Enriched wheat flour is a common ingredient that you’ll find in many products. But what is it, actually? It says that it’s enriched, which you’d think would be a good thing, right?
Hate to burst your bubble, but it’s actually not a good thing in this instance. Let’s review how it’s produced and what it does in your body.
How Is Enriched Wheat Flour Made?
Enriched wheat flour comes from grains that have been refined. The germ and bran are removed from the wheat grain which makes the flour a smoother texture. Once the germ and bran have been removed, though, the grains have been stripped of all vitamins and nutrients.
In the 1930’s, the US started noticing that much of the population was deficient in numerous nutrients, and it was attributed to the refined flour that had been consumed over time. They began to require refined flour to be fortified with added nutrients to help add the nutrients back into the population’s diet.
The required nutrients that are added are iron, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and folic acid. You’d think added nutrients would be a good thing, but the biggest problem with the enriched wheat flour is how it’s actually digested in the body.
“Consuming enriched flour products is like eating pure sugar and popping a multivitamin.”
Refined wheat flour is digested differently in your body than whole grains. It breaks down easily and quickly and is transformed into sugar. What happens next?
Your blood sugar spikes high triggering insulin to release in your body. This helps to regulate your glucose levels which then lowers your blood sugar.
The problem lies in these blood sugar spikes happening too often. Your body can begin to become resistant to insulin which can cause eventual weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, and even certain cancers.
Other Reasons to Avoid Enriched Wheat Flour
Not only is enriched wheat flour spiking your blood sugar and potentially leading to health issues, there’s another major reason Wake Up and Read the Labels does not recommend it.
Wheat is typically sprayed with a pesticide called glyphosate. It’s a chemical found in the commonly known weed killer, Round Up. Even after being refined, the flour still contains traces of glyphosate.
New evidence shows that high exposures of glyphosate can lead to cancer. It’s not a pesticide only used on wheat. It’s used on oats, corn, soy, plus many other crops.
Continuous exposure to these chemicals can lead to extreme health problems. Because of this, Wake Up and Read the Labels doesn’t recommend consuming any products with wheat.
The good news is that Wake Up and Read the Labels has found all of the clean swaps for any of your wheat products. There’s no food category that’s off limits.
Bread, donuts, bagels, pasta - all your favorite enriched wheat items can all be swapped out for versions that are made with real ingredients and do not include any pesticide contamination.
Here at Wake Up and Read The Labels, we help people learn how to read ingredient labels on the food they eat. We are not licensed, medical professionals. We are here to educate. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.
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