Chia seeds are those little black seeds that you find in some juices and drinks in the market these days. They look like little, fluffed up grains and often catch the eye, leaving us wondering how it ended up inside the bottle.
Well, these Chia seeds are highly nutritious and provide loads of fat, and are packed with proteins, and many other replenishing and useful minerals for the body.
Many people who are on diets, and are looking to shed a few pounds turn to Chia seeds as replacements for many other foods.
However, it's important to ask “Are Chia Seeds Keto”!
The history behind Chia seeds is also very interesting, as this food played a vital role in the Mayan civilization and the Aztec civilization, many centuries ago. “Chia” is derived from the Mayan language, which means strength.
Despite being rich and very useful to the body, these chia seeds contain plant toxins, and are rich with fiber as well.
That can particularly become an issue for people who have issues in their digestive systems or their intestines. So, if you are a wanderer on a diet, or a person on the keto diet, wondering whether this food is keto friendly, or not?
You definitely came to the right place, as this article will guide you through all the positives and negatives of incorporating chia seeds into your keto diet. We will also look at some keto friendly chia seed recipes, along with the nutritional profile and what not.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!
What are Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds are a wonderful and healthy option and addition which you can include in your diet. Chia seeds are extracted from a plant that is found in the desert, namely the Salvia Hispanica plant.
It is notable to mention that this is the same plant that belongs to the mint family as well. The seeds that are harvested from the Salvia Hispanica are popularly sold as the “Chia” seeds we all know today, along with many other names on the market.
Originated in Central America, this food was used in a staple diet by the Aztec Civilization. This was also used by the Native Americans as well, located in the South West of the United States.
These seeds are highly nutritious, and are a great food source that contains omega-3 fatty acids. They are also a reservoir of dietary fiber, as it contains 10 grams of dietary fiber per ounce, which is about 2 tablespoons.
Moreover, chia seeds contain many minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium. They are also rich in protein as well.
After a lot of research, studies have shown that chia seeds are a great option to include into one’s eating schedule or pattern.
They are very healthy and can even improve the cardiovascular functioning, while they simultaneously reduce cholesterol levels, help in the regulation of blood pressure, and even reduce the triglyceride levels in the blood too!
There are a number of ways you can consume chia seeds, you can even eat them raw if you like. But, if you don’t prefer that, then you can prepare a lot of dishes that the chia seeds compliment.
Did you know that you can sprinkle whole chia seeds or ground chia seeds on your breakfast cereal as well? Not only that, but you can top your yogurt, rice and even vegetables with chia seeds. How cool is that?
There is a very popular drink down south, in Mexico, it is called the “Chia Fresco ” which is produced by the soaking of chia seeds in water or in fruit juices.
These seeds are highly absorbent in nature, and make for a very gelatinous drink when mixed with liquids. It is vital to know that you can even eat the sprouts of the chia plant, you can add them to your sandwiches and even your salads!
On the other hand, despite a lot of research and studies, there aren’t many articles or studies that are published on chia seeds and their nutritional or health benefits.
Most of the information that is available today is the result of extensive research and study done on animals, and humans. But that’s okay, we have got you covered, and this article will inform you about everything you need to know!
Are Chia Seeds Keto?
Before we dive into this question, it is of utmost importance to understand what the keto diet is.
There are many people out there who feel overwhelmed when it comes to figuring out what types and kinds of foods are safe to consume on keto, and which ones aren’t.
But that’s okay, we will help develop a basic understanding of how to keep an eye out for keto -friendly foods.
So, basically a keto diet is one where the body’s day to day fuel source is changed, from carbs to stored fat, which you call glycogen.
When the body enters the ketosis state, the fuel source of the body is changed to the stored fat, which depletes all the stored glycogen.
This diet serves as a great way to shed a few pounds, and the formula for it is very simple as well. The daily macronutrients required by the body are divided as follows:
- 70% of the daily requirement of the body is met by Fats
- 20% of the daily requirement of the body is met by Proteins
- 10% or even less of the daily requirement of the body is met by Carbohydrates (Carbs)
To further understand this, we will look at the nutritional profile on chia seeds later. But, the answer to the question “Are Chia Seeds Keto?” is yes.
These black seeds that come from the Salvia Hispanica plant are safe to consume on the keto diet, and like most other foods, they won’t cause you any problem, if you consume them in moderation.
Which goes to say that if you are consuming about one or even two ounces of chia seeds in a day, you should be fine.
But, if that amount increases day by day, then it is definitely going to cause some problems. You can safely consume about 100 grams of chia seeds in a day, and they will account for about 40% of your daily carb intake.
As these seeds have a high amount of carbs, it is advised to not get carried away, because it can very easily put you out of ketosis because of the carbs exceeding the daily limit.
The following is a comparison chart between some famous seeds and the amount of carbs in a serving of 100 grams.
|Carbohydrates (Carbs)||Per 1 Ounce (1Oz.)||Per 100 grams serving|
|Chia Seeds||2.2 grams||8 grams|
|Sunflower Seeds||1.7 grams||6 grams|
|Pumpkin Seeds||2.6 grams||9 grams|
Now that we have established a firm understanding of what the keto diet is and how it works, along with the amount of carbs in chia seeds. Let us look at the nutritional profile of chia seeds in detail.
The Nutritional Profile: Chia Seeds
Let’s dive in and find out what the nutritional information is for chia seeds, in a standard serving of a 1 ounce serving (1 Oz.) which is about 2.3 tablespoons of chia seeds. The following is a table of the nutrients:
|The Nutrients||The Serving (1 Oz. or 28 grams)||Recommended Daily Value (RDV%)|
|The Calories||137 calories|
|The Fat||9 grams|
|Of which Saturates||0.9 grams|
|The Carbs||11.9 grams|
|The Net Carbs||2.2 grams|
|The Fiber||9.7 grams|
|The Protein||4.8 grams|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||2.5 milligrams||16%|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.2 milligrams||15%|
Why are Chia Seeds a great option for people on Low Carb Diets?
Chia seeds are a great option if you are looking to shed a bit of weight, or even if you are on the keto diet. Like we established above, a keto diet requires the body to maintain normal functioning, with just a slight change, and that being on a very low supply of carbs.
Chia seeds are rich in fiber, which can help people who have problems in digestion, and these seeds aren’t high in carbs either. The deficiency that can be caused in keto diets can be fulfilled by chia seeds.
This combination of low carbs and rich in fiber is what makes chia seeds stand out as an ideal option for people on low carb diets, as it won’t require you to constantly micromanage your macronutrients for the day.
Just make sure your chia seeds are stored in a container that is airtight, or else they will absorb the moisture that is present in the air, and they will begin to stick to one another. Which can become a problem if you want to get an exact amount of chia seeds.
What are the Health Benefits of Consuming Chia Seeds?
There are many health benefits attached to consuming chia seeds, coupled with the fact that these seeds are low in carbs, which makes it a natural medicine. You will find out all the health benefits that are discussed in detail below:
- Improved Cardiovascular Functioning:
Americans are consuming a diet that is very heavy in carbs, which leaves the body vulnerable to high blood pressure and high blood sugar levels. If the amount of sugar exceeds in the blood, that can be chained to type-2 diabetes, insulin resistance, cancers, PCOS and even premature aging.
Studies have revealed that people with high blood sugar have increased chances of Alzhiemers. Chia seeds help in regulating and stabilizing the blood sugar levels of meals, and they even improve the insulin sensitivity.
- A Reduction in Chronic Inflammation:
Inflammation has a very pivotal role in fighting infections and healing any injuries that the body might sustain. Inflammation can become chronic due to some inflammatory lifestyle and food choices, which can become fatal due to heart diseases, cancer and even type-2 diabetes.
Chia seeds are helpful as they reduce 40% of inflammation when a study found that consumption of 37 grams of chia seeds was an effective combatant against inflammation. Chia seeds are also rich in antioxidants and can reduce stress and diseases that are related to inflammation.
- A Reduced Risk of Heart Diseases:
There are many studies on animals that show chia seeds are very effective when it comes to lowering the level of inflammation, the level of triglycerides, the insulin resistance, and any fat related heart disease. Human studies have shown that chia seeds reduce high blood pressure and even hypertension.
These chia seeds can play a pivotal role when it comes to a lifestyle that is encouraging a heart protective and healthy internal environment.
- Nutrients that Strengthen the Bones:
Chia seeds have more calcium per weight than dairy and dairy products. That means all this high calcium and amino acid, coupled with phosphorus is an excellent reserve that will strengthen the bones. This is also a great hack for those people who are on a keto diet that is dairy free.
If you consume a diet that contains 10% of calories that come from chia seeds, for about 13 months, then there is an increase in the muscles of the intestines and the bone density as well, as per a study conducted on rats.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Chia Seeds:
Chia seeds are loaded with omega-3 acids, but these are in the plant form which is called the ALA. The human body can’t digest this ALA, but can convert it into DHA. Which makes it helpful and useful for the body. The ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 is 1:1, which makes it very helpful to restore the balance in modern day diets.
- Excellent for Weight Loss:
If you look at the composition of chia seeds, you will discover that they are excellent sources of fats, protein and fiber. That goes to say that this food is satiating, which means it won’t make you feel hungry for a long time. They give you the feeling that you are full and prevent you from excessive snacking, which can be a great help if you are trying to lose weight.
Keto Friendly Chia Seed Recipe
Now that we have discussed the health benefits and advantages of eating chia seeds, why not look at an easy to make and very filling chia seed recipe? Which will be keto friendly, and will make for a nice dessert as well.
We are going to share the recipe for a keto chia seed pudding, and it is very easy to make. We have shared the recipe below.
The Ingredient List:
- 2 cups of coconut milk or heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
- Vanilla stevia
- Option 1: 1 or 2 ounces of low carb blackberries
- Option 2: 2 scoops of collagen peptides
How to make it:
- Firstly, you will need to thoroughly mix the chia seeds and the milk with the collagen peptides, and you will need to cover it and let it chill in the fridge overnight.
- Secondly, you will need to add the fruit and the stevia, and you can add more liquid as you deem fit.
- Thirdly, you will need to let it chill in the fridge and store it in an airtight container. This will last you a whole week.
The answer to the question relating to chia seeds being keto friendly or not, is yes. As we have seen these seeds are rich in fats, proteins and dietary fiber.
This is particularly helpful for those who are looking for food options that are filling, and have less carb contents as well. Having said that, these seeds make you feel full for a longer period of time, and they prevent you from overeating and even untimely snacking as well.
They contain a lot of health benefits as well, as many studies and research have shown that chia seeds have been vital to the proper and fit functioning of the body. They regulate blood pressure, and even stabilize the blood sugar levels as well.
This is particularly helpful for those people who are on diets that are very high in carbs, and those high carbs bring about horrible consequences such as heart diseases, type-2 diabetes and even cancers.
Chia seeds have been around since the Aztec civilization, and they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. If you are looking for a way to spice things up in the keto diet, then know that this is an excellent hack, as you can add it to literally any food, be it lunch, breakfast or even dessert.
We recommend trying the chia pudding, as it is one of the best recipes on the internet, and it is pretty simple to make as well!
If you'd like to learn more about keto friendly foods, please click one of the links below!