Dont Be Fooled By Flour?
Wheat flour is undoubtedly one of the most basic elements in our diet. Not because it’s nutritious but because we eat it out of habit, and eliminating it from our diet is nearly impossible without adopting extreme diets such as Raw or Paleo.
Too much of what you see on store shelves is made from enriched white flour, flour in which most of the natural vitamins and minerals have been extracted. This is done in order to give bread a finer texture, increase shelf life, and prevent bugs from eating it (bugs will die if they attempt to live off it).
According to Wikipedia, enriching is necessary because the processing used to make white flour destroys most of the nutrients that originally were present in the whole grain.
Why is enriched flour bad? When wheat is ground up and processed to make enriched flour, the process takes out over half of the nutrients and the fiber so the bread will be soft and white and they add sugar! In addition, when the bran and the germ (the parts of the wheat that contain vitamins and minerals) are removed, your body digests the product differently. Instead of being a slow, steady process through which you get steady bursts of energy, your body breaks down enriched flour too quickly, flooding the blood stream with too much sugar at once. Your body then has to work hard to absorb the excess and generally ends up storing. This causes quick highs and lows in your blood-sugar level which can sometimes lead to type-two diabetes and obesity. All this and you’re not even getting close to the amount of nutrients contained in whole grains. Whole grains are richer in dietary fiber, antioxidants, protein (in particular the amino acid lysine), minerals (including magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and selenium), vitamins (including niacin, vitamin B6, and vitamin E).
This is why every day, more and more people are opting to buy whole wheat bread instead. Unfortunately, most large bread manufacturers don’t want to work double so instead of preparing enriched flour on one machine and whole wheat flour on the other, what they do is add artificial fiber and “Caramel” coloring to the Enriched Flour then sell it; to an uninformative consumer, he or she would think that it is a whole wheat bread. This imitation bread is the same or worse than white bread yet they sell it at a higher cost because “it’s healthier”.
If the bread you are buying says “soft wheat” or “multi-grain” make sure you still read the ingredients. Real wheat bread will have as its first ingredient Whole Wheat Flour. Even if the word “enriched” is not there, if it does not say “whole” then it’s the same junk. Also, you don’t want to see listed in the ingredients sugar or “Caramel” color, as whole wheat tends to be sweet on its own and is already dark. And by looking at the nutritional panel you will see that compared to other breads it is much higher in Iron and Fiber, and lower in carbs.
There is a third type of bread which is superior to both white and wheat breads and that is Multigrain. This bread, so long as it is real Multigrain and not another knock off, is very highly recommended for people trying to lose weight or diabetics because it is lower in carbs and contains several different types of grains and oats. BUT WATCH OUT! I have seen many multigrain bread and crackers that still have “enriched flour” as one of the ingredients, even if“whole wheat” is listed as the first ingredient.