Surely you have heard the recommendation to replace refined cereals with whole grains, but what is this about? If you still do not know exactly the refined flours, we give you the keys to learn to differentiate them from the full versions, more nutritious and healthy.
What are we talking about when we talk about refined flours?
The term refined flour refers to the product originated after the industrial processing of a cereal that allows the whole grain to be removed from it, almost all of its germ and all of its bran.
Refined flours are those finer particle, white Due to the fact that they are basically composed of starch with almost no fiber and therefore, they are highly digestible and widely used in pastry.
Unlike whole grain cereal or that still has its whole grain with germ and bran, refined flours and their derivatives are very low in fiber, they have less protein, less vitamins and also less minerals and antioxidants than the former since all these nutrients are concentrated in the parts removed during industrial processing.
When we talk about refined flours then, we refer to the white wheat flour that we usually use in pastry, as well as to flours from other cereals, starches and starches not only from wheat but also from corn, rice or other sources.
Why are they not healthy
In addition to the difference in the nutritional composition as we explained before, refined flours are not beneficial for the body as they can be whole grains or that preserve the whole grain.
In the first place, due to their poor nutritional quality they do not favor the achievement of a healthy diet, but also, because they are poor in fiber and protein, they are not satiating at all and on the contrary can have an addictive effect as a study published in PlosOne points out given the pleasant response that triggers its easy metabolism in the human body.
In addition, refined flours are digested and absorbed very quickly, raising blood glucose in a short time, which means that have a high glycemic index and their regular consumption is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer and other diseases as scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health conclude.
In contrast, high-fiber, low-glycemic whole grains not only offer better nutrients but are also filling and have been linked to better health in research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Additionally, a JAMA Internal Medicine publication notes that those who eat more whole grains have a lower risk of death for different reasons, which indicates that unlike refined flours, whole grains help us take care of our health and live longer.
By last, refined flours are perfectly replaceable As a source of energy from whole grains and their derivatives, therefore, we do not need them at all but on the contrary, their regular or frequent consumption and even more so if it is excessive, can harm us considerably.
The healthiest alternatives
Refined flours, as well as sugar, are one of the ingredients that we should avoid in our diet if we want to protect health by eating better, therefore, some more recommended alternatives They are:
- Wholemeal flours of all kinds, that is, wheat, oats, barley, corn or other cereals, as well as legume flours.
- Oatmeal It has great properties and is one of the most accessible and versatile whole grains in the kitchen.
- Pseudocereals such as quinoa, amaranth or kañiwa that although they provide hydrates, they have much more protein and fiber as well as a variety of vitamins and minerals because in nutritional terms they are like a combination of cereal and legume.
- Saved They offer many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants as well as proteins and fiber that refined flours do not have and can be used in replacement of these to prepare different dishes in the kitchen, much healthier and more satisfying.
- Wheat germ, oatmeal, or other cereal which is the part that concentrates the highest proportion of proteins and therefore, although it offers hydrates, it does not do so in the form of starch only and is also accompanied by other good nutrients for the body.
Now you know the refined flours and you know perfectly how to differentiate them from other healthier alternatives such as whole grains and their derivatives.
If you want to take care of your health, look at the list of ingredients of your products, as well as, avoid the use of “white” flours, starches and starches in your kitchen and opt instead for healthy replacements of them.
Consulted bibliography | PlosOne, February 18, 2015, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0117959; Carbohydrates and Blood Sugar, School of Public health, Harvard; Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Apr; 99 (4): 813-33. doi: 10.3945 / ajcn.113.074252. Epub 2014 Feb 19. and JAMA Intern Med. 2015; 175 (3): 373-384. doi: 10.1001 / jamainternmed.2014.6283
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