Refined foods

Our ancestors would eat only unrefined foods rich in fiber, minerals and vitamines. It is only from the middle of our century that our habits changed. We have decided that breads made out of white flour were nicer and healthier than brown breads made from whole wheat. We replaced whole grains by processed grains.
Only few people still eat whole rice, the majory adopted white rice which is devoided of its husk.

What people do nor seem to know is that fiber is more abundant on the outside surfaces of whole grains, seeds, beans, vegetables and fruits than on the inside. If the outside of a cereal is removed, the majority of the nutrients are lost.

The more a grain is processed, the more it has lost its nutrients

100 g cooked long-grain white rice contain 0.5 g of fiber
100 g cooked long-grain brown rice contain 1.5 g of fiber

100 g white flour contain 0.3 g of fiber
100 g whole wheat flour contain 2.3 g of fiber

White flour is devoided of a lot of nutrients available in the whole grain. During the processing, 80 % of the vitamins and minerals and 75 % of the fibers are lost.
What is left in white flour is ground up endosperm. The removal of nutrients and almost all fibers from grain creates an unbalanced product.
The body needs nutrients especially the fibers which help the peristaltic action of the colon.

White flour and its products are constipating the bowels that induce a stagnation of wastes in the digestive tract and leads to development of unhealthy microorganisms that cause discomfort and sometimes diseases.

Whole grains are healthier because they contain higher amounts of vitamins, minerals, and fiber than refined grains, primarily because the bran of the kernel has not been removed.


Realized by Laurence LIVERNAIS-SAETTEL, dietetian
© Copyright L. Livernais-Saettel 2000
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