One of the primary nutritional white wheat flour is the food’s fiber content. Dietary fiber has a number of health benefits — it prevents constipation, lowers blood cholesterol and might help you lose weight, according to Colorado State University. The refining process associated with making white wheat flour separates the fiber-rich brain from the rest of the grain, so white flour typically contains less fiber than its whole-grain counterpart. For example, 1/2 cup of white flour contains 1.3 grams of fiber, while an equal serving of whole-wheat flour contains 6.4 grams. As a result, selecting foods that contain wheat flour helps you reach your dietary fiber intake goal — 28 grams daily if you follow a 2,000-calorie diet, according to Colorado State University.
Effect on Blood Sugar
Any carbohydrate-containing food — including those containing white wheat flour — has some effect on your blood sugar. After you eat a meal, your body breaks the carbohydrates from your food into glucose, a simple sugar. This glucose then enters your bloodstream, so it can circulate throughout your body and provide fuel to your cells.
Whole-white wheat flour provides a nutritional advantage over some white wheat flours due to its vitamin content. Whole-white wheat flour contains several vitamins, including folate, riboflavin and vitamins B-1, B-3 and B-5.To combat this, some food manufacturers enrich their white wheat flour with vitamins to replace the nutrients lost during processing. As a result, whole-grain flour often contains higher levels of vitamins than unenriched white wheat flour but roughly compares to vitamin-enriched white wheat flour.
Whole Grains Reduce Risk of Metabolic Syndrome
First we were told, “Don’t eat fat, and you’ll stay trim.” After following this advice only to see obesity expand to never before seen proportions, we’re told by the food gurus, “Eating fat is fine. Shun carbohydrates to stay slim.”
In our opinion, neither piece of dietary advice is complete, accurate or likely to help us stay slim or healthy. Just as different kinds of fats have different effects in our bodies (e.g., saturated and trans fats are linked to increased risk for cardiovascular disease while omega-3 fats decrease cardiovascular disease risk), some carbohydrates, such as whole grains, are healthful while others, such as refined grains and the foods made from them, are not.
The latest research is clearly supporting this vital distinction. Refined grains and the foods made from them (e.g., white breads, cookies, pastries, pasta and rice) are now being linked not only to weight gain but to increased risk of insulin resistance (the precursor of type 2 diabetes) and the metabolic syndrome (a strong predictor of both type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease), while eating more wholegrain foods is being shown to protect against all these ills. Common features of the metabolic syndrome include visceral obesity (the “apple shaped” body), low levels of protective HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides, and high blood pressure.
Whole Grains Substantially Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Whole grains are a rich source of magnesium, a mineral that acts as a co-factor for more than 300 enzymes, including enzymes involved in the body’s use of glucose and insulin secretion.
The FDA permits foods that contain at least 51% whole grains by weight (and are also low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol) to display a health claim stating consumption is linked to lower risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Now, research suggests regular consumption of whole grains also reduces risk of type 2 diabetes. (van Dam RM, Hu FB, Diabetes Care).