french bread


No to refined Flour...

If you have read some of the other pages in this site, you’ll know some of the issues I have against refined flours. Basically, the nutrients are stripped out, and then a handful are added back in, resulting in too much of some, and too little of others.

When flour is refined, it is not just bran that is removed. The wheat germ, an important part of the grain containing oils and the nutrients in the grain that are responsible for the potential for life and growth in the grain, is removed also. The remaining white starch is relatively devoid of nutritional variety.

What is left of the grain is little more than a bit of simple carbohydrate, which converts so rapidly to sugar in the body that it is not far different from eating sugar directly. Addition of preservatives and chemicals does not help the situation any, nor does the addition of supplementary vitamins and minerals. They are added back in unnatural amounts and proportions, and only a small amount of the total number are added back in.

Added nutrients also may not be in the most digestible forms.

The problem I have with refined flour is not just that it is not a healthy food… I mean, that is pretty evident to ME, anyway. The problem I have with it is that it is EVERYWHERE. I cannot escape it! If I buy a meal anywhere that is already prepared, it will have white flour in it. I prefer whole wheat, and it simply is not available many places. Pretty pathetic.

When you select “healthier” choices in a restaurant, you may not have much choice. If they say they have a whole grain option, you pretty much have to trust that it actually is. When you choose things from the grocery store shelf you can read the label and make a choice based on actual ingredients. But you have to know what you are choosing!

•100% whole wheat (farine complete in French) means just that.
•“Wheat flour” often means white flour.
•“Multi-grain” means some whole grain, some white flour.
•“Whole grain” means some whole grain content, but just how much varies from package to package.
•“Low Carb” means that they have refined and processed it MORE, not less.

Read the ingredient label to be sure, items with no flour except “whole wheat flour” are best, next best are those with “whole wheat flour” first, and “wheat flour” after. In our world, you practically cannot get away from it entirely, but a diet of predominantly healthier foods WILL make enough of a difference to be worth the effort.

What is a whole grain?
A whole grain is the entire grain—which includes the bran, germ and endosperm (starchy part). The most popular grain is wheat so that will be our example. To make 100% whole wheat flour, the entire wheat grain is ground up. "Refined" flours like white and enriched wheat flour include only part of the grain – the starchy part, and are not whole grain. They are missing many of the nutrients found in whole wheat flour. Examples of whole grain wheat products include 100% whole wheat bread, pasta, tortilla, and crackers. But don’t stop there! There are many whole grains to choose from.

Whole Grains Substantially Lowers Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Whole grains are a rich source of magnesium, a mineral that acts as a co-factor for more than 300 enzymes, including enzymes involved in the body's use of glucose and insulin secretion.

Foods that contain at least 51% whole grains by weight (and are also low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol) are permitted to display a health claim stating consumption is linked to lower risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Now, research suggests regular consumption of whole grains also reduces risk of type 2 diabetes. (van Dam RM, Hu FB, Diabetes Care).

In this 8-year trial, involving 41,186 particpants of the Black Women's Health Study, research data confirmed inverse associations between magnesium, calcium and major food sources in relation to type 2 diabetes that had already been reported in predominantly white populations.

Risk of type 2 diabetes was 31% lower in black women who frequently ate whole grains compared to those eating the least of these magnesium-rich foods. When the women's dietary intake of magnesium intake was considered by itself, a beneficial, but lesser-19%-reduction in risk of type 2 diabetes was found, indicating that whole grains offer special benefits in promoting healthy blood sugar control.

Daily consumption of low-fat dairy foods was also helpful, lowering risk of type 2 diabetes by 13%

Best Choices
Finding whole grain foods can be a challenge. Some foods only contain a small amount of whole grain but will say it contains whole grain on the front of the package. For all cereals and grains, read the ingredient list and look for the following sources of whole grains as the first ingredient :

•Bulgur (cracked wheat)
•Whole wheat flour
•Whole oats/oatmeal
•Whole grain corn/corn meal
•Brown rice
•Whole rye
•Whole grain barley
•Wild rice
•buckwheat flour


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