You might want to rethink your flour usage. When you reach for that white flour in the grocery store, maybe opt out and find a healthy alternative.
We’ve probably all heard by now that white flour and foods made with white flour are bad for our health. But why? There are actually quite a few reasons that make white flour detrimental to our health, making it an important ingredient to avoid. While to some comparing white flour to poison might sound extreme, it is actually not too far from the truth. In fact, back in 1919, the Federal District Court of Missouri found and pronounced white flour to be unfit for human consumption. Later, thanks to the FDA and political reasons, this declaration was overturned.
Let’s explore some of the main reasons white, refined flour is essentially a poison to our bodies.
White flour has been so processed and refined that it acts essentially the same inside the body as white, processed sugar. White flour is quickly and easily broke down in the body into the simple sugar glucose, and it therefore quickly raises blood sugar levels. Any food made using white flour can essentially be considered a sugar food, because white flour has the same quick effect on blood sugar as actual sugar does.
No Nutritive Value
White flour is so highly processed and refined, it has actually had most, if not all, of its nutritional value stripped from it. Some companies after refining the flour try to add back in some low-quality nutrients to make it healthier. The part of the wheat removed to make white flour is where most all of the nutrients are located, including the fiber.
Not only does processed white flour not provide any nutrients to the body, it actually robs and leaches nutrients from the body! So, when we consume this ingredient, we aren’t replenishing needed nutrients, but we’re actually depleting them. This can lead to significant health problems and can also lead to cravings and lack of satiety.
Contains No Macros
White flour fails to provide the macronutrient building blocks, including healthy fats and protein. It only provides the body with processed carbohydrates.
Source of Wheat
Much of modern white flour is made from genetically modified wheat that’s been treated with fungicides, pesticides, and insecticides. Then, in the processing procedures, the wheat is further treated with about 60 different chemicals. Aside from not getting any nutrition, you’re loading your body with over 60 chemicals, not including the pesticides and other chemicals used in the growth of the wheat!
(NOTE: Pesticides have been linked to anxiety disorders and their increase of the past couple years. Find out more here.)
Contains Potassium Bromate
Once the wheat has been refined and all the natural (and nutritious) layers have been removed, the flour is then bleached, preserved, and then aged with a chemical called chlorine dioxide. Then, manufacturers go a step further by whitening it even more by adding chalk, alum, and ammonium carbonate to make it look and taste better. As if this wasn’t enough, they then add an anti-salting agent called sorbitan mono-saturate AND potassium bromate. Potassium bromate is a very strong carcinogen (cancer-causing agent). It acts as an oxidizer and does a great deal of damage to our cells. Interestingly, potassium bromate is so harmful, it’s actually been banned since 1994 in most all developed countries, including Europe, Canada, and the UK. It has not been banned in the US because potassium bromate “cooks out” during the baking process. Certainly, not all manufacturers and bakeries use this potentially harmful process. Check the ingredients list for potassium bromate or for the word bromated.
There is something found in white, processed flour called alloxan. This ingredient is not naturally found in wheat, but is added to give white bread the fresh and clean appearance. But, alloxan does significant and severe amounts of damage to the pancreas. While (high doses) of vitamin E can help to protect from some of the damage created by alloxan, all of the vitamin E has been stripped from wheat during the processing.
Between all the processing, lack of nutrients, and all the chemicals and synthetic additives, this ingredient is pro-inflammatory. It can lead to a huge number of health problems, some of which include diabetes, cancer, obesity, depression, anxiety, sleep problems, joint issues, arthritis, fatigue, heart disease, and digestive issues.
Because white flour causes so many deficiencies and dysfunctions in the body, it can lead to cravings, increased appetite, and addiction. This is because white flour leaches nutrients from the body, causing deficiency. When this happens, the body desperately desires more nutrition. For those who are out of balance, this cry from the body comes out in terms of cravings for certain foods, in an attempt to get the missing nutrients. This means we’ll eat more (unhealthy) foods, gain more weight, and get unhealthier.
So, before consuming those white foods, or reaching for the popular all-purpose white flour, think again!