When you think of chia seeds do chia pets come to mind? If you answered yes, you are correct! The same seeds that promoted grass like “fur” out of the head of many different animals and celebrities are now being sold as a weight-loss aid.
Chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant salvia hispanica. Chia seeds contain healthy omega 3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants and calcium. A serving of chia seeds is one ounce (two tablespoons) and provides 139 calories, four grams of protein, nine grams of fat, 12 grams of carbohydrate, 11 grams of fiber, plus vitamins and minerals. Chia seeds have a mild, nutty flavor similar to flax seed.
Do chia seeds really help with weight loss? Few studies have been performed on chia seeds, but those completed did not show a decrease in body weight or body fat while taking chia seeds.
So should you try it? A serving of chia seeds does provide healthy omega 3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, antioxidants and many vitamins and minerals and would be a great addition to yogurt, cereal, vegetable or rice dishes and in baked goods. Of course, always remember portion control!
If you have food allergies or are on high blood pressure medications or blood thinners, talk to your health care provider before adding chia seeds to your diet.
If your goal is weight loss in 2014, a portion and calorie controlled diet and exercise is still the first line of defense. Please consult a registered dietitian at Centegra for help at 1-877-CENTEGRA.
Betsy Felde, Registered Dietitian
Centegra Weight-Loss Surgery Center