Flaxseeds, which are a little bit larger than sesame seeds and can range in color from amber to brown, are rapidly becoming incorporated into diet plans because of their high nutrient content. Although flaxseeds cannot help people lose weight on their own, they do have a number of qualities which make them a good food to add to a balanced diet to help promote weight loss.
Healthy Weight Loss
Although there are many different fad diets which promote rapid weight loss, the only way to lose weight in a consistent and healthy way is to eat a balanced diet and to burn more calories than you consume in a given day. This means that effective weight loss plans should include physical exercise as well as a diet which is low in calories. Flaxseeds can help with the latter portion of this process as they are low in calories.
Flaxseeds and Fiber
One of the advantages of consuming flaxseeds as part of a weight-loss diet is that they are high in fiber. One tablespoon of whole flaxseeds contains three grams of soluble fiber; the same amount of ground flaxseed has two grams of fiber, the American Dietetic Association explains. Foods that are high in fiber help promote a feeling of fullness, which makes it easier to eat less. Flaxseed swells in the stomach, which further decreases hunger.
Flaxseeds also contain omega-3 fatty acids, though the body can only absorb these fatty acids from ground flaxseeds, the American Dietetic Association notes. Not all fats are bad. Healthy fats an important nutrient for the body, and they can also generate a feeling of fullness. Omega-3 fatty acids can help decrease hunger and also raise the level of HDL cholesterol, also known as the good cholesterol, so consuming them can lower your risk of heart disease.
Incorporating Flaxseed into Your Diet
Flaxseeds can be added to your diet whole where they can add a crunch to foods. They can also be ground up into flour, which can make it easier for their nutrients to be absorbed by the body. Adding small amounts of ground flaxseed to each meal can help meals feel more filling and can add the nutritional benefits of this food without allowing their taste to overwhelm the rest of the meal.
As with all foods, the benefits of flaxseed for weight loss require moderation. Consuming large quantities of flaxseed can add calories to your diet without adding much in the way of vitamins or minerals. Flaxseed can make it easier to eat less but it is not a magic bullet; it is still important to count calories and exercise if you want to lose weight.
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.