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HFG guide to LSA

LSA is a ground mixture of linseeds, sunflower seeds and almonds. LSA is readily available in health food stores and can now be found in most supermarkets (find ready-ground LSA in the baking aisle, or with the seeds and nuts).

The blend of the two seeds with ground almonds creates a tasty, nutty mixture which is a source of essential fats, B vitamins and fibre.

The essential fats are those which the body is unable to make on its own and therefore need to be included in the diet. This includes omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Linseeds are a major component of LSA (about 50 per cent), and provide the majority of the omega-3 fatty acids. The omega-3 in linseed is known as ALA or short-chain omega-3 fatty acids. Some of these can be converted in the body to the longer-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are associated with health benefits, but the conversion rate is small (0.2-8 per cent for EPA and 0.05-4 per cent for DHA). So it’s important to know that a serving of LSA (one tablespoon or so) contributes little to the body’s recommended daily intake (RDI) for long-chain omega-3.

Two tablespoons of LSA provide 3g fibre (a similar amount to about two slices of whole grain toast), which can go some way to help acheive RDI fibre targets (25-28g/day for women, 30-38g/day for men).

Historically, LSA has been commonly used by vegetarians, because when it is combined with grains in breakfast cereals, bread and rice, it can help make a complete protein. But LSA can also provide a taste and nutrient boost to meals, snacks and smoothies.

Add one or two tablespoons to cereal, on top of porridge, to yoghurt or smoothies, over salads, or add LSA to homemade breads, muffins, biscuits or slices.

As the linseeds, sunflower seeds and almonds are all ground, they can easily go rancid. Be sure to store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Did you know? Linseed is also known as flaxseed. There are two basic varieties of this seed: brown seeds and the yellow or golden varieties.


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