Healthy Benefits of Whole Wheat Flour versus Enriched Flour
If you’re one of the many health conscious individuals who now read the ingredient labels more closely before buying food products, you may be aware that many products contain the ingredient labeled enriched flour.
What you may not realize is that enriched flour has to add nutrients to the flour that were lost during preparation, where whole wheat flour does not lose any of the nutrients in the processing of this flour.
Health Benefits of Whole Wheat Flour
• High in Fiber
The wheat germ, bran, and endosperm are still in the flour since they have not been removed during processing; therefore whole wheat flour contains a lot more fiber than enriched flour. In fact, one cup of whole wheat flour has approximately 14 grams of fiber. This is important since a diet rich in fiber can help reduce your risk for developing serious health conditions such as digestive problems, diabetes, cancer, and even heart disease.
• High in Nutrients
Wheat flour is much more nutritious than white enriched flour. Although white enriched flour has added iron and B vitamins to the flour, this can’t compare to all the nutrient value contained in whole wheat flour. To begin with whole wheat flour has the important fiber everyone needs daily, along with protein, magnesium, zinc, vitamin E, that white enriched flour doesn’t.
In fact, one cup of cooked whole wheat flour provides around 55 percent of the nutrient manganese, which is important to the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, and required for normal growth and health of the body. One of the components of the wheat kernel called the germ contains the healthy polyunsaturated fat that is good for you, as well.
• Maintain a Healthy Weight
Whole wheat flour has more protein than enriched white flour, thereby, keeping you satisfied longer. Foods made with whole wheat flour will also take longer to digest burning more calories in the process. All this can add up to less food consumed and more calories burned, which can help you maintain a healthy weight.
When purchasing food sources made with whole wheat flour it’s important to look for 100 percent whole wheat on the label. Other labels that say multigrain or stone-ground may not contain whole wheat flour. Wheat flour and enriched flour are not the same as whole wheat flour, and will not provide you with all the nutritious benefits that whole wheat flour products contain.
• Whole Wheat Bread
• Whole Wheat Pasta
• Whole Wheat Pita Breads
• Cereals made with Whole Wheat Flour
It’s important to remember there are people who have food allergies and wheat may pose a problem if they any gluten or wheat pollen allergy.
Whole wheat flour is a healthier choice compared to enriched white flour, since it can provide a higher amount of natural nutrients and fiber, compared to the processed white flour that can only add some nutrients to label it as enriched flour in the ingredients.