Whole grain flour or whole-wheat flour is a powdered material, a natural food substance, derived from mashing or grinding the whole grain, called the wheat berry. It has the same texture and taste as other wheat flour products and may be used in baking to enhance the texture, taste, colour and nutrient content.
Although many have believed that whole wheat flour has health benefits, its exact role in good health is unknown. Some studies have shown that whole grains can lower bad cholesterol levels and may be useful in controlling high blood pressure.
Whole Grain Flour Benefits
Some experts are concerned about the use of refined grains in our diets today. Refined grains are usually bleached, which removes some of the nutrients in the grains. Other studies have shown that refined grains contain more calories than whole grains do. Some studies have shown that whole grains are more beneficial for heart health and that they can help lower the risk of heart disease.
Whole grain flour includes oat, brown and wild rice, which are the main source of whole grains in the United States. People who eat whole grains have a lower risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and cancer, and a healthy diet has been linked to an improved immune system.
Research has also shown that whole grain flour can boost energy. And studies have suggested that eating whole grain flour may help increase the number of red blood cells in your body. In addition to adding flavour, whole grain flour and white flour may contain nutrients, especially protein, that you may not be getting from other sources of flour.
Studies have shown that whole grains have more antioxidants, phytonutrients and other vitamins and minerals than refined grains do.
However, you must note that you need more protein in your diet, which is why some people feel better on whole-grain flour and others find it too bland. If you are experiencing a dry mouth, gas, headaches, cramps or tiredness you may want to choose the whole wheat flour or whole-grain bread available, or some of the grain bars available.
Benefits of whole Wheat Bread vs White Bread
Many recipes call for both white flour and whole grain flour, and if you are on a diet. You may want to choose whole-grain flour over white flour. You will also find that these flours have a higher glycemic index than white flour.
Whole grain flours tend to have less salt, more fibre, less fat and more protein, so you will not feel as hungry when eating them.
Many experts agree that white flour contains more sodium and the chemicals that are used in the production of white flour can make you feel bloated and have more trouble controlling your weight. When you cook with whole grain flour, you may want to add spices to your foods instead of using standard seasoning.
The spices in whole grain flour add more flavour to the food as well as flavour and aroma. Another advantage of using whole grain flour is that it is easier for you to make baked goods such as cookies or brownies because the baking time is longer when using whole grain flour.
Some recipes even call for using white flour if you are baking an individual cake instead of a whole cake. If you choose to make bread, you will find that your kids and even your dog enjoy the taste of whole-grain flour. You might like it so much that you want to eat it yourself.
If you are having trouble choosing between white flour and whole-grain flour, you may want to take the advice of a nutritionist who may be able to give you some ideas. Most health experts would suggest that you use white flour in the majority of your recipes.
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