Why not White Flour???

Enriched White Flour - I absolutely never cook with white flour, so you won’t find it in my kitchen cupboards. Why does white flour get the dietary thumbs-down? It’s made from wheat grain, just like whole wheat flour, right? That’s correct, however, the difference lies in which parts of the grain are used to make it. When the bran and germ are removed from the wheat grain, over 80% of the fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants are also removed, so much that the government requires five of the thirty nutrients removed to be added back in, producing what Americans know as enriched or fortified flour. Furthermore, it has been noted by Weston Price, the author of Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, that during the processing stage approximately 80% of the phosphorus and calcium content is usually removed, together with the vitamins and minerals provided in the embryo or germ. The evidence indicates that a very important factor in the lowering of reproductive efficiency of womanhood is directly related to the removal of vitamin E in the processing of wheat (op. cit., p. 480, “Nourishing Traditions”). Aside from all of this, it can be said that white flour is nutritionally useless, because the body breaks it down into a sugar. The body cannot tell the difference between eating a spoonful of sugar or a slice of white bread; the pancreas reacts by secreting insulin - a fat-storing hormone - stimulating the appetite and slowing the metabolism. With the Western diet so full of processed foods, the pancreas works overtime to balance the sugars consumed and eventually shuts down, causing low blood sugar, diabetes, and a handful of other problems.
Bleached white flour is even worse. Flour mills add chemicals in the bleaching process such as nitrogen oxide, chlorine, chloride, benzoyl peroxide, and even potassium bromate, a known carcinogen banned in Europe, Japan, and Canada. Many European countries ban the bleaching process entirely. Except for an off-white tint, unbleached flour is identical to bleached flour in terms of cooking; many professional chefs will not use bleached flour because of the slight chemical taste in the final product many can detect.
On the flip side, whole wheat flour is an excellent source of fiber because it uses the whole grain. Whole wheat flour acts as a cleansing agent for the colon, but it’s also good for the functioning of the heart as well. Taking in more fiber helps to reduce the likelihood of colon cancer, heart disease, hemorrhoids, acne, headaches, fatigue, and excess weight gain. For those who bake and are particular about the outcome of their baking products, there is an alternative to whole wheat flour called whole wheat pastry flour. I use this, and I rarely have to make adjustments in my recipes that call for white flour. For some people who may have a sensitivity to wheat gluten, you may find spelt flour more suitable. I use it sometimes, and find it to be more tolerable for my own gluten sensitivities. However, it doesn’t convert well in recipes where rising is essential, like those for biscuits and pancakes. Since there is very little gluten in it, it doesn’t rice much. It does work well, however, with cookies, pie crusts, and some cakes. Usually you add less liquid than a recipe calls for when using spelt flour. For those who have celiacs disease or other serious gluten allergies, you may try other alternatives such as coconut flour, almond flour, rice flour or other gluten free alternatives.


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