B.Sc. Food & Nutrition, M.Sc. Food & Nutrition
We must have always heard that maida (white flour) and products made from it are very harmful for our health. However, use of maida its products usage is increasing rapidly in our day-to-day life. Sometimes, we are consuming it in form of bread at our home and sometimes, in the market/food joints in form of fast foods.
Known as white poison, white flour is becoming necessity for all of us but it impacts our health drastically. It is very important to understand why it is bad and how much it can harm us so that we can improve our eating habits.
What is missing in maida (white flour: during processing of maida from wheat, endosperm of the wheat is removed from the germ (wheat germ) and the bran (wheat bran), which is very crucial for digestion. As all necessary nutrients are lost during processing of maida, foods made from it utilize nutrients from the body for absorption. As a result, our body gets depleted of vitamins and minerals. Few manufacturers attract customers by labeling their products as enriched flour, which is nothing, but adding 3-4 vitamins at the cost of 10 lost vitamins during processing.
White flour is tasty but not healthy: though foods made from maida like pizza, burger, donuts, bread, samosas, noodles, momos, panipuri, pastas etc are very tempting and tasty however, at the same time, consequences can not be ignored.
White flour regulates glucose/sugar in your body: whenever you consume foods that are made from maida, it releases sugar into your bloodstream quickly. Because of high glycemic index (gi) of maida, it spikes up your sugar levels. To match up with the sugar spike, pancreas has to over work to release insulin in sufficient quantity. If maida consumption is once in a while then pancreas can manage it however, in case of frequent consumption, insulin production will reduce gradually, finally making you diabetic.
As glucose loiters into your blood, it gets attached to proteins, which is called glycation which cause inflammation in the body and leads to many diseases like arthritis, cataract, heart diseases and the list goes on.
Eating maida also raises bad cholesterol (ldl) resulting many health issues like weight gain, high blood pressure, mood swings. Too much consumption of white flour its products leads to weight gain and you will soon progress toward obesity. Also, it keeps you feel hungry and makes you crave for sweets.
White flour is acidic: acidity is another problem. During refining process, all nutrients are removed and it becomes acidic in nature. As per research, diet high in acidic foods (e.g. Pizza, pasta, burger other white flour products) forces the body to pull calcium from bones to keep the things even, which affects bone density. Over-acidity is one of the major causes of chronic inflammation, and a major cause of arthritis and other chronic illnesses.
White flour creates digestive issues: white flour has been called the & glue of the gut. In today's world, so much food is made from white flour: breakfast food, snacks, pasta, bread, cereal and the list just continues. And it all turns to glue in the intestines. It is without fiber, it congests the system, slows down digestion creating a sluggish metabolism, and can often be the cause of weight gain, stress, headaches and migraines.
Follow these alternatives: for better health in longer run, you should completely avoid consuming white flour foods made from it. Instead, you can use some alternatives like for samosa, use wheat flour. For naan, mix one portion of millets (like jowar bajra) flour with wheat flour. Opt bread, noodles, pasta and macaroni made of wheat flour, which are easily available in food stores.
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