Kate Cornell was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in June of 2005. Since then, she has controlled diabetes through dietary changes, exercise, and, more recently, metformin. She shares her experiences and lessons learned here and on her blog, Kate's Sweet Success, which was named as one of the top diabetes blogs for 2015 by Healthline.com.
When I think of chia seeds I immediately hear the song from that commercial for green, furry plant “pets.” Lately, however, the chia seed is being touted as the next big health break-through, with claims of improved heart health, lower blood sugars and slimmer waistlines. Are they really that good for us?
In this Good Housekeeping article by Samantha Cassetty, M.S., R.D. we get to some of the truth behind these tiny seeds.
Potential Benefits of Chia Seeds
Weight loss: Foods that are filled with fiber and protein take longer to make their way through our digestive system. This not only helps you to feel full longer, but it can assist in keeping your glucose levels, well, level! Chia seeds have a boat-load of fiber and more protein than the same serving size of soy beans. This sounds good, but there aren’t many studies that show a proven weight loss benefit.
Anti-inflammatory? Although chia seeds do contain omega 3’s, they aren’t the same type of fatty acids that are found in fish. Apparently, not all omega 3’s are created equal and there is no evidence that chia seeds have any effect on inflammation.
Heart disease: Chia seeds also contain magnesium and potassium (more than a banana), which go a long way to help prevent heart issues. In fact, a study showed that eating more than an ounce of chia seeds each day helped reduce the risk of heart disease in people with type 2 diabetes.
Chia seeds pack 139 calories per serving so, while they may add some health benefits to your diet, don’t expect that adding them to your food will help to slim you down. The current science isn’t strong on whether or not chia seeds provide much in the way of health benefits, but it won’t hurt to try. Remember: everything in moderation.