The Paleo List Answers:IS WHITE VINEGAR PALEO?
You may have heard contradictory information regarding the use of vinegar on the Paleo diet, so we’re here to settle the score once and for all. We know for sure that vinegar as we know it wasn’t hanging around in the kitchens of cave-people, but doesn’t that mean it isn’t healthy? Is vinegar Paleo?
What is White Vinegar?
Vinegar is a fermented liquid consisting primarily of diluted acetic acid. Your standard white vinegar is also called distilled vinegar, though the fermented vinegar doesn’t go through the distillation process. It is called distilled white vinegar because it is made from distilled alcohol. Around the world, most distilled vinegar is made from malt alcohol (see: malt vinegar), but here in the United States, it is generally made from corn.
Is White Vinegar Paleo?
We all know that corn is a big no-no on the Paleo diet, and that most non-organic corn is GMO, so what about distilled vinegar made from corn?
The harmful parts of grains, such as gluten and phytic acid generally don’t survive fermentation, which is one of the reasons that vinegar is often consumed on the Paleo diet. Another is that you consume such a small amount at a time that it isn’t a problem. (Remember, it’s normally the dose that makes the poison.) While we would certainly recommend reaching for a slow-fermented unfiltered apple cider vinegar as your first choice, standard white vinegar is unlikely to cause any negative effects (though you should still opt for organic if you can).
Corn-based distilled white vinegar was certainly not around during the Paleo era. Which means vinegar is technically not Paleo. However, most people consider it to be Primal, and fermented foods are highly recommended for gut health. So, although the “rules” might exclude vinegar, we consider it an exception, and give it the stamp of approval.
Are you struggling with which foods are Paleo? Do you need help planning some Paleo meals? Check out this great Paleo cookbook: