There's a lot of talk about the benefits of flaxseed these days. Considered an excellent way to naturally lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and thus minimize the risk of heart disease, flaxseed can easily be incorporated into the daily diet, without a lot of fuss. Here are some suggestions on how to consume the right amount of flaxseed to reap its benefits.
Use ground flaxseed rather than whole flaxseed or flaxseed oil. Often, whole seeds simply move through the system and are eliminated from the body without doing a thing to the amount of bad cholesterol in your bloodstream. Flaxseed oil does have a nice dose of omega-3 fatty acids, but does not provide the bulk you need. Your body will digest the ground flaxseed better, allowing you to obtain more benefits.
Sprinkle the ground flaxseed on your cereal. Whether you enjoy cold or hot cereals, ground flaxseed works great. A tablespoon added to oatmeal not only enhances the flavor, but also the texture. And since one tablespoon of ground flaxseed provides 1.6 grams of omega-3 fatty acids, you are getting well within the range of omega-3 that many health experts recommend.
Make a tasty condiment. Add that tablespoon of ground flaxseed to your favorite mustard or low-cholesterol mayonnaise and use it as a spread on sandwiches. The slightly crunch texture will add a bit of fun to the sandwich, while also helping you get what you need to lower your bad cholesterol.
Have a healthy mid-afternoon snack. Mix a tablespoon of ground flaxseed into a cup of your favorite yogurt. The crunch and the bulk will help the yogurt ease those afternoon food cravings, which will make it easier to stay away from snacks that offer lots of calories but no real nutrition.
You can also mix ground flaxseed into baked goods; it does not change the taste or the consistency of the food, and you still get the benefits.
If you want to bake, but hesitate to use eggs, try adding one tablespoon of ground flaxseed to three tablespoons of water. This will replace one large egg in the recipe. Keep in mind that if you omit the eggs and substitute with the ground flaxseed, it will alter the texture somewhat, giving the baked good a little more of a gummy consistency.