One important thing to know about the keto diet is the concept of net carbs. When calculating your carbohydrates in a keto diet, fiber is subtracted from carbohydrates to determine “net” carbohydrates.
Total Carbohydrates – Fiber = Net Carbs
So, if you determine that your total daily carbohydrates were about 60 grams, but you ate 42 grams of fiber, then your net carbs would be 18 grams; this means that you have stayed close to your carb goal, and will likely continue to burn fat (ketosis). In short, fiber is your friend while doing a keto diet.
This concept of net carbs is important when determining the keto-friendliness of flaxseed. Let’s take a closer look at the 3 reasons why flaxseed fits into a ketogenic diet.
#1 – Flaxseed is Low in Total Net Carbs
✅ Four tablespoons of flaxseed (¼ cup) contain 12 grams of carbohydrates and 11.2 grams of fiber (almost half of your daily fiber needs), meaning that ¼ cup of flaxseeds contains less than one gram of net carbohydrates! This is perfect for the ketogenic diet, as your total net carbs are usually very low (on a 1600 calorie ketogenic diet, 5% of your total calories from carbohydrates would be about 20 net carbohydrates).
✅ Fiber is very helpful and nutritionally beneficial; it has been shown to help control blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol levels, and helps to feed intestinal bacteria (as a prebiotic). Fiber is also a natural laxative, which can help to promote bowel regularity and prevent constipation. A diet rich in fiber can also help to reduce obesity in men and women.
✅ Fiber is considered a functional food, which is a food that has been scientifically proven to offer health benefits (as opposed to “superfoods”, which is a marketing term and has no regulations for use). For this reason alone, flaxseed should be added into all diets (not just the ketogenic diet!).
#2 – Flaxseed is Rich in Heart-Healthy Fats
✅ As we all probably know, the majority of calories consumed in a ketogenic diet come from fat. In a 1600 calorie diet, this means that you would need to eat about 133 grams of fat. That can seem very overwhelming! You could get that by eating a stick and a half of butter…or, you could vary your diet by consuming nutritious, heart-healthy forms of fat, like flaxseed!
✅ Four tablespoons of flaxseed (¼ cup) contain 17.2 grams of fat, which is 154 calories (each gram of fat contains 9 calories of energy). That is over 10% of your total daily fat in one simple handful of seed! The fat is largely unsaturated and can be the best source of Omega-3 fatty acids for those who don’t consume fish.
✅ What’s more, flax is rich in ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), which has been shown to slow the growth of cancer cells and reduce the size of cancerous tumors.
#3 – Flaxseed Contains High-Quality Protein
✅ Four tablespoons of flaxseed contain 7.6 grams of protein. That’s nearly 10% of your daily protein in just ¼ cup of seeds!
✅ They are high in arginine and glutamine, which are great for heart health and boosting your immune system. Two more amino acids (the building blocks of protein), cysteine and methionine are awesome at reducing the risk for cancer!
✅ What’s more, the protein in flaxseeds can help to control the growth of harmful fungus (no one wants that in their body), including Candida albicans.2
Examples of Low-Carb Meals with Flax Seed
Here are a few ways you can incorporate flaxseed into your keto diet:
- Keto Breakfast Parfait
– ¼ cup of flaxseeds
– 1 container plain Icelandic-style yogurt
– ¼ cup blueberries
Nutritional Value: 321 calories, 17g fat, 23g protein, 12g fiber, 22g carbs (10 net carbs)
- Keto Power Smoothie
– ¼ cup of flaxseeds
– 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
– ½ avocado
– 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (unsweetened)
– 1 cup spinach
Nutritional Value: 389 calories, 32g fat, 13g protein, 20g fiber, 23g carbs (3 net carbs)
- Amped-Up Keto Salmon Salad
– ¼ cup of flaxseeds
– 2 cups mixed greens
– 4 oz salmon
– ½ avocado
– 1 hard-boiled egg
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
Nutritional Value: 651 calories, 48g fat, 38g protein, 16g fiber, 21g carbs (5 net carbs)
Is flaxseed keto-friendly?
Flaxseed is keto-friendly because it is high in fiber and low in total net carbs (1 gram of net carb per 32 grams of serving). It is also rich in protein, heart-healthy fats, and antioxidants.
What is the best brand of flaxseed for keto?
The best that we have tried so far is the organic ground flaxseed from Viva Naturals.
What is the nutrition profile of flaxseed?
A quarter-cup serving of flaxseed contains 194 calories, 11 grams of carbohydrates (10 grams from fiber, 0.5 grams from sugar), 7 grams of protein, and 15 grams of fat.
What are the best keto-friendly recipes using flaxseed?
What are the health benefits of eating flaxseed?
First, flaxseed can help promote digestive health and prevent constipation since it is high in fiber; Second, it can help slow down the growth of cancer cells and reduce the size of cancerous tumors since it is rich in ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). Lastly, flaxseed can help boost the immune system and improve heart health since it is high in both arginine and glutamine.