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Is Vinegar Consumption Permitted?

By Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Founder of The Paleo Diet
January 27, 2013
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Vinegar | The Paleo Diet

Dr. Cordain,

Why is vinegar not allowed on the Paleo Diet? Does vinegar chemically have a bad reaction in the body? I work in a winery and we make our own vinegar with no salt. Is it the salt or sodium that makes vinegar a no-no?

The reason I started the Paleo Diet is because you answered all my questions about food and what the body does with it. After having 26 uric acid kidney stones and watching my dad die of renal failure, I needed to change my life style. Not once did my doctor tell me to stop eating grains in fact he told me to drink more water and lay off protein. Why do doctor’s do that? They know the affects grains have on body; I don’t get it… Money I guess (if you heal them they don’t come back).

After a shocking diagnosis of Metabolic Syndrome Disease (High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a large tummy) Paleo is my last hope to remove this diagnosis from my health record (not going to be easy). Every woman on my mother’s side of the family no matter how big or small has high cholesterol. Please tell me that with this diet I can break this family flaw. My doctor is not going to reverse the MSD diagnosis unless my cholesterol comes down. This is not something I was born with and will never fix, is it? I don’t trust local doctors anymore after my kidney stones.

I have been following The Paleo Diet now for about 3 weeks and I am training for a 5K run in May of this [2013], I have lost 20 pounds thus far in a 4 month period (was doing low calorie diet before Paleo).

Looking for Hope!

Lorie

Dr. Cordain's Response:

Hi Lorie,

I wish you luck with the Paleo Diet. Vinegar is typically made with 5% acetic acid and may contribute to the net acid load. If you are consuming plenty of fruits and veggies in your diet (about 30-35% total calories), a little vinegar occasionally should be no problem. You should avoid fruits with a high fructose content until your blood lipids and cholesterol normalize. Most people with abnormal blood lipids typically see great improvements after about 2-4 weeks on the Paleo Diet.

Cordially,

Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus

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