Keto diets have a restricted carb intake, which may lead people to think their food options are limited. This is because many foods in a regular diet are high in carbs and people consume it without giving it a second thought.
This is why people on the keto diet may think they can only consume a small amounts of foods in respect to the carbs content. However, this isn’t entirely true. There are plenty of foods that you can add to your keto diets as long as you keep your carbs intake in check.
Since keto diets only allow small amounts of carbs per day, you will have to carefully add foods to your diet plan. Talking of keto, nuts and seeds are usually considered good for keto diets. But, what about flaxseed? Is flaxseed keto friendly? Let’s dig in and find out.
What Is Flaxseed?
Flaxseed is a plant based food generally used as a food and fiber crop. Flax was commonly harvested in ancient Egypt and parts of China. Initially it played a major role in Ayurvedic medicines for hundreds of years.
It is also referred to as Linum usitatissimum. Flaxseeds are available in different forms including seeds, powder, oil, capsules, tablets and flour.
Flaxseeds are rich in dietary fibers, omega 3 fatty acids like alpha-linolenic acid, antioxidants, and so much more. Due to this flaxseed is also called a functional food.
Functional foods comprise of foods that are used to improve and provide a boost to your health. But that’s not all, flaxseed are also rich in phytoestrogens like lignans. Lignans resemble the hormone estrogen.
Ideally, flaxseed has plenty of uses. Some people consume it before eating which helps them feel less hungry due to the presence of fiber in flaxseed. This also helps in limiting the amount of cholesterol consumption in your body.
Due to the nutritional contents in flaxseed, it is also used for the following:
- Treatment of constipation
- Diabetes control
- Regulating high cholesterol
- Kidney swelling, specifically in people suffering from lupus.
- Heart complications
As you can see, flaxseeds are extremely healthy and good for treating several health conditions. But to answer “is flaxseed keto”, let’s look at the nutritional properties of flaxseed.
Nutritional Properties Of Flaxseed:
According to the USDA, a single tablespoon (7 grams) of flaxseed contains the following nutrients:
|Total lipid (fats)||2.95 g|
|Total dietary fibers||1.91 g|
|Vitamin C||0.042 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.033 mg|
|Lutein + zeaxanthin||45.6 mcg|
|Vitamin E||0.022 mg|
As you can tell from the list, flaxseeds are extremely nutrient dense. A single tablespoon of flaxseed can provide you with high amounts of essential minerals, vitamins, proteins, fats, and plenty of other nutrients in small amounts.
Due to the nutrient dense nature of flaxseed, these are widely consumed for improving overall health and fighting off diseases. Now that you know what flaxseed contains, let’s look at whether or not flaxseed is keto friendly.
Can Flaxseed Be Included In A Ketogenic Diet?
Yes! Flaxseeds are keto friendly and can be included in the ketogenic diet. They are low in carbs and contain only 2.02 grams in a single tablespoon (7g). What’s interesting is that the carbs in flaxseed mostly come from fibers which can be excellent for your health.
Flaxseeds are also rich in healthy fats and a good source of protein as well. They are filled with essential minerals and vitamins thus making them a whole food and nutrient dense as well.
Consuming whole foods on the ketogenic diet is known to lower the risks of harmful health complications like cancer, cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes. Moreover, they are also in-line with your weight loss goals.
More importantly, unlike other foods, flaxseeds are not highly processed. They are minimally processed and contain no harmful additives like sweeteners, refined oils and other ingredients that are not safe on the ketogenic diet.
Due to this, you can safely add flaxseeds to your diet and benefit from the high omega-3 fatty content of flaxseeds. More on the health benefits is discussed in the later section of this article. For now, let’s look at how flaxseeds compare to other ketogenic nuts.
Chia seeds – Chia seeds greatly resemble flaxseeds and contain 2.2 g carbohydrates with 9.6 grams of fiber per ounce. Chia seeds can also be consumed in a number of ways by adding them as an ingredient to different foods.
Almonds – Almonds are also a type of nut and contain high amounts of fibers. They contain 2.5 g carbs and over 3.5 g of fiber per oz.
Pecans – Nuts are excellent for the ketogenic diet. Pecans contain only 1.2 g carbohydrates per ounce making them one of the best options to add to the ketogenic diet like flaxseeds.
Compared to these nuts, flaxseeds provide way too many health benefits, specifically the omega-3 fatty acid content present in them. Moreover, they also contain only a small amount of carbs which is perfect for the ketogenic diet.
Nutritional Benefits Of Flaxseed On A Keto Diet:
While flaxseeds might not appear like they contain any health benefits, but they are extremely beneficial for you. Considering the fact that you’re limited to a small number of carbs on the keto diet, it is crucial to add healthy foods like flaxseeds to your keto diet.
Here are some health benefits that you can receive from consuming flaxseed in grounded form on keto diets:
1. High In Fibers:
Flaxseeds are a rich source of dietary fibers while being low in total carbs. The high amount of fibers in flaxseeds can substantially improve your digestive health – thus allowing your body to digest and foods better.
It can also help with constipation which many people suffer from after starting keto diets for the first time. Adding a tablespoon of grounded flaxseed over your favorite keto meals like salads or soup will help with your constipation and improve the efficiency of your digestive system.
2. Helps Improve Cardiovascular Health:
One of the many reasons why people love flaxseeds is that they contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. It is associated with lowering the risks of cardiovascular diseases and helps improve your overall cardiovascular health.
So, by adding just a tablespoon of grounded flaxseed to your keto meals, you will be able to have a healthy functioning heart and avoid suffering from heart diseases in the long run.
3. Flaxseeds Can Help Lower High Blood Pressure:
Flaxseeds are essentially considered antihypertensive. This meant they help lower high blood pressure and regulate it at normal levels. This is excellent for people that are struggling with their blood pressure.
According to a study, a group of people started consuming 30 grams (approximately 4 tablespoons) of grounded flaxseed over the course of 6 months. This helped lower their blood pressure levels by 10 and 7 mmHg.
In the long run, regulated blood pressure will protect you from cardiovascular complications that would otherwise have a drastic impact on your life.
4. Flaxseeds Can Help Lower The Risk Of Cancers:
Flaxseeds contain high amounts of lignans. These are antioxidants that can help in lowering the risk of certain cancers like:
- Breast cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Skin cancer
- Colon cancer
Similar to this, the lignans in flaxseeds are also beneficial in lowering your cholesterol levels (LDB – bad cholesterol).
5. Flaxseeds Can Aid In Your Weight Loss Goals:
Keto diets are meant for lowering your overall weight. Adding flaxseeds to your keto diet will substantially help in achieving your weight loss goals due to the fiber and lipids found in flaxseeds.
Furthermore, it can also help in lowering your blood sugar as well, which is usually common with many keto foods.
Preparing Flaxseed On A Keto Diet:
Flaxseeds are one of those foods that can be added to a number of foods. These include:
- Baked goods
It can be added to most of your favorite keto meals without it affecting the overall taste of your meals. In terms of fluid meals, it will thicken the consistency of your drinks depending on how much of flaxseeds you add. This can be desired for many fluids and will greatly improve your drinks.
Moreover, since flaxseeds are seeds and not grains, it will also improve the texture of your keto baked foods. To further add, flaxseeds are also gluten-free which makes it an excellent substitute for wheat.
Keep in mind, when adding flaxseed to your keto meals, make sure to consider appropriate quantities such that you do not affect your carbs intake. You’re only allowed to consume up to 30 – 50 grams of carbs on the keto diet. Anything more than this will risk ketosis in your body.
Here are some ways you can incorporate flaxseed into keto-approved recipes:
Keto-Friendly Flaxseed Recipes:
What’s amazing about flaxseed is that they can be added to tens of different keto friendly meals. Here are some of the top picks that you can consider making:
On a side note, you should prefer buying whole flax. Grind the seeds yourself as it will ensure freshness of the seeds. If you opt for pre-milled flax make sure to refrigerate them once you open the packs. This is because milled flax can oxidize and may affect its overall profile.
Keto Flaxseed Crackers:
Ingredients (measured in bowls):
- Milled flaxseed – For making keto flaxseed crackers, make sure to use milled or grounded form of flaxseeds. There are two types of flaxseed, brown and golden. You can add either of them in the recipe.
- Water – 1/3 cups or 80 ml. Ideally, lower the amount of water, crispier the crackers will be.
- Olive oil (optional) – Olive oil is an optional ingredient in this recipe but they can add a delicious flavor to the crackers.
- Salt and pepper – To taste.
- Take a large bowl and mix all of the ingredients using a spoon. When mixed, let the mixture sit for a few minutes such that the flaxseeds absorb the water content.
- After preparing the dough in a bowl, roll it into a ball. In case it feels sticky, you can sprinkle some grounded flaxseed over the dough to make it easy for you.
- Next, take 2 sheets of parchment paper with a thickness of approx. 3mm. Take the dough and roll it between the sheets.
- Afterwards, remove the top sheet. Fold the edges to create a rectangle and put it back on the rolled dough. You can repeat this process to get a better shape.
- Using a pizza cutter or any other cutter, cut it into squares. Ideally, they should be around 4 – 5 cm.
- Separate the off-cut leftovers and re-roll them.
- Next, bake the crackers while still on the parchment paper. The baking duration should be around 20 – 25 minutes or until the crackers turn into a golden color.
- Let it cool and enjoy keto flaxseed crackers!
Keto Flaxseed Bread
- ¾ cup / 75 grams coconut flour
- ½ cup / 60 grams grounded flaxseed or flax meal
- 3 eggs – large sized
- 3 egg whites – large sized
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 140 ml / water (10 tbsp)
- Sea salt – to taste.
- Set the temperature of the oven to 180 degrees C or 356 degrees F and let the oven preheat.
- Take the eggs along with egg whites and whisk them thoroughly using a food mixer or processor. Continue the process until the eggs are foamy.
- In the same bowl containing foamy eggs, add the rest of the ingredients. Blend the mixture thoroughly until you have a consistent textured dough.
- Let it sit for a couple of minutes for the ingredients to set in and the flax can absorb the water content.
- Take an oiled pan or alternatively you can also line baking paper in a pan. Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for 30 – 35 minutes till the top turns into a brown color. A general rule of thumb to determine if it is prepared is to insert a knife into the bread. If it comes out clean, your bread will be done.
Keto Flaxseed Chips:
- 1 cup – Flaxseed (Golden or Brown)
- 2 teaspoons – Garlic Powder
- 2 teaspoons – Onion Powder
- 2 teaspoons – Chili Powder Mix (Cayenne, Paprika, chili) (Optional ingredient)
- ½ cups – Water
- Put all of the ingredients into a large bowl and mix them thoroughly.
- When the dough is prepared, let it sit for 10 minutes so that the ingredients set in.
- Set the temperature of the oven to 200 degrees C or 400 degrees F and let it preheat.
- Next, take the dough and roll out the dough in 2 parchment papers.
- Take the top layer of the parchment paper carefully such that the dough doesn’t stick to the paper.
- Cut the dough into small chip sized pieces and place them along the parchment paper on a baking sheet.
- Set the timer of the oven to 10 – 15 minutes and let it bake.
- Once done, take out the chips and spread them on the baking tray again. Let them bake for another 10 – 15 minutes. Make sure to leave the oven door open to ensure the chips are crispy.
- Serve and enjoy!
Risks And Concerns Associated With Flaxseed On A Keto Diet:
Unfortunately, with any food there are certain risks and concerns. The same goes for flaxseeds as well regardless of the wide number of health benefits they come with. Here’s an insight into this.
High Fiber Content May Affect Your Health Adversely:
The first and foremost issue with flaxseed is the high fiber content. While it is good for your digestion, but if the amount is to be increased it may take a toll on your digestive system rather than helping it. It can cause:
The second concerning issue is that in rare cases, some individuals might face allergic reactions to flaxseeds. Due to this, it is crucial to consider your allergic reactions if you suffer from any adverse effects after consuming flaxseed.
Flaxseeds And Their Effect On Medications:
If you’re taking any medications like blood thinners or antiplatelet meds, flaxseed might interact with them and cause unwanted effects. This is because flaxseeds contain estrogen which may not be advisable for the people that are on hormone therapy.
Furthermore, you should also consult with your doctor before taking flaxseed during pregnancy.
When taking flaxseeds, it is crucial to consume at least an 8 oz. cup of water. This is to help with the fiber content and avoid dehydration issues in your body.
Possible Contaminations Like Pesticides:
Flaxseeds may be contaminated with environmental toxins like pesticides. It is crucial to ensure the flaxseeds you’re adding to your meals are not infested with pesticides. Otherwise, it would take a toll on your health.
Recommended Serving Size:
The max serving size of flaxseeds is 50 grams. Make sure to stay well under this limit and ensure you consider your net carbs consumption per day as well before adding flaxseeds in high amounts to your keto meals.
This will prevent the risk of you pushing yourself out of ketosis.
Alternatives To Flaxseed On A Keto Diet:
Flaxseeds can be a great addition to your but if you want to bring variety into your keto diet plan, here are some alternatives to flaxseed on a keto diet. These include:
- Hemp Seeds.
- Shelled Pumpkin Seeds.
- Brazil Nuts.
- Macadamia Nuts.
- Chia Seeds.
When incorporating nutrient dense foods and other keto friendly foods in your diet, make sure to account for the overall number of carbs per day. Similarly, you should also consider the nutrition in your keto foods to ensure you’re getting plenty of nutrients and meeting your daily requirements.
Conclusion – Is Flaxseed Keto?
Flaxseed is keto friendly and can be added to your keto friendly meals. There are a number of ways you can add flaxseed to your meals either by using it as an ingredient or simply sprinkling some grounded flaxseed over your favorite meals.
Flaxseeds are low in net carbs, and contain good amounts of fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals. More importantly, it contains omega-3 fatty acids which is why many people want to add flaxseed to their meals and benefit from it.
Flaxseeds are also beneficial for weight loss thus making it perfect for your weight loss goals on the ketogenic diets.
If you'd like to learn more about keto friendly foods, please click on one of the links below: