Should You Try Chia?
While there's little evidence for the weight loss benefits of chia, it can be a nutritious addition to your diet. Nieman notes that people in his study tolerated it without any complaints for 12 weeks.
"Use chia seeds in foods, not as a supplement, but as an alternative to processed grains like white bread because it is a much healthier whole grain that is great-tasting in foods like muffins," suggests Michael Roizen, MD, co-author of You Staying Young.
In the book, Roizen and Mehmet Oz, MD, recommend two daily doses, each consisting of 20 grams (a little less than 2 tablespoons) of chia seeds. The authors also note that the antioxidant activity of chia seeds is higher than any whole food, even blueberries.
Is there any downside to chia? Ulbricht cautions that if you have food allergies (especially to sesame or mustard seeds) or are on high blood pressure medications or blood thinners, you should ask your health care provider before adding chia to your diet.
The Bottom Line on Chia
Enjoy chia seeds for their flavor and to boost the fiber, protein, calcium, antioxidants, and omega-3s in your diet. But don't expect a big weight loss boost.
Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet (or seed) for weight loss. If you want to lose weight, you'll need to follow a healthy, calorie-controlled diet and get more physical activity.