Filtered Vs. Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar: What's The Difference?

Apple cider vinegar is a must-have in any kitchen. You can use it to make a number of dishes, including dressings and soups, and it offers a variety of health benefits. According to Healthline, apple cider vinegar helps lower blood sugar and manage weight, among other things. In addition to offering health benefits, apple cider vinegar also functions as a cleaning product. When paired with water, you can use it as a deodorizer and an all-purpose cleaner, as cider vinegar has antibacterial properties that help it eliminate odors and germs.

There are several different types of apple cider vinegar, so picking which type you want can be a bit challenging. According to the apple cider vinegar retailer OSU, the main two common varietals are filtered and unfiltered. So what's the difference between filtered and unfiltered apple cider vinegar, and why is it important? There's more to this question than you think.

Filtered vs. unfiltered apple cider vinegar

The main difference between filtered and unfiltered apple cider vinegar is its bacteria content. Apple cider vinegar contains something called "the mother," per OSU, which is a collection of helpful bacteria known as probiotics, yeast, and enzymes created by an extended fermentation process. As the name suggests, filtered apple cider vinegar has been filtered to prevent the mother from forming inside a bottle of the stuff. Conversely, unfiltered apple cider vinegar has not been filtered — meaning that it retains more bacteria than filtered apple cider vinegar does and, thus, continues the fermentation process.

According to MasterClass, unfiltered apple cider vinegar seems to offer a few more benefits than filtered apple cider vinegar does. For one, unfiltered apple cider vinegar contains more probiotics, so it's more beneficial for your health than filtered apple cider vinegar. Additionally, unfiltered apple cider vinegar has a stronger, more natural flavor, making it the better option to use in dishes.

Are there health-related drawbacks to apple cider vinegar?

Though apple cider vinegar offers numerous health benefits, it can be harmful if you drink it excessively or undiluted. According to WebMD, since apple cider is highly acidic, drinking it without watering it down can damage your esophagus and tooth enamel.

That isn't the only possible issue with apple cider vinegar consumption. Though it's known to help with weight loss — some people recommend drinking it before breakfast – drinking apple cider vinegar before eating any food can result in indigestion and nausea. Those who suffer from low potassium levels and kidney issues should also be cautious when drinking apple cider vinegar, as it can worsen these problems.

Additionally, apple cider vinegar can interact with certain drugs (such as diabetes medication) and cause skin burns when used as a skin product, Healthline reports. Before picking up a bottle of apple cider vinegar at the store, be sure to determine what type it is — filtered or unfiltered — and figure out how much it will benefit you.