Why Flax Seeds Are A Waste Of Money

Flaxseed is widely touted as a health food- it contains fiber, and is a great source of Omega 3’s, which is great if you are vegetarian or don’t like fish. Flax seeds aren’t cheap though- a tiny container of them from the grocery store can be $8.00. I always wondered if the seeds have any real health benefit: I figured they were so tiny that they were passing through people’s digestive systems undigested. So I turned to Google.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “whole flaxseed may pass through your intestine undigested, which means you won’t get all the benefits.” So any time you sprinkle them on yogurt, hummus, muffin batter, etc., you’re not really doing yourself (or your wallet) a favor.

The Mayo Clinic mentioned one thing I’d never heard about flax: “Because some unripe and raw flaxseed can have certain toxins, keep serving sizes to less than 50 grams.”

That doesn’t sound great. (My favorite healthy foods are somehow always ruined by something telling me that they are actually bad for you [inorganic arsenic in rice, etc]).

So how much ground flaxseed (the kind that actually gets digested) equals 50 grams? I did some more online digging and found that 1 tablespoon of ground flax equals 6.6 grams. So you can safely eat up to 7.5 tablespoons at a time  (50/6.6 equals roughly 7.5 tablespoons) of ground flax.

Though I don’t know why you’d want to eat that much- it’s pretty dry stuff to begin with. But back to the cost part.

Flax seeds are pretty expensive, but you can buy a 3 lb bag of cold-milled, non-GMO ground flaxseed at Costco for about $8.00, the same cost of the tiny container of seeds from the grocery store.

So there you go- more info than you probably ever wanted to know about flax. 🙂

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