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Linseed for Weight Loss

By Jessica Bruso

Linseed, more commonly called flaxseed, may be helpful for lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels, according to MedlinePlus. It may also help you reach your weight loss goals, although the evidence for this is still preliminary. Flaxseeds are high in calories, however, they contain fiber and omega-3 fats, both of which may help you control your appetite so you can stay within your recommended daily calories for weight loss.

Calorie and Nutrient Content

You need to create a 3,500 calorie deficit for each pound you want to lose, either from eating less or exercising more. Flaxseeds aren't a low-calorie food, so you don't want to eat large amounts of them if you're trying to lose weight. Each tablespoon contains 53 calories, including 4.2 grams of fat, 2.9 grams of carbohydrates and 1.8 grams of protein.

Flaxseed and Weight Loss

Eating 30 grams per day of flaxseeds, or about 3 tablespoons, helped people with metabolic syndrome limit abdominal fat and didn't cause weight gain, according to a study published in "The Journal of Nutrition" in November 2010. Another study, published in "Appetite" in April 2012, found that consuming either a flax drink or taking flax supplements that contained 2.5 grams of soluble fiber helped people control their appetite and eat less than those who drank a control drink instead.

Fiber and Weight Loss

Flaxseeds are high in fiber, with each tablespoon providing 2.7 grams, or 11 percent of the daily value. People who eat more fiber tend to weigh less, and fiber may help you lose weight by increasing feelings of fullness and decreasing the absorption of fat, protein and carbohydrates, according to an article published in "Nutrition" in March 2005.

Omega-3 Fats and Weight Loss

You'll also significantly increase your intake of essential omega-3 fats if you eat flaxseeds. Each tablespoon provides 2,281 milligrams of omega-3 fats. These omega-3 fats may help you reach your weight-loss goals. A study published in "Appetite" in November 2008 found that following a low-calorie diet that included more than 1,300 milligrams per day of omega-3 fats helped people decrease feelings of hunger during weight loss compared to following a diet with less than 260 milligrams per day. This study used long-chain omega-3 fats, such as the EPA and DHA found in seafood, but your body can convert ALA, the type of omega-3 fat in flaxseeds, to EPA and DHA, so you may get a similar benefit with flaxseeds.

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