- White flour is extremely harmful for our health.
- White flour has been called the -glue of the gut.
- White flour contains alloxan that has a negative effect on your body.
We all have heard that white flour (Maida) and the numerous products made from it are harmful for our health. However, the use of white flour and its products are rapidly increasing in our everyday lives. We consume it in the form of bread, pizza, burger, pasta, donuts, momos and the list just continues. These foods are tempting but they are not healthy and may even lead to weight gain. White flour is becoming a part of our diet and it impacts our health drastically. It is very important to understand why white flour is bad for our health and should be eaten in moderation.
Celebrity nutritionist Nmami Agarwal says, '' During the processing of white flour from wheat, a substance called endo sperm is removed from the wheat germ including the wheat bran, which is extremely crucial for your digestion. Apart from that, all the essential nutrients too gets lost during this processing. Which in return, deprives your body from healthy life promoting vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. In huge shelves of supermarket, you also must have noticed that, few manufacturers use the tactic of attracting customers by labeling the products as ‘enriched flour’, which is nothing, but just the addition of three to four vitamins at the cost of ten lost vitamins during processing.'' The nutritionist further adds, regular consumption of white flour can lead to the conditions like fatty liver, raises bad cholesterol in your bloodstream resulting in several health issues such as high blood pressure, weight gain, mood swings and progression toward obesity. So, be mindful from next time when you binge on white flour food products.
Here are some reasons to avoid white flour:
1. Acidic: During the process of refining, all the nutrients are removed and white flour becomes acidic in nature. A diet high in acidic foods like fast foods other white flour products forces the body to pull calcium from bones which in turn affects bone density. Over-acidity is one of the primary causes of chronic inflammation, which may cause arthritis and other chronic illnesses.
2. Digestive issues: White flour has been called the "glue of the gut". In today's world, a lot of food is made from white flour and it all turns to glue in the intestines. It has no fiber, it congests the system, slows down digestion which creates a sluggish metabolism, and can often lead to weight gain, stress, headaches and migraines and constipation.
3. Nutrient deficient: White flour is usually refined so the inner germ layer and the outer bran are removed. In the process, much of the fiber and essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals and phytochemicals are lost. In addition, The bleaching process is done using chemicals which gives white flour its distinctive white colour. While these may not be harmful to your health, they are still artificial ingredients that can be easily eliminated from your diet.
4. L-cysteine: This is a non-essential amino acid which is added to the baked goods like pizza doughs, cookies and fast food buns. The cheaper production method of L-cysteine includes synthesizing it from duck or chicken feathers, human hair and other petroleum byproducts.
5. Diabetes causing ingredient: It contains alloxan that has a negative effect on your body. It destroys the beta-cells of the pancreas and is also toxic for the body. It is also known to be a contaminant that can cause diabetes.
Some alternatives of white flour:
For better health in the long run, you should completely avoid consuming white flour and the foods made from it. Instead, you can use some healthy alternatives like wheat flour, millets (like Jowar& Bajra), opt for multi-grain bread and noodles or pasta made up of wheat flour. These products are easily available in general stores and are healthy too.
(Nmami Agarwal is a celebrity nutritionist)
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.