If you don’t pay too much attention to what you eat, your diet is probably full of refined flour. If your meals consist of bagels, toast, cereal, wraps, pizza or pasta, refined flour has crept its way into your daily routine.
Flour is produced by crushing grains. It’s then used for breads, cereals, crackers, cookies, pizza dough… the list goes on. The average American eats 10 servings of refined grains each day. So what’s the big deal? Refined flour is wreaking havoc on our bodies.
David Ludwig, MD, PhD is the director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Children’s Hospital Boston. He explained, “Now that trans fats are largely out of the food supply, refined carbohydrates, including refined grain products, are the single most harmful influence in the American diet today.”
Here are six negative effects of refined flour:
1. It Causes An Acid-Alkaline Imbalance
A healthy pH level in the body is a 7.4.
A diet high in acidic foods forces the body to take calcium away from the bones. Grains are considered to be an acidic food. Studies have shown that a diet high in refined grains is linked to bone loss. An acidic diet also damages the immune system, making the body more vulnerable to disease.
2. It Raises Blood Sugar Levels
If you have a habit of choosing wheat because you believe it’s the healthier option, think again. Foods made with wheat flour are even more damaging to your body. A carbohydrate in wheat known as amylopectin A is more easily converted to blood sugar than any other carbohydrate. Just two slices of wheat bread can raise your blood sugar levels higher than several candy bars or six teaspoons of table sugar!
3. It Causes Inflammation
A diet full of grains causes inflammation in the body. Blood sugar levels spike and glucose builds up in the blood, causing it to attach itself to proteins nearby. A chemical reaction called glycation is the result. Glycation is a pro-inflammatory process that plays a role in many inflammatory diseases, including arthritis and heart disease.
4. It Slows Down Your Metabolism
Research has shown that the body may end up shifting nutrients into fat storage when you consume foods that are high on the glycemic index. Instead of fueling your body, foods made with refined flour slow down fat burning and actually promote fat storage. This process causes your metabolism to slow down, which can lead to weight gain.
5. It Destroys Gut Health
Studies have shown that the lectins in grains cause inflammation to the lining of the gut. When you ingest refined flour, 80% of the fiber in the food is lost. Your body doesn’t get the fiber it needs and the carbohydrates end up releasing rapidly. Without fiber, your body isn’t able to clean the debris out of your gut to help your body detox.
6. It Can Trigger Food Allergies Or An Intolerance
Wheat is considered one of the biggest triggers of food allergies and intolerance. A type of protein found in many grains – gluten – gives dough its elasticity. It traps air bubbles to create a softer texture to bread. Wheat now contains more gluten than ever before. People who have a gluten sensitivity are often unaware of the underlying problem that’s causing their symptoms.
Watch the video below for healthier flour alternatives: