Saturday, September 17, 2011
White vs. Whole Wheat Flour
I found an article on Naturegem.com. I was looking for more information on white flour and white sugar. I know whole wheat is better, I have baked with it for years. I know my sugar cookies have a slightly different texture than most, but besides that, most people can not even tell that I use the whole wheat flour. I actually prefer the difference. But, I have always wondered why people are so set on using white flour. What is the reason?
My first search took me to http://www.angelfire.com/folk/naturalife/whiteflr.html . Here is the beginning of the article...
“In the manufacture of white flour, manufactures first remove the wheat seed's bran, its six outer layers, and the germ (or embryo) which contains 76% of the vitamins and minerals. 97% of the dietary fiber is also lost.
Then it gets worse. What little is left is then bleaches, preserved and aged with chlorine dioxide. It is further whitened by adding chalk, alum, and ammonium carbonate to make it look and feel more improved and appealing to the consumer. An anti-salting agent called sorbitan mono-saturate is added in the the final stage.
A few synthetic nutrients are then added back into the white flour and it is then called “enriched” In actuality, there has been no real “enrichment” of the original product, but deception and destruction of the life-giving properties of one of the many perfect creations we find in nature.”
You should also check out http://www.healthy-eating-politics.com/white-flour.html for more information.
So, if this is true, then why would I ever allow white flour back in my house? I clean with vinegar and baking soda, I use phosphate and chlorine free dish soap, I use all natural deodorant... why would I bake with white flour and allow my children to ingest a bunch of chemicals and not reap any of the benefits that are found in the grains natural state?
But, is whole wheat flour perfect? Well, no. Whole wheat flour is better than white flour, but it could be even better if it were whole grain. Here is what I found on the Health Canada website (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/whole-grain-entiers-eng.php)...
“Is whole wheat flour whole grain?
In Canada, when wheat is milled to make flour, the parts of the grain are usually separated and then are recombined to make specific types of flour, such as whole wheat, whole grain, white cake and pastry flour, and all purpose white flour. If all parts of the kernel are used in the same relative proportions as they exist in the original kernel, then the flour is considered whole grain.
Under the Food and Drug Regulations, up to 5% of the kernel can be removed to help reduce rancidity and prolong the shelf life of whole wheat flour. The portion of the kernel that is removed for this purpose contains much of the germ and some of the bran. If this portion of the kernel has been removed, the flour would no longer be considered whole grain.
Whole wheat bread is made with whole wheat flour. As sold in Canada, whole wheat flour may have much of the germ removed. Therefore, 100% whole wheat bread may not be whole grain - however, it remains a nutritious choice that provides dietary fibre not found in white bread.
Look for the word "whole grain" on the label and in the ingredient list. Many foods containing whole grains will have the words "whole grain" followed by the name of the grain as one of the first ingredients. Products labelled with the words "multigrain," and "organic" are not necessarily whole grain - the flour or grains in the products may be made with or consist of little or no whole grains.”
So, what are we to do? Buy Whole GRAIN as much as possible. Avoid white bread and pasta's as much as possible. Read labels and be aware of what you are putting in your body. When you have food choices, just take a moment and read the labels. Take some time to learn about what you are putting in your body.
When I go up to the cottage, one of the things I look forward to the most is my moms peanut butter... you know, the crap that is filled with icing sugar. We only buy the all-natural peanut butter. I have learned to like it, but there is just something about spreading that creamy, sugary, yummy crap on a piece of toast... for a treat. What I am trying to say is, treats are ok, having refined sugar or white flour every once and a while is ok... but if you have a choice and you are the one baking, why not use whole wheat flour? I have been baking with it for years now and I have managed to tweak my recipes and make it work. In most recipes, you can not even tell the difference anymore.
Next, I will be looking into the brown vs. white sugar thing... stay tuned!
Twitter - @BeachesFitness