Healthy Chia seed pudding for your weight loss.

Healthy Chia seed pudding for your weight loss.

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Overview

Remember those ch-ch-ch-chia commercials? Well, chia seeds have come a long way since the days of terracotta Chia “pets.” You’ve probably seen delicious-looking puddings and smoothies made with chia seeds popping up on your Instagram feed a lot recently.

Chia seeds have even been called a superfood in recent years. Claims abound about the health benefits, including that they may help you lose weight. But can they really help shrink your waistline? Read on to find out.

What are chia seeds?

Chia is actually a member of the mint family and native to Mexico. Chia seeds are consumed like whole grains, but they’re a pseudo grain. That means they’re the carbohydrate-rich seeds of a nongrass plant. When chia seeds encounter liquid, they expand and form a thick gel.

Chia seeds were said to be a staple of Aztec and Mayan diets, but were later banned because of their ritualistic religious use. Over the last century or so, they’ve enjoyed a minor following, but recently made a comeback on the market as a potential superfood.

Do chia seeds help you lose weight?

There are many assertions on the internet that chia seeds curb your appetite and promote weight loss. The running theory is that since chia seeds are filling and high in fiber, they keep you fuller longer. They may therefore help prevent overeating.

Two tablespoons of chia seedsTrusted Source have almost 10 grams of fiber. That’s around 40 percent of the recommended daily intake. Diets high in fiber have been linked to weight loss. According to 2015 researchTrusted Source, eating 30 grams of fiber daily may help you lose as much weight as if you followed a more complicated diet.

Here’s the catch, though. Research doesn’t back the hype. There are few human studies on chia seeds and weight loss. A 2009 study reviewed the effects of chia seeds on weight loss and disease risk factors.

For the study, 90 overweight or obese adults consumed either a placebo or 25 grams of chia seeds mixed with water before their first and last meals of the day. Unfortunately, the results showed no impact on body mass, body composition, or disease risk factors.

Chia seeds are also relatively high in calories and fat. Two tablespoons have 138 calories and 9 grams of fat (1 gram saturated). When used in moderation, chia seeds may help you feel more satisfied and less likely to eat too much. Still, if you eat too many throughout the day, you may go over your daily calorie limit.

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

Medically reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT — Written by Annette McDermott — Updated on March 7, 2019

Source: Healthline

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