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Do Flaxseeds Help with Weight Loss?

By Brian Willett ; Updated July 18, 2017

The dietary supplement flaxseed contains no stimulants or herbal ingredients and can be helpful for weight loss. Flaxseed is relatively low in calories and provides beneficial nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, which can help promote weight loss. However, you won't lose weight unless you consume a reduced-calorie diet in conjunction with flaxseed. Consult a doctor before beginning a diet or using any supplements.

Calories

Flaxseed can help in weight loss because it is a low-calorie food. Each 1 tablespoon serving of this food contains just 55 calories. This amount is much lower than flaxseed oil provides at 120 calories per 1 tablespoon serving. If you're active, you can burn the calories in flaxseed relatively quickly. A 10-minute session of swimming laps or 5 minutes of jumping rope would burn 55 calories.

Dietary Fat Content

Flaxseed is moderately rich in healthy dietary fat, as it contains 4.3 grams in each 1 tablespoon serving. This can be beneficial for weight loss because unsaturated fat enhances satiety. Healthy fat also promotes general health because it helps your body absorb nutrients and provides energy.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Flaxseed is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat that may help reduce inflammation and promote heart health. Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids can make flaxseed helpful for weight loss. According to research published in the December 2007 edition of "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition", consumption of fish oil can help reduce body fat, which may aid in weight loss. (See References 1 and 5)

Carbohydrates

Although carbohydrates provide your body with energy, low-carbohydrate diets can be effective for weight loss. Flaxseed can be a helpful addition to such diets, as it contains only 3 grams of carbohydrates per 1 tablespoon serving.

Dietary Fiber

While reducing carbohydrate intake may aid in weight loss, consuming certain carbohydrates such as fiber can enhance your dieting efforts. Dietary fiber is a type of carbohydrate that aids in digestion and can help suppress your appetite, which makes it helpful for dieting. Each 1 tablespoon serving of flaxseed contains 2.8 grams of dietary fiber.

Protein

Flaxseed is low in protein, as each 1 tablespoon serving contains 1.8 gram. Although you may find a high-protein diet successful for weight loss, an increased protein intake is not essential for dieting. (See References 1)

Calcium

Flaxseed is not particularly rich in vitamins and minerals, but it does contain calcium. Calcium promotes bone health and may also aid in weight loss. A study from the June 2011 issue of "Clinical Nutrition" found that supplementation of calcium and vitamin D promoted increased calorie burning and fat burning. Flaxseed does not contain vitamin D, so you may need to consume it with milk or another source of vitamin D to experience this effect.

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