Wednesday, July 27, 2005

White Flour

Here is an article that I read in a new book called, You are what you eat by Paul Chek. It is all about white flour. I am all for eating natural foods, not unnatural foods like margarine and artificial sweetners. Bring on the butter! Anyway, I am cutting out white flour and trying to stick to whole grains only because white flour is more processed that whole wheat flour. Anyway, I know that I probably can't cut out all white (processed) flour and sugar but I am at least going to cut back! Here is an exerpt from the article I read:

While there is little argument that whole-grain cereals and breads are more nutritious, provide more fiber and aid detoxification, care must be taken to avoid consuming ill prepared or processed grains. As you are surely well aware, we have not only deviated far from our ancestral dietary, but we are in the era of highly processed foods. Food manufacturers have clung to public misperceptions with regard to white foods, particularly white breads, white rice, white sugar and white table salt, all of which are commonly referred to as white death by most nutrition experts and naturopathic physicians, and for good reason!

White flour contains only 13% of the chromium, 9% of the manganese and 19% of the iron that is contained in whole wheat. Due to the fact that many of the B vitamins are concentrated in the outer parts of the grain, white flour is deficient in B vitamins (6).
White flour does not contain the germ of the wheat, which is a potent source of vitamin E, resulting in a high potential for vitamin E deficiency in those who’s diet is inadequate for vitamin E sources and/or comparatively high in bread-stuffs (7).

Research shows that since as long ago as the 1950’s, conventionally farmed American grains have been low in protein quality and quantity. So much so in fact that whenever the US tried to give its surplus grains away to countries with starving populations, they would not accept US grains if any other country was offering theirs; they had found that the deficient US grains did little to maintain or improve the health of the starving (8).

After 130 years of consuming highly processed grains in the form of breads, pastries and cereals, chronic disease states are rampant among most industrialized nations, with the greatest prevalence in England, which has the greatest consumption of white flour, white sugar and tea per capita - the US is in a strong second! Not surprisingly, we appear to be continuing another trend that began with the introduction of the steel roller mill - a declining birth rate. As you can see in the diagram, the more bran and germ millers extracted from flour, the lower the birth rate per 1000 people there were in England between 1872 and 1945. Today, things are not much better. Artificial insemination is a big business and, if not for advanced medical technologies, we would be losing a huge amount of babies that wouldn’t have survived even 100 years ago.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is fascinating! I think that knowledge of what we should be eating has been the best incentive to the change in diet that we have had in our household. Most of that came from Jennie's research and also her ability to find good tasting recipes that are still good for you. Keep up the good work!