The 4 Best Apple Cider Vinegars, Chosen by a Dietitian

Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar is affordable, versatile, and dietitian-approved

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Known for its tangy taste and potential health benefits, apple cider vinegar has become increasingly popular in cooking and as a supplement. While there is limited research on the health benefits of ACV, some smaller studies have shown that consuming it may support weight loss. A few studies focus specifically on vinegar's potential role in helping to reduce body fat. Other studies have correlated ACV intake with improved cholesterol levels and blood sugar control. The health benefits are associated with the "mother" content, a product of fermentation that contains the potentially beneficial bacteria, as well as the antioxidant and acetic acid contents.

Reviewed & Approved

Our top pick is the Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar because it's affordable, potent, and versatile. If you're looking for a ready-to-drink option, you can't go wrong with the Vermont Village Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Variety Pack.

Eliza Savage, MS, RD, CDN says, "Apple cider vinegar has many purported benefits, but it's always recommended to see what works for your individual body." It is important to note that raw, unpasteurized ACV may not be suitable for all, including pregnant women. It aso can have potential negative side effects when consumed undiluted and in high amounts, including damage to tooth enamel, lowering potassium levels (especially when taken with certain medications), and gastrointestinal side effects like nausea and delayed gastric emptying.

ACV comes in powder, gummy, and liquid forms; however, we recommend the unpasteurized liquid, as it appears to be the only studied form backed by peer-reviewed research. When the ACV compounds are isolated in supplement pill, powder, or gummy form, the potential beneficial properties are less understood, and the actual ACV concentrations can vary greatly. Liquid ACV is also more versatile, as it can be added to dressings and sauces or to plain water for sipping. We researched a variety of options, considering taste, ingredients, and nutritional content, and selected only unpasteurized liquid forms.

Here are the best apple cider vinegars, according to a dietitian.

In This Article

Best Overall: Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

4.8
Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
Pros
  • Raw, unfiltered and unpasteurized

  • USDA Organic and Non-GMO

  • Versatile

Cons
  • Strong taste if not diluted or mixed into a dressing or sauce

Who else recommends it? Healthline and The Spruce Eats both picked Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar.

What do buyers say? 90% of 25,000+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar tops our list with its versatility and high “mother” content. This vinegar is raw, unfiltered, and unpasteurized, yielding higher concentrations of acetic acid (5%, according to the brand) and “good” bacteria that may help support your gut microbiome

Bragg is a great pantry staple that can be used in a variety of ways. Mix it with extra virgin olive oil to make a smooth and tangy salad dressing, or make a beverage by diluting 2 tablespoons of the vinegar in 8 ounces of water and adding a squeeze of lemon juice and a splash of maple syrup.

Serving size: 1 tablespoon | Servings per container: 63 | Raw/Unpasteurized: Yes | Unfiltered : Yes | Non-GMO: Yes | USDA Organic: Yes

Best Budget-Friendly: Lucy's Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Lucy's Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Raw, unfiltered, and unpasteurized

  • USDA Organic and non-GMO

  • Versatile

Cons
  • Strong taste if not diluted or mixed into a dressing or sauce

  • Bulk size may not be suitable for all, depending on frequency of usage

When it comes to affordability, buying in bulk is best. Once opened, apple cider vinegar has a shelf life of about two years, so this is a good product to buy in large quantities for better value. If you're new to ACV, it might be a good idea to start off with a small bottle before committing to this gallon-sized jug.

If you're ready to commit to using ACV on the regular, try the one-gallon bottle of Lucy’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, which is raw, unfiltered, and unpasteurized. Use in salad dressings or over roasted vegetables to add depth of flavor and acidic balance. It can also be diluted in water to make an ACV beverage.

Serving size: 1 tablespoon | Servings per container: 252 | Raw/unpasteurized: Yes | Unfiltered : Yes | Non-GMO: Yes | USDA Organic: Yes

Best Beverage: Vermont Village Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Variety Pack

Vermont Village Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Variety Pack

Courtesy of Amazon

  • Great flavor from organic fruit, ginger, turmeric and honey

  • USDA Organic and Non-GMO

  • Raw, unfiltered, and unpasteurized

  • Less versatile than regular ACV varieties

Vermont Village Organic Apple Cider Vinegar provides a more palatable alternative to pure ACV. These beverages contain raw, unfiltered ACV with the “mother” and come in four antioxidant-packed flavors made with organic fruit, including cranberry, blueberry, ginger, and turmeric, all blended with honey for a touch of sweetness.

One serving size (1 fluid ounce) contains 25 calories and 6 grams of sugar, and each bottle contains eight servings. Enjoy this beverage as a shot or dilute in water for a tasty, sippable ACV beverage.

Serving size: 1 ounce | Servings per container: 8 | Raw/unpasteurized: Yes | Unfiltered : Yes | Non-GMO: Yes | USDA Organic: Yes

Best Shot: The Twisted Shot Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Shots

The Twisted Shot Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Shots

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Great flavor from honey, ginger, turmeric, and cayenne

  • USDA Organic and non-GMO

  • Raw, unpasteurized, unfiltered

Cons
  • Less versatile than regular ACV varieties

  • Single-use plastic waste

For a two-ounce shot with a powerful punch of ACV and antioxidants, try The Twisted Shot Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Shots. These single-serve shots contain raw, unfiltered ACV with the “mother” blended with honey, ginger, turmeric, and cayenne. 

Each shot contains 1.5 tablespoons of ACV with 25 calories and 5 grams of sugar. 

Serving size: 2 ounce | Servings per container: 1 | Raw/unpasteurized: Yes | Unfiltered : Yes | Non-GMO: Yes | USDA Organic: Yes

Final Verdict

For a versatile, raw, unfiltered, and unpasteurized ACV to use in drinks and dressings, try Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (view at Amazon). With no added ingredients or flavors, this product is as pure and simple as it gets.

What to Look for in an Apple Cider Vinegar

The “Mother:”

Many of the potential health benefits of ACV are associated with the “mother,” or the byproduct of the fermentation process that contains proteins, enzymes, and “good” bacteria. Products that are raw, unfiltered, and unpasteurized will have more mother. When you hold up a bottle of ACV, you should be able to see murky strains floating in the vinegar. 

Type:

Less is known about the potential benefits of ACV when isolated in pill, gummy, or powder form (often with added nutrients) versus the pure liquid form. The limited research on the benefits of ACV is associated with the raw, unfiltered, and unpasteurized liquid form. If you can tolerate the taste, go for a liquid form with the mother.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the best time to take apple cider vinegar?

    There is no current, substantiated research on the best time of day to consume apple cider vinegar. Incorporate ACV at a time that works best with your schedule. Apple cider vinegar is best consumed as part of a balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, whole grains, and lean proteins. 

  • What is the best way to take apple cider vinegar?

    The best way to take apple cider vinegar is largely dependent on your taste buds and preference. If you’re using a pure ACV, try it whisked into a dressing with extra virgin olive oil or diluted in water as a beverage. Savage says, "I recommend mixing one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and the juice of half a lemon to eight ounces of water." You also can try flavored ACV shots for a morning boost.

    The recommended dosage of ACV varies, depending on the manufacturer and the potential health benefits you are looking to achieve. In general, the recommended intake range is about one to two tablespoons per day. Start with one tablespoon and increase based on tolerance. Be sure to consider the potential negative side effects when assessing your ACV intake. 

  • Is apple cider vinegar good for you?

    The research on the health benefits of apple cider vinegar is limited, but some evidence suggests that it may support weight loss and improve cholesterol levels and blood sugar control. However, if you are looking to control your blood sugar, the primary focus should be on proven interventions focused on a balanced diet rich in high-fiber carbohydrates, incorporating fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, whole grains, and lean proteins.

    While there do not appear to be any negative side effects when consumed in moderation, consuming an excess of undiluted ACV could lead to unhealthy outcomes, including damage to tooth enamel, lowering potassium levels (especially when taken with certain medications) and gastrointestinal side effects, like nausea and delayed gastric emptying.

    The bottom line is that for most people, consuming moderate amounts of apple cider can be a healthy addition to a balanced diet. It can also enhance the flavor of nutrient-dense foods, like vegetables and whole grains.

  • What does apple cider vinegar do?

    The most compelling research appears to be centered on ACV's potential to reduce postprandial (or post-meal) blood sugar and insulin spikes. There are different hypothesis being explored, but the acetic acid content in apple cider vinegar may suppress certain enzymes, influencing carbohydrate absorption. This effect could therefore lower the amount of glucose from food being released into the bloodstream.

    Also being explored are the effects of acetic acid on insulin sensitivity and the efficiency of glucose uptake in skeletal muscle mass, which therefore would bring down the level of glucose in the blood. ACV may reduce the endogenous (or internal) production of fatty acids and glucose in the liver, which may have beneficial effects on both glycemic control and blood lipid panels. More research is needed about the potential health benefits of apple cider vinegar and the mechanisms of action.

  • Does apple cider vinegar go bad?

    Apple cider vinegar typically has a long shelf life due to its highly acidic content that has natural preservative and antimicrobial effects. Most bottled ACVs will have an expiration date provided by the manufacturer that can range from two to five years. Once opened, and if not stored properly with a tight lid, it can be more susceptible to oxidation and breakdown of contents.

17 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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