Flaxseed meal, otherwise known as ground flaxseed, is a nutritious addition to meals and baked goods. The vitamins, minerals and nutrients it offers may help fill you up and keep you full for long periods of time, which can curb your total calorie consumption and lead to weight loss. However, there are more factors at play that also combine to determine your results.
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Ground flaxseed is a food with high energy density. That means it packs a significant amount of calories and nutrients into a small suggested serving size. Although many useful weight loss foods have low energy density levels, flaxseed has profoundly beneficial nutritional values and contains high amounts of both fiber and protein, which can cause extended feelings of satiation or act as natural appetite suppressants. Two tbsp. of ground flax meal has approximately 60 calories, 4.5 g fat, 4 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber and 3 g protein.
Uses and Alternatives
Despite its high fat count per small serving size, ground flaxseed can fit into a healthy weight loss plan. To get the most benefits, eat it in small or moderate amounts and occasionally opt for lower-calorie alternatives. Try sprinkling a teaspoon or two or ground flax onto cold cereal or salads or stirring a spoonful into hot cereal. You can also bake flaxseed meal into muffins, pancakes, waffles or even cakes. In fact, 1 tbsp. of ground flax mixed with 3 tbsp. water makes an adequate dairy-free substitute for one egg in recipes. Low-calorie flax alternatives with similar tastes and textures include wheat germ, wheat bran or ground high-fiber cereal.
Weight loss comes down to a matter of calories – specifically, the number of calories you are able to burn and the number of calories you eat. If you can burn more than you eat on a consistent basis, you will steadily lose weight. Some foods, such as flaxseed meal, can help with those efforts by keeping you full or providing essential nutrients that may decrease cravings. However, it’s important to realize that no single food can “cause” weight loss or burn fat, as the Weight Control Information Network points out.
Before you make any big changes to your eating plan or use ground flax as a weight loss aid, talk with your doctor or a registered dietitian for individualized health advice. Relying too heavily on flaxseed or any other single food for weight loss could result in nutrient deficiencies or other negative health issues. The National Institutes of Health recommends gradually losing weight by adopting a low-calorie diet that includes daily servings of low-fat dairy, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins and vegetables.