No to refined
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.
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.
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.
nutrients also may not be in the most digestible forms.
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.
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!
whole wheat (farine complete in French) means just that.
•“Wheat flour” often means white flour.
•“Multi-grain” means some whole grain, some
•“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.
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.
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.
Grains Substantially Lowers Type 2 Diabetes Risk
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.
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).
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
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
consumption of low-fat dairy foods was also helpful, lowering
risk of type 2 diabetes by 13%
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 :
•Whole wheat flour
•Whole grain corn/corn meal
•Whole grain barley