Are Whole Grains REALLY Healthier Than Refined Grains?
Is it okay to consume whole wheat flour instead of refined grains?
Does whole wheat flour have more health benefits?
Can I include whole wheat grains in my diet?
If you have pondered on these questions, know that there are different pieces related to it.
Are whole grains healthier than refined grains?
Answer: Yes, whole grains are healthier than refined grains. However, the difference between these two is not much. Grains are, first and foremost, seeds. For grains to be turned into flour, they must first be grounded. Basically, flour is just milled seeds.
The process of grinding the seeds or grains into flour exposes the grains or seeds to oxygen. When the insides of the seeds are oxidized, the vitamins contained in them are quickly destroyed within days.
When you are consuming whole wheat, the questions you need to ask are: When was that grain ground down into flour? When was that flour made into bread?
The flour that was used to make your bread was probably processed months and months ago. That means you are consuming something that is almost stale.
Remember: The people who made your bread also have to put all sorts of things there in order to preserve it. This includes the different chemicals added to the bread in order to stop the growth of molds. You do not get the complete nutrition because you are not consuming bread made from flour that has been ground down only the day before.
Glycemic Index of Whole Grains vs Refined Grains
When you want to consider if whole grains are really healthier compared to refined grains, you must also think about the glycemic index.
What is the glycemic index?
The glycemic index shows how fast the grains are turned into sugar in your blood and how this raises the blood sugar in the body.
In wheat bread, the glycemic index is 75. On the glycemic index scale, any food or ingredient that contains a glycemic number greater than 70 is considered high.
Have a look at the following glycemic index from different sources:
Wheat bread – Glycemic Index: 75
Wonder Bread – Glycemic Index: 73
Whole Wheat – Glycemic Index 69
Sugar – Glycemic Index: 68
Based on these figures, you can see that whole wheat has a higher glycemic index of 75 than actual sugar, which is only 68.
The USDA (which stands for United States Department of Agriculture) recommends that you should have six to eight ounces of grains per day. This means that your food intake should include six to eight slices of bread every day.
There are a lot of issues with grains in general. Take note: The grains also contain gluten and phytic acid. Phytic acid prevents the absorption of nutrients into your body.
Remember these facts the next time someone tells you to start consuming whole grains or the next time you wonder if whole grains are really healthier than refined grains.