While losing weight is simple -- take in fewer calories than you eat -- that doesn't mean it's easy, and it's tempting to look for the "magic bullet" for weight loss. Bee pollen can fit into a weight-loss diet, but you'll still need to eat healthy and get active to see real results. Check with your doctor before taking bee pollen because it can have life-threatening side effects in some people.
As a Lower-Calorie Substitution
Bee pollen's low calorie content makes it a welcome addition to calorie-controlled diets. A 2-teaspoon serving has 40 calories and just 4 grams of sugar. Because it has a slightly crunchy texture, you can use it place of higher-calorie crunchy fare to help you lose weight. For example, topping a bowl of Greek yogurt with a serving of bee pollen instead of a 2-tablespoon serving of almonds saves you roughly 26 calories, while using it in place of 2 tablespoons of trail mix saves you around 50 calories.
As a Source of Fiber
Bee pollen also offers moderate amounts of nutrients, including fiber that might help with weight loss. A 2-teaspoon serving of bee pollen makes up just 2 percent of the calorie intake in a 2,000-calorie diet but offers approximately 8 percent of the fiber needs for women and 5 percent for men. Fiber is not a source of calories, and it helps you feel full, which might assist your weight-loss efforts. Simply taking bee pollen doesn't reduce the need for other high-fiber fare, like fruits and vegetables, but it helps boost your fiber intake.
Cautions and Considerations
If you're interested in bee pollen for weight loss, it's essential you check with your doctor first. Bee pollen can have serious side effects in people allergic to it, and taking bee pollen supplements has been linked to at least one case of anaphylaxis -- a severe allergic reaction requiring emergency medical treatment. Bee pollen can also cause less severe allergic reactions like rashes or difficulty breathing. A doctor can perform allergy tests to determine if it's safe for you. You should not take bee pollen if you have allergies or allergy disorders, like asthma, reports the University of Utah.
If your doctor gives you the go-ahead, you can use bee pollen in healthy recipes. Bee pollen's pleasant texture makes it a good match with hot or cold cereal, plain Greek yogurt or even unsweetened applesauce. Blend it into a smoothie -- try a low-calorie mix of unsweetened plain almond milk, a few handfuls of kale and a cup of frozen berries. Mix it into salad dressings or add a spoonful to your favorite bowl of soup.