Whole wheat flour contains more fiber, quality protein and nutrients than its refined counterpart, which is much less nutritious. Whole wheat products are always more recommended.
Very attractive baked goods such as pizzas, cookies or cakes are made with white flour, but it is a nutritionally poor product compared to whole wheat flour.
The caloric content of 100 g of white wheat flour is 337 cal. The same amount of whole wheat flour provides 309 cal. Therefore, the difference is not huge, but the body assimilates whole flour products in a very different way.
WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR REDUCES CALORIE INTAKE
A study conducted in the United States involved 81 healthy volunteers between the ages of 40 and 65. In the first 2 weeks, all study participants received a standard Western diet (no whole flour products).
In the next 6 weeks, 40 of them continued to eat as usual and 41 received a diet with whole grains (for example, whole wheat flour, oatmeal and other whole grains) and the same proportions of protein, fat, fruits and vegetables.
The results indicated that people who had eaten whole grains had reduced their calorie intake (an average of 92 fewer calories per day).
According to the researchers, this is due to the fact that whole grains speed up the metabolism and increase the basal metabolic rate.
In addition, the number and weight of stools were higher in the group of whole grains, due to the higher fiber content (whole meal flour contains at least twice as much fiber).
WHOLE WHEAT PRODUCTS DON’T SPIKE SUGAR
On the glycemic index (GI) charts, whole wheat bread and white bread appear with the same number, 70. This makes them foods with a high glycemic index, but the truth is that the two foods are not the same behavior.
The (GI) tells us how much blood sugar increases after eating 100 g of carbohydrates from a food compared to consuming 100 g of sugar. It does not take into account how much fiber or nutrients that food provides, when these data are really important to assess its effect on health. In practice, the glycemic index is pretty useless.
To know a really practical value, you have to consult the glycemic load (GL) tables. These tables are obtained taking into account the amount of carbohydrates per serving. In them we see that there are differences between white bread and whole wheat bread. Whole wheat bread has a GL of only 18, while white bread is 40. Values up to 10 are considered low, values 11-19 are considered medium, and values of 20 are considered high.
To achieve the benefits associated with whole wheat flour, it is important to choose true whole wheat products, not white flour and bran mixes or molasses.
WHOLE WHEAT PREVENTS TYPE 2 DIABETES
The glycemic load tables tell us that whole wheat products cause blood sugar to rise less quickly, which means that the body has to release less insulin. So whole grains can even lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, not increase it, as with white bread.
Several studies have shown that whole grains are one of the most important foods for the prevention of type 2 diabetes. Researchers from the United States have analyzed data from about 200,000 test subjects and confirmed that people who generally eat whole grains regularly are about 30 percent less likely to develop diabetes.
The dietary fiber of the wheat grain is mainly responsible for this effect, because it slows down the digestion of carbohydrates and, therefore, the arrival of sugar in the blood.
Last but not least, high-fiber foods like sugar-free whole grain breakfast cereals, whole wheat bread, and wheat germ, unlike white flours, counteract inflammation and obesity, which are they are among the leading causes of type 2 diabetes. As a result, the risk of cardiovascular disease can also be reduced.
Whole wheat products contain more protein. Wheat proteins are divided into four types:
- Albumins and globulins are found in tissue below the seed coat (aleuronic layer) and make up about 30 percent of the total protein in wheat. They are a good source of essential amino acids and are therefore considered proteins with great nutritional value.
- Protamine and glutelins, on the other hand, are found in the starchy endosperm of the wheat grain and make up about 70 percent of wheat protein. Its ratio of essential amino acids is 30 percent. Gluten, which gives wheat dough its typical elastic consistency, is made up of prolamines and glutenins. Wheat intolerance is mainly due to this group of proteins.
WHOLE WHEAT IS RICHER IN BETTER QUALITY PROTEIN
The high-quality protein in wheat grains is found in the aleuronic layer, which is what is separated in the production of white flour.
This is the reason why whole wheat flour, which still contains all the components of the grain, not only contains more fiber, but also more protein and of better quality, with a higher proportion of essential amino acids than white flour. The higher protein content is all the more reason to opt for whole grains as often as possible.
White flour is generally lighter than whole wheat flour, as it is made from the core of the grain. On the other hand, in whole wheat flour it preserves the germ and the bran and consequently the nutrients (proteins, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and polyphenols) that it contains are almost completely preserved. This is one of the reasons that whole wheat flour is healthier than white flour.
WHEAT FOR PEOPLE WITH FRUCTOSE INTOLERANCE
Wheat does not contain much sugar or fructose and is therefore generally well tolerated in cases of fructose intolerance. But people whose intestines are already sensitized can react with discomfort to the digestion of fiber. For this reason, whole wheat must be eliminated from the diet until the intestine has recovered. Afterwards, whole flour products are gradually introduced.