Flax: A Marketing Gimmick Or The Real Deal?
If you look around in your grocery store these days, you’ll see a wide range of products that tout the fact that they’re healthy because they are fortified with flax and/or flax seeds, such as tortilla chips, cereals, breads, baked goods, and more. The question is, does this really mean all of these products are healthier?
Flax in Two Forms
Let’s start by discussing the actual health benefits of flax. Flax is an excellent source of fiber and Omega 3 fats, a.k.a. “the healthy good-for-you-fat.” These fats actually help you lower your cholesterol, but like all food, should still be eaten in moderation and balance. According to the National Cancer Institute, flax also has potential cancer fighting properties, although further study is needed.
Flax and all of its nutritional benefits can be absorbed in the body in two ways. It can either be ground up or sprinkled into foods, or it can be used as flax seed oil. However, flax seed oil has a very delicate chemical nature. Because of this, it must remain refrigerated and lasts only approximately 90 days. This oil can be used as a topping on vegetables or added to salads and dressings. However, it cannot be cooked.
Pure Marketing Gimmickry
In their whole form, flax seeds cannot be digested by the body, and therefore offer no nutritional value. That’s why when you see whole flax seeds in tortilla chips, breads, cereals, etc...it is truly a marketing gimmick. Many consumers do not realize that the seeds are indigestible in their whole form, and therefore, processed food companies try to manipulate people into believing their products are healthier just because they have whole flax seeds. But now you know the truth, so don’t be fooled. Spread the word!
Just The Flax
Did this article help you get your flax straight? Comment away!
My passion is to help you live your healthiest and most harmonious life, but in a way that’s realistic and practical for you as a unique individual on this planet. My philosophy is all about “balance,” never a diet since a diet is not sustainable for life, aka Kill The Diet.