What means ‘enriched’ flour, is it bad? – You’ve read it several times, more or less consciously. If you take a closer look at food labels of baked goods like bread, cakes, cookies, crackers and cereals, you’ll find this term very often. Unfortunately.
Flour has naturally vitamins, fibers and minerals. But the more processed it is, the less of the good stuff is left. When you mill the whole grain, you get e.g., Whole Wheat Flour. This type of flour contains all the different parts of the kernel. To get to the whiter flour the bran and germ gets sifted out until only the white parts of the inner endosperm is left and milled even further and finer. And you guessed it, with the bran and germ gone, the fiber and most of the minerals and vitamins are gone too. With all the good stuff sifted out the white flour is almost ‘starch’ only.
Referred often to as ‘empty calories’ – because there is nothing valueable in it anymore. Without the fiber the product gets rapidly digested and absorbed which ends in a rollercoaster for your blood sugar levels. More hunger, cravings and snacking are pre-programmed. Too much of the cheap white enriched flour (and often bleached too) makes you susceptible to many diseases, from weight gain to diabetes.
And, to make the white flour even worse, the industry puts back the earlier removed minerals and vitamins to pretend the ’healthiness’. But those back-added ingredients are man-made and synthetic. They do not feed your cells as the natural ones would do. From a nutritional point of view, it is the worst choice you can make. It is sadly just a cheap flour to produce baked goods.
Yes, enriched flour is bad for your health.
In the 1930’s the typical white bread (stripped of everything good) was so popular that it caused mineral and vitamin deficiencies in many people. More and more health issues occurred. The then market leader Wonder bread came up with the ‘easy’ solution to just add those ingredients back, but on an artificial way. The enriched flour was born. (*)
I know, it is a challenge to cut it off, but it is worth the effort. You just need to start somewhere. Btw, when you choose organic flour, the ‘enriched’ (and bleached) concerns are eliminated with one step. Plus, it is much more sustainable produced and helps the health of the farm workers and soil too. These are all reasons why we’re only using organic flour in our artisan bread mixes.
Did you know? The whole ‘enriched flour’ topic is no issue in Europe because we do not add things to it. We keep it natural. Only exemptions are UK, Kosovo and Moldova. That’s maybe one big point why you’re having no digestive problems when you’re on a trip through Europe. 😉
[* Source: ‘Food that built America’ ] [Images: by Freepik and Azerbaijan_Stockers]