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Are Chia Seeds Keto? How to Eat Chia Seeds on Keto?

Are chia seeds keto? Yes, you can have these nutritious seeds on the Keto diet as they contain low levels of carbohydrates and good amounts of fat and protein. They are also good sources of fiber, which helps you feel full and lower your caloric intake. They also bring various health benefits and can be a great part of the following recipes.

Are Chia Seeds Keto? How to Eat Chia Seeds on Keto?
Highlights
  • The Keto diet allows low-carb, high-fat, high-protein food sources to induce and maintain ketosis.
  • Chia seeds are Keto-friendly and can be part of many Kato dishes.
  • Chia seeds contain various nutrients, including fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, etc.
  • Consuming chia seeds can help reduce inflammation, regulate blood sugar levels, support bone and heart health, boost weight loss, and keep electrolytes balanced.

What Is Keto?

The Keto or Ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat approach to induce ketosis and help reduce inflammation, boost weight loss, improve digestive health, and enhance mental performance.

Ketosis is a process where your body shifts to burning fat (ketones) instead of carbohydrates (glucose) to produce energy. To reach this state, you need to consume high levels of fat, moderate protein, and low levels of carbohydrates, meaning that your daily caloric intake should comprise 70-75% fat, 20-25% protein, and 5-10% carbs.

To balance this ratio, you need to limit or avoid:

  • Carbohydrates: Sugar and sugary foods, grains (wheat, rice, oats), starchy vegetables (potatoes, corn), legumes (beans, lentils)
  • Fruits: High-sugar fruits (bananas, grapes, oranges)
  • Processed Foods
  • Beverages: Sugary drinks (sodas, fruit juices), alcoholic beverages (some, like beer, are higher in carbs)
  • Trans Fats
  • Low-fat or Diet Dairy Products

But you can consume the following foods and drinks:

  • Healthy Fats: Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, butter and ghee, nuts and seeds, fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines)
  • Protein Sources: Meat (beef, poultry, pork), fish and sea foods, eggs, full-fat dairy products (cheese, yogurt, cream)
  • Low-Carb Vegetables: Leafy greens (spinach, kale, lettuce), cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage), bell peppers, zucchini, avocado
  • Dairy Products: Full-fat cheeses, heavy cream, sour cream, cream cheese
  • Beverages: Water, unsweetened tea and coffee, bone broth
  • Herbs and Spices: Most herbs and spices are low in carbs and can be used for flavor.

One of the foods allowed on the Keto diet is chia seeds.

Learn More: A Low-Carb Diet: Your Free Beginner Guide

Are Chia Seeds Keto-Friendly?

Many people ask, “Are chia seeds Keto?”. Yes, we can consider chia seeds Keto-friendly, as they are low in net carbs and high in fiber, healthy fats, and protein. Chia seeds are tiny black or white seeds derived from the Salvia Hispanica plant, native to Mexico and Guatemala.

They have become popular in low-carb and ketogenic diets due to their nutritional profile.

Learn More: Is Cream Cheese Keto? The Best Keto Cream Cheese

Chia Seeds Nutritional Value

Chia seeds are packed with various nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. The following table shows the nutrients in 1 oz. (28.35 grams) of dried chia seeds [1].

Nutrients in Chia SeedsAmount
Calories 138 kcal
Carbohydrates 11.9 g
Protein 4.68 g
Fat 8.7 g
Fiber 9.75 g
Calcium 179 mg
Iron 2.19 mg
Magnesium 95 mg
Phosphorus 244 mg
Potassium 115 mg
Sodium 4.54 mg
Zinc 1.3 mg
Copper 0.262 mg
Manganese 0.771 mg
Selenium 15.6 mg
Vitamin C 0.454 mg
Thiamin 0.176 mg
Riboflavin 0.048 mg
Niacin 2.5 mg
Folate 13.9 mg
Vitamin A 15.3 mg
Vitamin E 0.142 mg
Fatty Acids (Total Saturated) 0.944 g
Fatty Acids (Total Monounsaturated) 0.655 g
Fatty Acids (Total Polyunsaturated) 6.72 g
Fatty Acids (Total Trans) 0.04 g
Cholesterol 0 mg

Although chia seeds contain low levels of carbohydrates, two other seeds allowed on the Keto diet also contain low levels of carbohydrates. The following table compares 100 grams of chia seeds with flaxseeds and sunflower seeds [2] [3].

SeedCarbohydrates
Chia Seeds (dried) 42.1 g
Flaxseeds (ground) 34.4 g
Sunflower Seeds (raw) 24.5 g

As chia seeds contain a rich diversity of nutrients, they can bring different health benefits, including having anti-inflammatory features, helping blood sugar regulation, improving heart and bone health, supporting weight management, and balancing electrolytes.

Learn More: A Zero-Carb Diet: All You Need to Know

'Meat saved our lives': These people lost 200 lbs and healed 5 common chronic diseases with Carnivore.

The Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

Consuming chia seeds in your Keto-friendly dishes and drinks can have the following main health benefits.

Chia Seeds Help Reduce Inflammation

As chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, especially alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), they contain anti-inflammatory properties [4] [5] [6].

Chronic inflammation is one of the root causes of various health problems, including [7]:

  • Some cancers
  • Mental illnesses like depression
  • Autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis
  • Cardiovascular diseases like high blood pressure and heart disease
  • Metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes
  • Lung diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma
  • Gastrointestinal disorders like inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis
  • Neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease

Also, chia seeds contain antioxidants that help protect the body's cells from damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants are necessary for decreasing inflammation and preventing chronic diseases [8].

Chia Seeds Help Regulate Blood Sugar Levels

Chia seeds are rich in soluble fiber, which can have positive effects on stabilizing blood sugar levels. It does so by slowing down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, which prevents blood sugar spikes and crashes [9] [10].

Learn More: Are Sunflower Seeds Keto? 5 Ways to Add Them to Your Diet

Chia Seeds Can Improve Heart Health

A 2021 study on the effects of chia seeds on type 2 diabetes showed that participants with diabetes, hypertension, usual diets, physical activity, and medications experienced significant reductions in systolic blood pressure when consuming 40 g/d of chia seeds for 12 weeks [11].

Also, omega-3 fatty acids and fiber content in chia seeds can help improve heart health by reducing risk factors like high cholesterol and high blood pressure [12] [13].

Learn More: The Keto Liquid Diet: Benefits, Side Effects, and Meal Plan

Chia Seeds Can Support Bone Health

Chia seeds can have positive effects on bone health as they are a good source of calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, which are essential minerals for maintaining strong and healthy bones [14] [15] [16].

Chia Seeds Can Help Manage Weight

The protein, fiber, and healthy fat content of chia seeds provide a feeling of fullness, which means consuming fewer calories, leading to weight control.

A 2017 study on the effects of chia seeds on weight loss showed that consuming chia seeds as a mid-morning snack can provide satiety [17]

Another 2017 study on the effects of chia seeds on obese and overweight diabetic patients indicated that chia seeds can promote weight loss, improve obesity-related risk factors, and maintain glycemic control [18].

Chia Seeds Help Hydration and Electrolyte Balance

Since chia seeds can absorb water and form a gel-like consistency, they can help with hydration and electrolyte balance, which is especially important for athletes or those needing sustained energy.

Chia seeds are also suitable to be used as the main ingredient for high-energy sports gels [19].

Summary

Chia seeds can help reduce inflammation, regulate blood sugar levels, improve heart and bone health, manage weight, and keep electrolyte balance.

So, to benefit from all the positive features of chia seeds, you need to know how to eat them on a Keto diet.

Learn More: High-Protein, Low-Carb Breakfast Without Eggs: 15 Recipes

5 Keto-Friendly Chia Seeds Breakfast Recipes

To easily use chia seeds in your Keto breakfast dishes, you can use the following recipes. The average nutrients you can get from each recipe will follow. Also, you can find various low-carb recipes by checking these Carnivore diet recipes

Keto Chia Seed Pudding

Here are the ingredients and instructions to make yummy Keto chia seed pudding.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond (coconut) milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch of stevia sweetener
  • Optional toppings: berries, unsweetened coconut flakes, chopped nuts

Instructions:

  1. Mix chia seeds, almond milk, vanilla extract, and sweetener in a bowl.
  2. Stir well and let it sit for at least 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Stir again and add your favorite toppings.
  4. Enjoy!

Keto Chia Seed Breakfast Bowl

To make a Keto chia seed breakfast bowl, you only need the following ingredients and instructions.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • Some stevia sweetener

Instructions:

  1. Mix chia seeds, Greek yogurt, almond milk, cocoa powder, and sweetener in a bowl.
  2. Let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Top with a dollop of almond butter and serve.

Keto Chia Seed Smoothie

Prepare the ingredients below and follow the simple instructions provided to make a delicious Keto chia seed smoothie.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup frozen berries (e.g., raspberries, blueberries)
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • Some stevia sweetener
  • Ice cubes (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Blend chia seeds, almond milk, frozen berries, almond butter, and sweetener until smooth.
  2. Add ice cubes if desired and blend again.
  3. Pour into a glass and enjoy.

Keto Chia Seed and Coconut Pancakes

Here are the ingredients and instructions you need to make Keto chia seed and coconut pancakes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Some stevia sweetener

Instructions:

  1. Mix chia seeds, coconut flour, eggs, coconut milk, baking powder, and sweetener in a bowl.
  2. Let the batter rest for a few minutes.
  3. Cook pancakes on a griddle or skillet until golden brown on both sides.
  4. Serve hot and enjoy!

Keto Chia Seed and Almond Breakfast Cookies

You only need to prepare six ingredients and follow 3 steps to make Keto chia seed and almond breakfast cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1 egg
  • Some stevia sweetener

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Mix almond flour, chia seeds, melted coconut oil, almond butter, egg, and sweetener.
  3. Form the dough into cookies and place them on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
  5. Let cool for a couple of minutes, and enjoy.

Learn More: The Best High-Volume Low-Calorie Foods for Weight Loss

The following table summarizes the average calories, fat, protein, fiber, and sugar you can get from the above recipes. Just remember that changing ingredients will change the nutrient level.

RecipesCaloriesFatProteinFiberSugarCarbohydrates
Keto Chia Seed Pudding 170 kcal 12 g 6 g 9 g 0 g 15 g
Keto Chia Seed Breakfast Bowl 270 kcal 17 g 12 g 8 g 4 g 20 g
Keto Chia Seed Smoothie 230 kcal 13 g 7 g 10 g 3 g 17 g
Keto Chia Seed and Coconut Pancakes 320 kcal 23 g 13 g 11 g 2 g 19 g
Keto Chia Seed and Almond Breakfast Cookies 90 kcal 8 g 3 g 1 g 1 g 5 g

Summary

The answer to the question, “Are chia seeds Keto?” is yes. You can and should include chia seeds in your diet, especially a Keto diet, as they are packed with essential nutrients.

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