Can you have vinegar on HMR?

A surprising number of HMR members have been told that vinegar is no longer an allowed product on the HMR program. This is not true and we hope this article will help dispel this myth!

Vinegar: What’s Safe and What’s Not?

From the beginning, Food for Life wanted to make sure that all approved foods were as versatile as possible and that they could be combined into delicious low-fat meals. The list of foods included vinegar, which is an essential ingredient in many recipes. There are two types of vinegar: white distilled and cider (or red wine).

  • White distilled: This type of vinegar can be used on all phases of the HMR Program and may be used freely.
  • Cider (red wine): This type of vinegar can be served during Phases 1 and 2 only. It is not allowed during Phase 3 (weight maintenance).  *It may also be helpful to note that Food for Life had to make the decision early on about whether or not to include red wine vinegar because it contains sugar.

Sugar-Free HMR Products

When Food for Life Nutrition was looking at what would be the most important factors in formulating an HMR shake, they decided that taste and texture were the two most important items to consider. If a shake did not taste good or it caused problems with texture, people would not drink it! This is why all HMR shakes are sweetened with Splenda and contain the thickener guar gum. 

All of our other HMR products, entrees, snacks, and desserts also have a reputation for great taste and texture. This is one of the main reasons that they are so popular! If anything in your diet causes problems with taste or texture, it’s probably not a good idea to use it. There are no magic ingredients that help you lose weight. If something tastes bad, don’t eat it!

It is so important for us to have a balanced diet and not cut out any food group or essential ingredient from our lives just because we’re trying to change the way we eat. On the HMR program, you can have healthy fats, all vegetables, whole-grain bread, lean proteins, and good-tasting treats. It is possible to eat a balanced diet while losing weight!


Ingredients in HMR can give vinegar a bad taste. Nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, and others contain ingredients that make it difficult to add this product to your meal replacement shakes. Check with your doctor about the use of vinegar in your food plan.

I hope this information was helpful. You may also want to discuss this topic with your doctor, as he or she will have a better understanding of your medical history. Take care, best wishes!

This is an automated response from the HMR support desk, specifically addressing dietary issues related to HMR products. Thank you for contacting us. We are always available to help answer any questions you may have about HMR products and diets at 1-800-547-8583. Our Customer Service Representatives are available between the hours of 8:30 AM and 5:30 PM, Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.