Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Colorado Mountains
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White flour products are 'dead' . They have had the germ and bran removed and are so nutritionally deficient it's sad.
The following information in  was taken and somewhat paraphrased in some places (to shorten it) from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, Ph.D (Great book, btw, finally got a copy for myself):
[Whole grains provide vitamin E (potent antioxident), B vitamins in abundance, and MANY important minerals. These are discarded in the refining process.
Fiber - indigestible cellulose that plays an important role in digestion and elimination - is also removed.]
[Refined flour (white flour) IS commonly fortified, but this is of little value. Fortification adds a handfull of synthetic vitamins and minerals to white flour and polished white rice after a host of essential factors have been removed or destroyed in processing. Some of the vitamins added during fortification might even be dangerous.]
[Some researchers believe that excess iron from fortified flour can cause tissue damage, and other studies link excess toxic iron to heart disease.
Vitamin B1 and B2 added to grains withou B6 leads to imbalances in numerous processes involving B vitamin pahtways.
The safety of bromating and bleaching agents, almost universally applied to white flour, has never been established.]
So you are probably thinking ok, so I'll just eat all whole grains. Well...this is great, but it needs some special treatment to preserve all that goodness!
[Whole grains contain phosphorus and it is bound up in the bran of the grains with a substance called Phytic Acid. Phytic Acid combines with iron, calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc in the intestional tract, blocking their absorbtion. Whole grains also contain enzyme inhibitors that can interfere with digestion.]
[Traditional societies usually soaked or fermented their grains before eating them. This process neutralizes phytates and enzyme inhibitors, and in effect, predigests the grains so that ALL the nutrients are more available!]
[Sprouting (which also increases the nutritional value EVEN more), overnight soaking and old-fashioned sour levening can accomplish this important predigestion process in our own kitchens.]
[MANY people allergic to grains, but WILL tolerate them well when they are prepared according to these proceedures. Proper preparation techniques also help break down complex sugars in legumes (beans), making them more digestible too.]
Here is a real 'kicker'....
[Whole grains that have been processed by high heat (which also causes essential oils to degrade or go rancid even faster!) and pressure to produce puffed wheat, oats and rice (gee, most breakfast cereals) are actually quite toxic and have caused rapid death in test animals. We do NOT recommend rice cakes, a popular snack food.
Breakfast cereals that have been slurried and extruded at high temperatures and pressures to make little flakes and shapes should also be avoided.
Most, if not all, nutrients are destroyed during processing, and they are very difficult to digest. Studies show that these extruded whole grain preparations can have even more adverse effects on the blood sugar than refined sugar and white flour! (Now THAT'S SAD) The process leaves phytic acid intact but destroys phytase, an enzyme that breaks down some of the phytic acid in the digestive track.]
Well, that's more than a mouthful (if I ever make senior member, they gonna call me 'gabbi momma'....
See my new addition to 'Good Eats with Wheat' on some more info on sprouting in general and how to make sprouted bread. There are recipes for sourdough breads and such also.
'Going to the grocery store is becoming more and more like walking through a mine field!' - my own new quote