White flour - is it worth it?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Nutritionally speaking, one of the best things you can do for your overall health is to eliminate white flour products. Wait! Don’t run away! I know it sounds like a scary idea, but what white flour products can do to your body is even scarier.

First, let’s look at what it is. White flour is basically what is left of a whole grain of wheat after food manufacturers have removed all of the nutrients and fiber. What you’re left with is a nutritionally bankrupt powder that wreaks havoc on your blood sugar and your whole digestive system.

Whole wheat is LOADED with nutrients – B vitamins, calcium, zinc, copper, manganese, vitamin E, potassium and that all-important fiber. All of these are removed in the process of making white flour. So then what do you think the manufacturers do? They add really small amounts of synthetic nutrients back in and call it “enriched” or “fortified”. I call it crap. If the ingredients list of your favorite grain product uses either of these words, then you can be sure they’ve messed with the nutrients.

Once ingested, white flour breaks down into sugar, or glucose, and causes the exact same problems in your body as refined sugars do. If you’re going to have a sandwich made with white bread, you might just as well put a couple of teaspoons of sugar on that sandwich, because the white flour will have the same effect on your blood sugar.

In addition to making you crave more and more refined carbohydrates, eating white flour products causes your pancreas to secrete insulin, a hormone that stores fat, stimulates the appetite and slows down your metabolism. And that further leads to fatigue, depression, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and heart disease.

Before this gets too much longer, let’s talk about what removing the fiber does for your digestive system. I know you’re thinking, “Oh no, I’ll bet she’s going to talk about constipation again” – and you would be exactly right. But I’ll just give you a short example. The best visual I’ve gotten on this subject suggests that you mix one quarter cup of white flour with about four tablespoons of water. And what do you get? Paste is what you get. And white flour does the same thing inside your body. Paste isn’t really all that efficient of a medium for keeping things moving the way they’re supposed to.

“Bottom” line is, if the waste products from all the meals you’ve eaten in a day don’t get eliminated from your system, they stay there and create a rather lovely environment for parasites. And if the thought of parasites isn’t gross enough, look at what all that excess waste does to the numbers on your bathroom scale. Now THAT’S gross.

So if you’re feeling bloated and sluggish and your weight isn’t quite where you think it should be, look to the white flour products. Cutting them out of your diet can make all the difference in your overall health – not to mention your energy levels.

I guarantee you that if you made a real effort for just one week to replace your white flour products with whole grain alternatives, you would really see and feel the difference.

Can you do it?

139 comments:

moonduster said...

So true! One of the first changes I made to my diet was to change from white flour products to whole grain.

Mamarazzi said...

truly educational post! thanks for that.

I decided to take a minute and visit my fellow Welcomistas…I should have done this a long time ago.

OH and be sure to come by and enter my FABULOUS giveaway too…so much fun stuff happening in the SITStahood, I’m L-O-V-I-N-G it!!

cathy said...

Former white flour eater here. Making the switch to whole grains is so much easier than it seems, and as you pointed out, so much better for you.

The Palmers said...

Thanks for the info on the flour. I think I will try it. Thanks for welcoming me to the Sitstahood!

kristisummer said...

I will give it isn't going to be easy. Thanks for the info.

Ree said...

I haven't eaten white bread/buns/rolls in for ever. But every once in a while, I must have a bagel.

tammy said...

I read a book about 7 years ago and switched then to whole wheat. Great reminder post!

Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. :)

Camevil said...

Four star blog! We learned the hard way about the horrors of processed flours.

Because of his food allergies, my hubby can only eat gluten-free products. It made him very sick over the last five years, especially.

But we learned that flour is in practically everything, like corn syrup. It's even in some french fries and cheeses! Not to sound like an alarmist hippie health nazi, but I firmly believe that the prevalence of such a harmful, unnecessary filler in everyday foods exacerbates (if it doesn't cause) food allergies and sensitivities.

But the bright side is that we have learned to live without wheat flour altogether. We used brown rice and brown rice flours for cooking, and I make our own breads using garbanzo bean and brown rice flours. Much more nutritious than the standard, and the results are mighty tasty.

Kaycee said...

I've noticed that I get serious "brain fog" if I eat too much white flour.

I'm trying to make the switch to whole wheat exclusively, but I'm getting some resistance from my family.

Mrs. Jelly Belly said...

Gluten-free is way more challenging than just switching to whole grains. I know a couple of people with Celiac's and, like you, I am appalled at how many food items contain it.

(And I agree about the increase in allergies and food sensitivities.)

Kaycee - I totally get "brain fog" from white flour, too. It is the once thing I know for sure will make me nod off in the afternoon. Another good reason for me to avoid it.

Rachael said...

happy SITS feature day lady, congratulations on your well deserved day!

blunt delivery said...

hey! came over from SITS. congrats!! I am strangely intrigued by your blog... of course, once you said "constipation" i was hooked! haha.

really though, interesting post. I know its true but I have as much self discipline as bill clinton in a room of interns.

Turtles In Alaska said...

Over from SITS. Great post,you are so right and I am going to make this a goal for me.Thanks!

Just say Julie said...

I have tried to cut out all our white flour... it's harder than i thought! Thanks for the post to remind me why I need to do it.

And congrats on your SITS FB day!

Lora said...

Happy SITS day!

I agree completely with your observations...but I hate, hate, hate the taste of whole wheat. So, white processed it is. Ah well. :)

Megan said...

Congrats on being Featured today!!

I prefer wheat over white. I'm good to go! =)

Firefly@www.firefly-shop.org said...

Hey Congrats on being featured :) so have a happy SITS day :)

I like more wheat and my girl likes it too, and Hubby, well Hubby likes white LOL always the difficult one :)

San said...

Yes! I totally am with you on this! I strongly believe in it, and am trying to 'convert' my entire household too! :)

Miss Eve Bognar said...

To avoid white flour is more difficult than people think...they are practically everywhere...but thanks for the post. Have a great day :-)

April said...

Congrats on being the FB on SITS today...enjoy your moment in the sun!

Yaya said...

I can do it!

Congrats on being featured blogger at SITS!

Fruitful Vine2 said...

So right, so true. I've been eating whole wheat/whole grain breads for so long that I sometimes forget that others don't do the same.

It's great the way you share these health tidbits with your readers.

Enjoy your day today and congratulations on being today's feature on SITS.

I thought that I followed you the last time I was here but I guess not. I just corrected that. I should be getting your inspiring tidbits daily now.

The Blonde Duck said...

Popping in from SITS to say hi! Congrats on your SITS day!

Eclectic Pink Rose said...

Your blog is very informative!!! Thanks so much, found you on SITS!! Congrats on the featured blogger!

Tanya said...

Congrats Jean!!!

White flour is evil, and like all things evil, it's everywhere :)

Catholic Runner said...

Thanks for the lesson. I really needed it!!

Queenie Jeannie said...

AMEN!!!!!!

Hi! Over from SITS. Congratulations on your special featured day! Enjoy every moment of it!!!

Sandy Toes said...

Goodmorning! Have a fun SITS day!
sandy toe

Katherine Aucoin said...

Congrats on being featured from SITS. Great post!

michelle said...

great post....and so true, I took away anything white from my diet about 8 years ago and have never felt better..and have kept off a considerable amount of weight by doing so(70 pounds)

thanks for reminding me why I do that.......

great blog..congrats on SITS day
m :)

blueviolet said...

I know you're right about this but why do they make that white bread taste so darn good?

Happy SITS day!

Jennifer said...

Wow, I didn't know all that about flour. Interesting. Congrats on being the featured blogger at SITS!!

Whimsical Creations said...

Good morning and happy sits day! Fabulous post!!

Shelley said...

WOW, didn't know that.. Congratulations on being featured on SITS today. Hope you have a saucy day.

Bunny said...

My first time here from SITS, lots of good information!

Kristin said...

Good advise. I really need to commit to making some changes.

Laufa said...

I totally agree with the "bloated" feeling after too much bread. We have tried to cut it out, now how do I stop eating sweet things.

Amanda in GA said...

Congrats on being the FB today at SITS.

Dina said...

good morning, congrats on your sits day!

Libby said...

I agree with this, along with eliminating sugar. But HOW in the WORLD do you do it?

Cassie said...

Sounds like something I will try. Have a great day and thanks for sharing.

My New 30 said...

Happy SITS Day!

Well... I'm of a totally different mindset. But then again, I'm from the south where white flour is a major food group LOL! But seriously, I don't think that any food is evil - I think it's more that we tend to over consume certain foods ... and white flour and sugar are two of the ones we tend to eat way too much of, especially here in the south. It just tastes so darned good! That over consumption is where the bloating and gas come from. Course, we Americans are so blessed with an overabundance of foods of all kinds, that when it comes to the ones we should limit, like sugars and white flour, well, we tend to have a problem with balance. I love whole wheat, but I'll never ever ditch any food, white flour included, forever. Course that's just my little ole opinion and that's all!

Have a great week!

Bethany said...

Happy SITS day!! It looks like you have lots of good information here, I'll be looking around :)

Alicia said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing!

Congrats on being FB today!

NJDecorator said...

Wanted to give you a shout out on your SITS day! You know I love your stuff!

Ginger said...

I do enjoy the whole grain products better(she said as she took a bite of her generic brand pop tart), but whole grain is always double the cost!! I know, I know.. what's my health worth? (sigh) Apparently it's more than MacDonalds but less than white flour..
:)
Love the blog! And happy SiTS day!!

Double Dipped Sweets said...

That's just scary. Thanks for putting it so boldly!

WhisperingWriter said...

Congrats on being the SITS FB.

This was interesting. But to be honest, no, I don't think I could do it :) Maybe one day, though.

WishTrish said...

I'm with you 100%. Love me some whole grains!

Happy SITS day!

Porters said...

I use white flour for baking but would like to know how to substitute with wheat flour (probably need less of it?). As far as sandwiches go we definitely use the 100 percent whole wheat breads. I don't even want the kids getting started on the white stuff!

Kally said...

I have heard of this before and the whole possible parasite thing totally freaked me out.

Congrats on your SITS day!!!

Procrastinator Crafter said...

I really had no idea about all the bad things linked with white flour. I just knew the fad diet of eliminating all white products, white flour, & white sugar. Guess there is really something to that! I might have to regroup on my white flour consumption. Thanks for this great post

Bonnie said...

Happy SITS day. We made the switch a few year ago and haven't missed it at all. Thanks for the reminder.

Our Crazy Life said...

Stopping in from SITS to say hello and enjoy your day!!

The Cookie Girl said...

Good Morning Fellow Sitsta!
we limit our "White Flour" intake as well. It definately does some nasty things to our bodies.
I do a lot of substituting with Spelt when I can.

Sturgmom said...

Thanks for the info!!

jen@odbt said...

Stopping by from SITS. I love your blog name. I'm very familiar with Jelly Belly. My kids nicknamed my belly much to my chagrin. Thanks for this info. We've been working on cutting out white flour.

hotpants™ said...

I'm from SITS. Happy SITS Day!

Kerri said...

Hey, thanks fro stopping by over at my blog! This looks like a very informative blog, so I'mexcited to read it. I agree with the white flour thing. I need to cut more of it out of my diet!

foxy gal said...

I'm stopping by after seeing you on SITS. You've got a great, very informative, blog! I love it!

I've made the whole wheat switch, but am thinking that I might need to cut out bread products all together... gotta do something to make that scale nice again!! ;>

Heather said...

Hmmm. Sounds like something I should try. I love baking and all of my cookies and what not call for flour. Using whole grain would help cut some of the bad stuff in half. Thanks for the helpful advice.

Call Me Cate said...

Happy SITS day. I do my best to keep the white flour at a minimum but it seems to be everywhere!

Small Town Girl said...

Thanks for the flour info. I am a wheat person, but my husband on the other hand wants his plain ole wonder bread. Constant battle in our house!

Congrats on your SITS day!

Robin said...

Great piece....
I made the change, removing white flour from my diet when I was pregnant with my first child, 26 years ago. I made big lifestyle changes then and haven't looked back.
Happy with my whole grains....

:-)

Tabitha in Bliss said...

We cute out white flour a year ago, so I totally agree with you! Visiting from SITS.

Vickie said...

Congrats on being the Featured Blogger.

Christina said...

Oooh... So bad, but yet can taste so good.

Congrats on being the FB today!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Congrats on your SITS day. Your blog looks very interesting. I have gone back to a mostly macrobiotic diet, (my fav nutrition book is The Hip Chick''s Book of Macrobiotics) since a bout with cancer three years ago.

No White flour, sugar, or rice.
Yes to whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies.

nopatternrequired said...

Great post, and inspiration for me to stay away from the oowey-gluey whites!

Congrats on FB!

pam said...

Here you are the SITS girl of the day!! Congrats:)

Joanna said...

Congrats on your SITS day!

jules1219 said...

I soooo need to do this!
I do eat whole grains, but not SOLELY whole grains....so maybe I need to try it. :)

Taryn said...

Hi there, Mrs. Jelly Belly! Cute name and fabulous blog you've got here, Darling!
This is a very informative post and I also want to say CONGRATULATIONS on being SITS featured blogger!

Love,
Taryn

monica said...

Thanks for the info and congrats on being the featured blog at SITS!!

Barely Domestic Mama said...

Thanks for reminding me. I've been meaning to switch to the whole wheat flour since I do a lot of baking around here.

Congrats on being the FB at SITS!

Mammatalk said...

Very educational post.

Enjoy all the commenty love today.
Yeah! It's your big, bloggy day!

Ryan Ashley Scott said...

We still splurge on cookies or cupcakes once in a while, but we make them at home and use whole wheat flour just like for everything else. It's amazing how much more filling it is - and how much better we feel having made the switch. I'm glad we did it when my son first started eating real food, so he won't grow up with "white bread syndrome" as we call it. :)

Heather said...

Happy SITS day! Wow, I always knew that whole wheat bread was better (I *always* read the ingredient lists to be sure), but I never knew all the specifics of just how bad white flour is, eesh!

Laura said...

I completely agree. Enjoy your SITS day!

dramamama said...

Well, when you put it like that...

Found you through SITS. Enjoy your day!

Julie said...

Wow :) Congrats on being featured! Have a great saucy day

Lynda said...

Congrats on being our whole wheat saucy SITSa!

Lis said...

Congrats on being featured blogger!

You are a girl after my own heart. I loved your post!

Helene said...

Congrats on your SITS day!!

This post was interesting! I knew white flour wasn't good for you but I never really knew why until this post! I've been buying mostly whole wheat and whole grain products and I'll continue to do so...I can't believe I had no idea that white flour could be so awful for your body!

Brandie said...

That is true..in my family we have found out that diabetes runs WILD and its so hard to find something that lowers the carbs..so when I went to the dietitian she told me whole grain would be the way to go :)

Kate Coveny Hood said...

People who hate whole wheat can always create a flour blend for their own cooking. I've done this and barely noticed the difference. And 50% is better than nothing!

Karen Brown Letarte said...

Hi, Mrs. Jellybelly-- you are so right about white flour. I'm having a struggle because my darlin' companion is not a big fan of whole grains. My son and I were used to eating lots of vegetarian foods and whole grains, which DC is really not into. However, we have made great progress on his overall nutrition since his bachelor days, when he lived on cheeseburgers, pizza, chicken wings and Doritos. I have been trying to make extra appealing meals and desserts too so he won't feel deprived, since I don't allow snacks like doritos in the house. Sigh. I know I need to start making some changes.

Thanks for the post!
Thanks also for visiting my blog, DomesticMuse!

Congrats on being the featured blogger today!

Tara said...

Wow....what an eye opener post! see, i KNOW this, but need to DO it! your little post here was a great visual!! happy Sits Day!!!

Frenzymom said...

Happy SITS Day!! Great advice. I know I really feel better when I cut out the white flour and sugar. Not to mention I weigh less. It's so hard cause its in everything. But it's worth it!!

The Lucky Mrs. T said...

Happy SITS day! I have been trying to convert Mr. S onto more whole grain proudcts, but he is too much of a white bread lover....

My Big Fat Super Super Obese Blog said...

ewww, I'm so glad I had breakfast before reading this post. I knew all the yucky things about white flour, but the images you crafted really "stick" with you.

Marrdy said...

Congrats on your SITS day. We always eat wheat flour but once in a while I just have to have a taste of that white fluffy good for nothing bread of my childhood.

Bethany said...

congrats on your SITS day!! Hope you love it!!

Katie said...

Hi! I came over from SITS! Congrats on your day. Okay, I agree that this is a good idea but I'm not really sure how to do about it. Can I just substitute whole wheat flour for everything that I was using white flour in??

feather k said...

i can try to be more observant...thanks for the info and congrats on your SITS FB Day!

Jill said...

Well, the NAME ALONE of your blog had me trotting RIGHT over for a visit! I love tangerine Jelly Belly beans! BUT, lo and behold you blog about health and nutrition!! GO FIGURE!

Thanks for the white flour alert...BAD STUFF!!! There are so many good alternatives now though aren't there?? I love whole grain!

Nicole said...

Popped over from SITS...

I need to do this! Thanks for the extra push!

Mommyof2girlz said...

Happy Feature Day! Thank you for some great info on white flour and I defiantly agree. I changed our family over to organic whole wheat a while back and everyone loves it.

Small House said...

Thanks for the info. today. This is indeed something I need to do!!

Sandra

Ali said...

We are big whole grain family here BUT I need white flour for some things, too. It's all about moderation.

Christine said...

Im visitinig from SITS...great post! AND...I'm now your newest follower!-Have a great day.

Knit Purl Gurl said...

Congrats on your SITS feature!

We've changed the way our family eats over the last 2 years. No one over-processed foods. We eat whole grain: wheat flour, brown rice. No 'instant' anything. We work hard to buy all fresh items and cook everything from scratch. It's made a real difference in our lives and how we feel. Plus the kids love to help cook! I have noticed that it was a little more expensive at first - but once we cut out all of the crap snacks and such, our grocery bill started to go back into budget.

P.S. - My son is on the Autism Spectrum and his symptoms are far less when we cut our processed foods. Of course, he is completely gluten-free, soy-free, casein-free, and dye-free and that has helped tremendously.

Rachel Ann said...

Congrats on being a SAUCY blogger today!! Have a fantastic Monday!

Mom on the Run said...

What a great message. I am trying to eliminate white flour in my diet do to health issues. I love when others have the same view.

Band of SITtas!!! Yay for feature blogger!

Rachel said...

Over from SITS! Congrats on being featured!

Our Crazy Life said...

As much as I would enjoy the benefits, I just don't think I could do it.
Congrats on being a Saucy blogger today!!

Mikki Black said...

Congrats on your feature! (I am completely wheat free, btw! It's not THAT hard!)

LORI said...

THANKS FOR THE WAKE UP CALL--IT SOUNDS DAUNTING AT FIRST, BUT I KNOW IT'S NOT THAT HARD TO ELIMINATE (PARDON THE PUN!) WHITE FLOUR, IT JUST TAKES SOME INITIAL UP-FRONT WORK. I'VE DONE IT BEFORE, AND HAD GREAT RESULTS, SO MAYBE IT'S TIME TO GET UN-LAZY AND DO IT AGAIN! COMING OVER FROM SITS--HAPPY FEATURE DAY!

capperson said...

Yay you got featured!! Congrats!!!

Susie said...

Congratulations on your SITs feature! I hope you are enjoying your day in the sun:-)

Lalapoo said...

just saying hello from SITS.

Kathy B! said...

I try to do it, but it's hard to know if I'm thorough... I buy bread that reads "100% whole wheat," we use a whole wheat BLEND pasta (better than none? I hope), and the cereals I buy have names like raisin BRAN... but I wonder how much is still sneaking into us?!

I'd love a followup post to the effect. I know the data (well not really but I know what I hear tossed around!), but I'm not sure if I'm doing as well as I think I am...

Michelle said...

Yay for being today's FB. Just swinging by from SITS. Hope you have a great day.

Thanks for the info on whole grain vs. white flour! Great post!

Ashley said...

Woo!! Happy SITS day! Hope you are enjoying all the love!!

SuZ said...

HEY!

Congrats on being saucy today!!!

:)

Miss Gina Designs said...

Very interesting post...it's hard to cut down white flour, but I am trying. :-) Congrats on your SITS feature!

HoneyB said...

I remember a demonstration someone did once with a loaf of white bread - they squished it together and it STUCK. That right there told me I never wanted to eat it again.

SpaGirl Jenn said...

Congrats on your FB....I love this!!!! I completely agree....There is so much wrong with white bread, that I just can't believe people still eat it!!!! I have found in my own research (with a condition that I was told that I have) and found that one of the FIRST things to eliminate from my diet was WHITE flour....actually ANYTHING WHITE!!!!

Thank you for sharing and keep it up!!!! I will be back =-)

Kimberly said...

Very informative and well written! I am going to have to start reading all my labels, I'm scared there won't be anything good in the pantry.

Amy said...

I love wheat bread. Happy SITS day.

Leslie said...

Makes you wonder why the flour makers bother to remove everything that's good about the grain in the first place.

Just visiting from SITS!

Mama King said...

We've been thinking about doing it but have had difficulty pulling the trigger. We've switched to whole grain flax seed sandwich bread. It is the pasta. We haven't found a pasta that tastes as good as the white processed stuff. I am going to explore past posts to see if you have any suggestions.

Amanda said...

I have done that with my kids. I was thinking if I started them that way they would never know the difference. They love Sara Lee's whole grain heart smart bread! My mom gave us fat-free mayo as kids and I never even tasted real mayo till I was in college, and then preferred the fat-free mayo.

Dawn said...

Hi-stopping in from SITS. Thank you so much for this information. I've been thinking for awhile that I-and in turn my family-would like to start eating healthier. This had given me alot to think about.

Mandy said...

I'm going to try it!!
happy SITS day, you saucy lady, I'm so glad I came by.

christyzee said...

very interesting, we went through a whole grain training this summer and it was nice to get a refresher! thank you for sharing!
blessings...

Nana said...

I am so glad you are being featured on SITS!!

Now I have to say half the time you scare me to death with your posts.

Thanks for helping us out even though you scare me a little.

angie said...

Great post! Happy SITS Day!

calista said...

Can you just substitue whole wheat flour form everything you cooked with white flour. Like breading chicken and such? And then just buy whole wheat whole grain bread and you've got it beat right??

The Eadle Family said...

Happy SITS day! I have cut out white flour products for almost 2 years. I am never going back. I used to argue with my fiance about bread, and he got me hooked on whole wheat. White pasta is GROSS! Now I am looking into replacing my white flour with whole wheat. That is my next step. :)

bec4 said...

Happy SITS day. I am a half and half girl with flour. I use whole wheat and white while baking, slowly sneaking more and more wheat in.

Holly Jones said...

Great information! Nice blog!

Star Forbis said...

Cute Blog, Cute name! Can't wait to learn more.

BoufMom9 said...

My whole family, kids and all, have been eating whole grains for years! We went to a fully natural diet about a year ago and will never go back :)

Happy SITSday!

Brooke said...

i would have a very difficult time with that!

i'm trying to make the whole wheat pasta switch though.

(sorry i couldn't stop by yesterday, i was traveling to visit family - hope your special day was great!)

Maytina said...

I have been trying to do this over the last few months - old habits are hard to break though - eep! [Popping over from SITS]

Alison Clancy said...

Great article! My name is Alison Clancy and I work for a non-profit called Oldways in Boston. We are the creators of the Whole Grains Council, and we wanted to thank you for helping us spread the word about healthy eating! We put a link to your post on our Twitter at OldwaysPT. Hope you get to check it out, and thanks again!

Carrie said...

Great info! I had been think about making a switch and this is a great support.
I love to bake and I picked up King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking cookbook. It got great reviews and I can't wait to get started this weekend. I'll let you know how it goes!

Michelle said...

I made some sweet bread yesterday in the trusty ol' bread machine. It was white and all I could think about was the whole flour/water/paste image. Didn't stop me from having a slice, but it did stop me from having several. ;)