As many know, when we refine things a lot is lost in the process. For instance, if you were to smelt Iron out of mined ore, there would be all kinds of waste materials left over known as slag. Food is no different, though sometimes the byproduct of refinement isn’t always “waste”. Flour is no exception, bleached or white flour is one of the most popular ingredients when it comes to baking, but with its’ white color comes penalties.
The process of refining flour takes away a lot of nutritional value out, sacrificing a lot of the beneficial properties of the wheat it is made from. You may be surprised just how much is lost: Unsaturated, beneficial fatty acids are halved, almost all of the wheat’s vitamin E content, half of the calcium, 70% of the phosphorous, 80% of iron, 90% of the magnesium, 50-80% of the wheat’s B vitamins, and that’s not even all of the nutrients that are lost.
Other possible effects
The processes white flour undergo stop much of its’ nutrients as we already know, yet there are also other effects they may have. Many believe that the process used to “bleach” flour can create a chemical compound called Alloxan. This is used to induce diabetes in lab animals, the compound attacks beta cells in the pancreas, stopping them from producing insulin.
Another issue comes from “enriched” white flour. As it may sound like it is better for you,the fact is that only some nutrients are put back.