Flaxseed oil is a plant-based oil that can be found in liquid or capsule form. The oil is considered a fat with various health benefits when consumed in moderation. It can contribute to weight loss or weight gain depending on how you include it in your diet.
Fats and Weight
According to MayoClinic.com, there is limited research on flaxseed oil and its affect on weight. When included as part of a healthy diet, fats can help control cravings and actually help improve weight loss. North Dakota State University Agriculture states that one teaspoon of flaxseed oil contains 45 calories and five grams of fat. Flaxseed oil is also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which promote heart health, and is low in saturated fat that can lead to high cholesterol. Flaxseed oil is a healthy fat when compared to other fats, such as peanut oil.
Moderation is key when consuming fats. HelpGuide.com states that monounsaturated fats can help maintain a healthy weight. However, fat has twice as many calories per unit of weight. For example, there are nine calories in each gram of fat and only four calories in each gram of carbohydrates. If you consume fats regularly without factoring in the calories, the calories can result in weight gain.
Flaxseed oil is a rich source of essential fatty acids. North Dakota State University Agriculture states that it can help maintain cholesterol levels and has been found to reduce some types of cancer. It can also ease premenstrual syndrome symptoms and helps your body absorb vitamins that are good for skin and hair.
Consuming too much flaxseed oil can result in an overdose. Seek medical care if you experience shortness of breath, weakness or symptoms of an allergic reaction such as nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Avoid consuming flaxseed oil if you have a bleeding disorder or are going to undergo a medical procedure.
MayoClinic.com states that there is not enough information on flaxseed oil to advise its use in children. Keep in mind that flaxseed oil supplements are not strictly regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, so be sure to talk to your doctor before using flaxseed oil as a method for gaining or losing weight.