The Problems With White Flour
White flour is the result of crushing whole grains, extracting all of the healthy parts and leaving the ‘starch’, which is basically sugar. That means that flour-based products are really high sugar foods!
Flour-based products include breads, pasta, tortillas, pastries, cookies, pies, pretzels, pizza dough, cereals . . . pretty much the staple of American meals. As Americans have consumed more of these products, the rise in diabetes obesity and heart disease has also climbed.
David Ludwig, MD, PhD, Director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Children’s Hospital in Boston, says,
“Now that trans fats are largely out of the food supply,
Refined carbohydrates, including refined grain products are the single most harmful influence in the American diet today.”
Flour-based foods (refined carbs) impact every part of your body.
- They increase appetite and cravings in the brain.
- They increase blood sugar levels within a few minutes of eating them. In fact, flour-based products can spike blood sugar faster than plain sugar.
- They can cause the pancreas and the body to become insulin-resistant, diabetic and increase inflammation.
- Over time, the rise and fall of blood sugar can cause belly fat to increase, which impacts heart health and hormone levels (most commonly causing the body to become estrogen-dominant).
- They can increase the possibility of food sensitivities due to gut inflammation.
Surprisingly, even 2 slices of whole-wheat flour raise blood sugar higher than six teaspoons of table sugar! Read labels – – often you are getting more ‘flour’ than whole grains.
So what can you do?
- Choose whole grains when possible (quinoa is actually not a grain, but it is an excellent choice, as is brown rice).
- Use sprouted grains when possible (you can now find brands such as Ezekiel, Food for Life, and Alverado with sprouted grain bread, tortillas and English muffins).
- Try going flour-free and consuming more veggies, quality protein, nut, seeds and fresh fruit.
- Go light on ‘gluten-free’ products as many of these products are high in potato flour, rice flour and tapioca starch, which may add to all of the above issues.
For healthy alternatives, check out my newest cookbook: COOKING For Life