We’ve all heard white flour is bad for us, but do we understand why? Let’s talk about why white flour does NOT do the body good.
With the incidence of chronic disease, obesity, and many other maladies plaguing our nation, it’s important to understand that many modern processing techniques that create ingredients such as white flour share in the blame for these problems. While white flour certainly isn’t the only culprit, it’s a very common staple in most American’s daily diet. Because of this, it’s worth looking at what it is, and why it should be avoided.
White Flour is Low on the Nutrient Scale
White flour is so heavily processed that most nutrients that support life are depleted. So, not only is it not supplying nutrients to nourish the body, but it’s causing further deficiencies as the body must pull from vital nutrient stores to be able to digest this ingredient. This leaves you with a lack of optimal health and wellness, fatigue, hormone disruption, cravings, increased appetite, and increased fat storage, among other things. Though many white flours are enriched, they aren’t enriched with naturally occurring nutrients, and the full spectrum of nutrients lost are not re-added to the processed flour.
White flour is so heavily processed and unnatural that it can actually be used as a natural insecticide. If bugs or insects eat white flour, they will die. It is said that if you tried to live off of white bread alone, you’d die after 60 days from malnourishment.
The Sugar Factor
Because white flour is stripped of all nutrients, including fiber, it basically acts as a sugar, being quickly and easily absorbed into the bloodstream, causing insulin spikes and the resulting damage that occurs. Too many blood sugar spikes can lead to a number of problems such as gut microbe imbalance, weight gain, cravings, diabetes, and cardiovascular problems. So, because you’re essentially getting a processed sugar devoid of any nutrition, you’re not going to be satisfied or filled by the food, meaning that you’ll eat more food more frequently and have an overall increased appetite. The result is weight gain and a variety of health problems.
Contains Potassium Bromate & Toxic Additives
Also termed bromated flour, most white flour contains potassium bromate. After many of the heavy processing steps are completed, including bleaching and being aged with chlorine dioxide, it’s then further whitened by adding a chalk, called alum and ammonium carbonate. These elements are added purely to make the heavily processed product look visually appealing. Furthermore, something called sorbitan mono-saturate is added to the flour as an anti-salting agent. Most conventional white flour also contains potassium bromate. This ingredient is added to help improve the action of gluten (enhancing the elasticity of the dough to make the end product fluffier and softer) and to bleach the product. Potassium bromate is banned in many countries. It is pro-inflammatory and causes a lot of cell damage.
Another toxic ingredient worth mentioning that can be found in many white flour and white flour products is called alloxan. Alloxan is added to make the bread look fresh and clean and pure. But, this fake fresh appearance comes at a high price, as studies show that alloxan damages certain pancreas cells, which can lead to diabetes and pancreatic cancer.
So, if you’re looking to get or stay healthy, or to get or stay in shape, white flour should be something to avoid! With all the healthy alternatives, you won’t miss it.