What is White Whole Wheat Flour? Is it Healthy?

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All-Purpose Flour is a Highly Processed Food

One of the biggest problems with so many baked goods (from pizza crust to bagels and crackers to breads) is that they are made with highly processed white flour. While the vast majority of flour and flour-based products sold in the United States is made from wheat, the nutrient-rich wheat germ and the fiber-rich wheat bran are removed during the processing of white flour leaving only the nutrient-poor, fiber-free starch. No nutrients equals empty calories. Along with sugar, white flour is the ultimate empty-calorie carb.

Eating rapidly absorbed nutrient-poor processed white flour paves the path to weight gain, insulin resistance, hunger, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and, indirectly, exacerbates the symptoms of numerous inflammatory conditions (such as fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, asthma, etc.)

Do You Eat Refined Flour and Not Even Know It?

Very few food product labels use the term “refined flour” or “white flour” in their list of ingredients and no recipe is going to call for “refined flour” as an ingredient. Recipes typically call for “all-purpose flour” and food manufacturers use the term “enriched flour”.

Enriched flours and “all-purpose” flours certainly sound healthier than refined white flour, but they are all the same thing. Enrichment refers to government mandated processes of adding small amounts of synthetic vitamins and minerals to refined flour after it has been processed. As required by law, all refined flour is enriched.

“Enriched Flour” is Synonymous with Refined Flour and Is Not Healthy

The only reason flour is “enriched” is because all the good stuff was removed during processing! Whole foods are not enriched, only processed foods are enriched. Enriched flour does not contain fiber and the synthetic vitamins and minerals that are added back only represent a small portion of the nutrients that were removed during processing. Furthermore, your body does not recognize or utilize synthetic nutrients like it does naturally occurring nutrients. In addition, the disease-fighting phytochemicals are lost forever during the refinement process and are not added back.

Wheat Flour & Multi-Grain Flour Is Not Healthy Either

I especially notice how the flours in breads are often misrepresented. For example, the typical multigrain bread is no more healthful than white bread. While it’s great to eat a variety of grains other than just wheat —because variety assures you are exposed to a wide array of phytochemicals, antioxidants and micronutrients nature has to offer—-this approach only works if you eat whole grains.

 “Whole” Food Whole Grain Flours

“Whole” wheat flours and all other “whole” grain flours are made from the entire grain kernel. For example, whole wheat flour contains the wheat germ (full of nutrients) and the ground-up wheat bran (lots of fiber). Because nothing is removed, whole grain flours contain fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Whole grain flours are naturally nutritious and don’t need to be “enriched.”

White Whole Wheat Flour Is a Healthy Flour

that Bakes Like & Tastes Like All-Purpose Flour

I didn’t discover white whole wheat flour until I was working on my third book, a whole foods cookbook, and until then I had always just used “whole wheat flour”. But, after discovering white whole wheat flour I’m completely hooked. White whole wheat flour is every bit as nutritious as whole wheat flour (it contains the nutrient-rich germ and the fiber-rich bran), it just bakes better and tastes more like the unhealthy all-purpose flour.

In comparison to regular whole wheat flour that is made from red wheat, white whole-wheat flour is made from a naturally occurring albino variety of wheat, which is lighter in color and has a sweeter, milder flavor (making it perfect for many baked good recipes…especially desserts!)

Best of all, white whole wheat flour offers the same nutritional goodness of its darker cousin. And, because white whole-wheat flour is less heavy than traditional whole-wheat flour, it can replace all-purpose white flour one to one in recipes.

Try King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour

King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour is the easiest name-brand to locate nationwide. It’s also a superior quality product I have come to trust. If your local grocery store doesn’t carry it just ask the manager! Happy baking ;)

P.S. If you love pizza you might want to give this delicious and super easy homemade whole wheat pizza a try, it’s made with King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour and flaxseeds!

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Comments

  1. Chrissy says

    Hi!
    Love this article very informative, but have you tried milling your own wheat? It is super easy :) And is much more nutritious than store bought whole wheat flour because once the wheat berry is milled it begins to lose it nutritional value and loses almost all within 72 hours. I am sure store bought has been on the shelf for much longer than this!

    • says

      Hi Chrissy! Thank you SO much for this tip. Somebody else sent me an email about this and I am absolutely going to try this. Do you use a high speed blender (such as Vita Mix?)

      Again, thank you so much for the great tip!

Trackbacks

  1. [...]  2. Be sure to use whole grain flour. Your basic gingerbread spice cake calls for all-purpose flour (which is highly processed, fiber-less and enriched with synthetic nutrients). Deceptively Delicious calls for 1 cup whole-wheat flour and 1 cup all-purpose. But, why use any nutrient-poor all-purpose flour at all? You can still get an amazing tasting cake using white whole wheat flour. To read more about white whole wheat flour click HERE. [...]

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