vinegar reduces atherosclerosis and hardening of arteries, it can also help normalize your blood pressure levels. Researchers explain that regular vinegar consumption has been shown to lower systolic blood pressure by as much as 20 millimeters of mercury, or 20 mmHg. Systolic pressure is the number on top of your blood pressure reading and measures blood pressure during heartbeats. It is important to note that this research was conducted on rats. Balsamic vinegar may be beneficial for blood pressure in humans, but further research needs to be conducted.
Stablizes Blood Glucose Balsamic vinegar is low on the glycemic index. This system categorizes foods based on how much they affect your blood sugar. Low glycemic index foods cause your glucose to rise slightly and then slowly go back down over a period of time. High glycemic foods, like processed treats, cause a sudden spike in your blood sugar. Once it spikes, glucose drops sharply to below its original level. Low glycemic foods, such as balsamic vinegar, can keep you feeling satisfied for a longer period of time. Even though balsamic vinegar is a low-glycemic food, it does contain sugar and you should watch your portion size if you are diabetic.