Why You Should Avoid White Flour
If you’re trying to eat healthier and take care of your body by eating nutritional foods, you’ll want to watch out for foods that contain an ingredient with no nutritional value at all. This ingredient that is present in many of our daily dishes is white flour. White flour is an overly processed substance that is used in many foods because it is very light for baking and is also very cheap. You should avoid white flour because it is often bleached, over-processed and lacking in any nutritional value. It also comes with many health side effects.
The Most Popular Foods That Contain White Flour:
These are all foods that most people consume nearly every day. Whether you pour yourself a bowl of cereal in the morning, pack a sandwich for lunch, or are eating spaghetti for dinner, you are consuming white flour. Take an inventory of what you ate yesterday or today–did it contain white flour?
Health Side Effects of Consuming White Flour
Because white flour contains no nutritional value, it hurts our bodies. When you consume foods containing vitamins and minerals, the nutrients from the food assists our bodies. When our foods don’t contain these elements, our bodies must get them from elsewhere or suffer. If you consume a diet that consists of many foods containing white flour, your body will not be able to receive the nutrients needed to thrive. This will result in many consequences to your health including weight gain, heart health, inflammation, diabetes, digestion issues, and even cancer.
White flour doesn’t have the nutrients that wheat flour does. Because of this, when we consume foods that contain white flour we do not get that “full” feeling. Whenever you don’t feel full, you tend to eat more and as a result, gain weight and have a higher tendency of becoming obese.
You probably already know that whole grains are good for heart health, and they are, but refined grains such as white flour have quite the opposite effect. In fact, consuming large amounts of refined grains has actually been shown to increase a person’s risk of heart disease.
Consuming foods made from white flour can cause inflammation in the body. Individuals who are trying to eliminate inflammation in their body or who are trying to lower their inflammation levels are usually advised to stop eating white bread and other products containing white flour.
Foods containing white flour are also known to increase the risk of diabetes or worsen their symptoms.“Refined wheat flours have been stripped of their slow-digesting fiber and nutrients, which means the body can break down these foods very quickly,” says Christopher Hollingsworth, MD, an endovascular surgeon at NYC Surgical Associates. The quicker our bodies break down these carbs, the faster our blood sugar levels rise.
Along with other health side effects, consuming white flour will also hurt your body’s digestive system. Because white flour contains no nutrients, including fiber, it does not digest well. Instead, it turns to “glue”. When our bodies try to digest white flour the flour will block our intestines, slow down our digestive systems and cause metabolization to become very slow. This causes weight gain and increased stress on the body.
According to The Breast Cancer Charities of America, “A study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Mile Markers, and Prevention found that regular consumption of refined carbohydrates was linked to a 220 percent increase in breast cancer among women.” This link is due to the high levels of carbohydrates and nonexistent nutrient levels of white flour.
Luckily, there are several alternatives for white flour that you can use in your dishes or look for as an ingredient when shopping. These include whole-wheat flour, nut flours, oat flour, and even black beans.
Each of these alternatives has its own health benefits and advantages. Choosing a white flour alternative is subjective to each person as texture and taste drastically change between the many options.
We suggest trying them out in small portions to ensure that you and your family can still fully enjoy the meals that you prepare them with!
How to Avoid White Flour with Healthier Options
If you are looking for a healthier alternative to white flour, whole wheat flour is a great option.
Whole-wheat flour is full of fiber, which white flour completely lacks. The body needs fiber in order to feel full, which prevents weight gain and controls blood sugar.
Whole-wheat flour also contains many more nutrients such as iron, calcium, and protein, all elements that we should consume each day.
Nut flours can be made from:
- Almonds (our family’s personal favorite)
- Macadamia Nuts
Nut flours are low in carbs and are generally full of nutrients! They also provide a number of health benefits depending on which variation of nut flour is used. If you plan on using this alternative for baking, you should note that nut flours don’t rise the same way wheat flour does so it isn’t usually recommended to replace all wheat flours with nut flours unless you absolutely have to.
*Substitution Tip: 1/4 cup nut flour + 1/2 to 2/3 cups whole wheat flour for every cup of white flour.
Be aware when serving this dish as people with peanut allergies will not be able to consume this product.
This alternative is for those who are braver. Black beans contain a number of vitamins and minerals, but they also have a very strong flavor!
Pureed beans are often used in baking to substitute flour. They work well in brownie recipes and can be beneficial for individuals with gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
Using black beans in place of white flour will provide an increase in both protein and fiber which will make you feel full longer and cause you to eat less.
While found in many popular dishes, white flour is not an ingredient that you should ignore. Consuming it regularly as many people do will result in many health consequences. In order to feel better, and protect your body you can consider using one of the white flour alternatives listed here or the many other options out there!
Let us know if you’ve tried any of these healthier alternatives to avoid white flour by dropping a comment below!