Are Chia and Hemp Seeds Worth the Hype to Bariatric Patients ?
There always seems to be a new “It” food – have you noticed ?
Over the past few years we have all listened a lot to the magic powers of quinoa, kale, turmeric – and the list goes on and on.
So what exactly are 2017’s IT FOODS ?
What I have come to believe in 2017 is that the “it foods” among our bariatric patients seem to be chia and hemp seeds !
These super foods are most of the times foods which the rest of the world have been eating for centuries but only just now are they being marketed in North America. And, they are always advertised as “perfect for you” foods with the promise of curing every woe and making you happier and healthier than you have ever been. These sorts of marketing campaigns make you feel like you have been missing out on this precious ingredients and that you need to include this perfect food in your diet every single day.
As nutritionists, we are trained to be skeptical of these sorts of general promises.
So a lot of our patients in 2017 have been just loading up on chia and hemp seeds. Some of them don’t know why they are doing it other than all the “hype” they have heard and others are trying to meet their protein goals. Bariatric post ops are sharing how they sprinkle the stuff on everything – such as on their yogurt, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, sandwiches and soups and smoothies.
These seeds are pretty awesome but are they being misrepresented as being high in protein ? Yikes, you may have been thinking that they were higher in protein than most foods. It’s time to talk about these seeds and their “protein to calorie” ratio.
16 grams of Hemp Seeds = 6 grams of protein and 95 calories
35 grams of Chia Seeds = 6 grams of protein and 176 calories
8.5 grams of Whey Powder = 6 grams of protein and 30 calories.
Can you see what this is telling us ?
This is telling us that whey protein powder can give you the same amount of protein for much less calories.
DOES THIS MEAN IS SHOULD STOP USING CHIA AND SEEDS ?
THE ANSWER IS NO !
Chia and hemp seeds have so many beneficial reasons to consume them ! Just don’t use them to grab that additional 20 grams of protein that you are missing from your day. If you are to add 20 grams of protein using chia seeds, that would add a HUGE 585 calories to your day also.
Eat 1 serving of seeds per day (see the serving sizes above).
Chia and Hemp Seeds are:
High in fibre, high in several macronutrients such as iron, zinc, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, vitamin , omega 3’s and omega 6’s.
The bottom line is that super healthy eating is not only determined by one “IT” food or super seed – As always the solution is moderation and variety.
Allow the bariatric experts to help you if you need support. Please reach out every opportunity you get with every question that you have – it’s not just our work to assist you. We celebrate in seeing you succeed.
If you have a regain or a stall, you can reach out to the “Bariatric Food Experts” for the BARIATRIC RESET PROGRAM.
About the Author: Sheri Burke is a Nutritionist and Bariatric Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery patients for 10 years and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post bariatric patients. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teens.
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