Flour that has had certain nutrients that were lost during preparation added back is known as enriched flour. Among these replenished minerals are B vitamins and iron (folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, and thiamine). Supplemental calcium is another option. When flour is enriched, nutrients are added back in order to bring it up to the nutritional level of an unrefined product. As opposed to fortification, which is the process of adding new nutrients to food, enrichment adds new nutrients.
According to the Global Fortification Data Exchange, 79 nations have declared fortification or enrichment of wheat or maize flour “mandatory.”
What is added to a grain that is enriched?
A grain product is any food manufactured from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or any cereal grain. Grain items include things like tortillas, bread, pasta, cereal for breakfast, grits, and so on. The Grains Group also includes foods like popcorn, rice, and oats.
Whole grains and refined grains are the two subgroups of grains. Whole grains include the bran, germ, and endosperm of the grain kernel. Whole-wheat flour, bulgur (cracked wheat), oatmeal, whole-grain cornmeal, and brown rice are a few examples of whole grains. The bran and germ are eliminated during the milling process used to refine cereals. This process eliminates dietary fiber, iron, and numerous B vitamins while giving grains a finer texture and extending their shelf life. White flour, corn grits, white bread, and white rice are a few examples of items made from refined grains.
Options for refined grains ought to be enriched. This indicates that after processing, certain B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folic acid) and iron are added back. The fiber in enhanced grains is removed. Make sure the phrase “enriched” appears in the grain name on the ingredient list for items made from refined grains. Some food items have both whole and refined grains in their composition. Whole grain foods are those that are made entirely of whole grains.
What makes enriched flour unhealthy?
Even a modest handful of trail mix, which is loaded with salted almonds, sugar-coated raisins, and even M&Ms, may… [+] contain 300+ calories. (Wikipedia attribution for image)
Don’t assume something is healthy just because it seems to be! Before you go on your next shopping trip or out for a quick snack, check out my list of 14 “healthy” foods that are actually unhealthy for you. These are some frequent errors that individuals often mistake for being beneficial. Remember that understanding what you’re consuming is your most effective weapon for nutrition.
First, Wheat Bread
Literally any carbohydrate may be made with wheat and marketed as a wheat product. Do you honestly believe that the fact that Whole Wheat Lucky Charms are now available makes them healthy? If the bread isn’t made entirely of whole wheat, it may contain enriched flour, which causes a sugar rise and crash without providing any nutritional benefit. Enriched flour essentially depletes the bread of nutrition.
Replace it with: 100% whole wheat breads that are high in fiber. As long as those are the first ingredients listed on the packaging, other types of bread like multigrain and sprouted are also suitable choices. Better still, consider encasing your sandwiches in romaine lettuce to save 200 calories.
Dried Fruit 2.
Yes, there is fiber in it. In order to prolong its preservation, it has a ton of additional sugar and sulfur. YUM! The fruit has at least three times as many calories per volume as fresh fruit since it has been dried. A package of banana chips contains 20% more fat and three times the calories of a banana.
Replace it with: Fruit is ALWAYS better when it’s fresh! In addition to getting all the nutrients that weren’t lost during drying, it will keep you feeling full for longer.
Trail Mix 3.
Skip the trail mix if you are not on the trail. Even a little handful of them can have 300+ calories because they are loaded with salted almonds, sugar-coated raisins, and even M&Ms. While not the best choice for a nutritious food, trail mix is a quick energy snack for hikers who need the extra calories to burn. You don’t need so much sugar and salt in your daily life.
Replace it with: One serving of unsalted nuts. So that you know precisely how much to eat, measure it out of the bag. Until your next meal, a modest handful of almonds can sate your appetite and provide you with a terrific nutrient boost.
4. Spiced Soy Milk
Yes, soy can provide both potassium and protein. However, consuming the vanilla or chocolate tastes adds 50 calories and 10 grams of sugar to each cup. Please don’t!
Replace it with: ordinary soy milk, almond milk, or hemp milk. These are two excellent choices if you’re avoiding dairy.
5. Flavored Yogurt without Fat
Please repeat after me: foods low in fat are NOT healthy foods! I frequently cite sugar as the culprit for weight gain rather than fat. Even if they are fruit-flavored, most flavored yogurts have 15 grams of sugar per 6 oz., thus no, they are not nutritious.
Replace it with Greek yogurt and fresh fruit slices. My favorite fruit is blueberries, which are best eaten raw and have the most antioxidants of any fruit. Add some honey or agave nectar if you’d like the sweetness to be increased.
Six. Low-fat peanut butter
The fact that peanuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, often known as healthy fats, is one of their main advantages. What remains if you take that out of the peanut butter? Countless calories that are now filled with empty sugar. When a product says it has less fat, it usually means that salt or sugar was used in place of the fat.
Simply stick with the actual thing and consume less of it. Purchase natural peanut butter without any sugar. It’s the best option for nourishment, and even a small amount will help you feel full.
7. Fruit Spritzer
You could believe that everything that contains fruit is good for you. However, how fruit is maintained can have a significant impact. Despite having only about 110 calories and 26 grams of sugar in one cup of fruit cocktail. Your entire daily value is that.
Change it to: Now that you’ve read this, you know that real fruit is ALWAYS preferable! A small plastic cup is not any more portable than a banana or an apple.
Pretzels are nutritionally devoid and have just as much sodium as potato chips, but only tenth the fat. Additionally, they contain white flour, which raises blood sugar and only serves to make you ravenous shortly after. Look at the bag’s reverse: Pretzels are extremely calorie-dense and contain a lot of ingredients, with enriched flour being the first one, then salt, corn syrup, and corn oil. No longer sounds very nutritious, does it?
Replace it with: Kale chips. You can fill up on protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals for fewer calories. For the same reason that pretzels cause a sugar crash, kale chips keep you fuller for a far longer period of time than pretzels.
Protein Bars 9.
Check the label. Too many protein bars are just processed bricks filled with fillers and fake substances. The majority of them end up being little more than a candy bar with some protein powder added. You shouldn’t grab these as a snack, and if it contains more than 200 calories and 8 grams of sugar, put it back on the shelf!
Replace it with: Try beans in a dinner, damage, or hummus and vegetables for a snack if you’re seeking for a protein boost. Unlike many protein bars, which wind up being candy bars, these selections will contain protein straight from the source.
10. Ice cream
No matter what mix-ins you select, frozen yogurt has zero nutritional value. By choosing fro-yo over ice cream, you are not helping yourself. It’s a sugary delight that should ONLY be enjoyed occasionally!
Simply consume the real item in a lower quantity. Real ice cream in a half-cup serving will make you feel more satisfied and ensure that you are eating the genuine article. Nothing more, nothing less, it’s just a treat.
Eleven. Organic Snack Items
My mother and I were in a high-end grocery store when she grabbed a box of organic toaster pastries and burst out laughing. She asserted, “Organic or not, a pop tart is still a pop tart,” and she is correct. The terms “organic” and “gluten free” are frequently used these days, but they don’t necessarily mean “healthy.”
Replace it with: A snack you can love back. Try baking apples quickly by microwaving apple slices with a dash of cinnamon as an alternative to sugary cookies. Try a handful of shelled, unsalted pistachios as an alternative to greasy potato chips.
12. Bars of oats
Granola bars are helpful if choosing one over skipping a meal is an option. These bars, however, are incredibly high in sugar, salt, and saturated fat. You might as well have a Snickers if you believed a granola bar to be a healthy snack! It no longer sounds entirely natural, does it?
Replace it with: A little piece of dark chocolate and sliced mango. You can eat something tasty, nutritious, and still satiate your sweet tooth and snack needs for a fraction of the calories and sugar.
Sushi Rolls 13.
Why is fish, rice, and seaweed not a healthy combination? Regular salmon or tuna rolls can be a tasty treat, but you should be cautious of the westernized varieties. For instance, a serving of salmon wrapped in rice and seaweed has 120 calories. 500 calories can be found in one serving of a salmon, cream cheese, spicy mayo, and house sauce Philadelphia roll. You might as well eat a Big Mac from McDonald’s!
Replace it with: Sashimi! It’s usually presented beautifully and served with ginger and radish. Anything hot or crunchy should be avoided because they often add 300+ calories to already healthful dishes.
15. Vegetable omelet
If you know how to order it, this meal isn’t intrinsically bad, like sushi. The extras that are included are what unnecessarily increase the calorie count. Frequently, the vegetables in your omelet are initially cooked in a sea of oil. You’re looking at more than a cup of oil in your ostensibly healthy meal when you add that to the butter and oil in the skillet and the cheese.
In its place, use a dry omelet, which signifies that there is no oil in the pan. Hold off on the cheese and ask for steamed vegetables. The devil is in the details, so bear that in mind the next time you decide to make a healthy choice.
Is enriched flour processed or natural?
I never checked the food labels because I apparently believed that “out of sight, out of mind.” That was one of a number of factors that made it challenging for me to lose weight for more than 20 years. I didn’t really care what was in my favorite dishes as long as they tasted nice, in which case I ate them. I simply disregarded the warnings when someone attempted to educate me of all the bad ingredients in pizza, pasta, or chicken nuggets. I reasoned that it was simply their attempt to get me to stop eating “real food” and opt for a basic lettuce salad so I could lose weight.
Now that I look back, I see that those who warned me about the dangerous elements in my favorite dinner options—not to mention the other things I ate every day—were right.
Without even realizing it, you can be eating some of the same unhealthy components. Read the list of ingredients on your favorite loaf of bread. There’s a good chance that enhanced wheat flour will be the first ingredient. What does “enriched” mean to you? Also, I didn’t.
The majority of the natural vitamins and minerals have been removed from enriched flour. This process gives bread a finer texture and lengthens its shelf life.
Your body absorbs wheat differently when the bran and germ—the components of wheat that contain fiber and nutrients—are removed. Your body breaks down enriched flour more quickly, which normally boosts blood sugar more quickly as well, as opposed to being a lengthy process that offers you steady bursts of energy. The liver must process this extra blood sugar, and if there is too much of it, your body will store some of it as fat.
Your body STORES IT AS FAT. Read that sentence again. Despite all of this, you are still far short of the amount of nutrients that whole grains contain.
Okay, so what component of bread should you be looking for? Because they are higher in dietary fiber, antioxidants, protein, dietary minerals like magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and selenium, along with niacin, vitamin B6, and vitamin E, whole wheat flour or whole grain flour should be listed first on the label of your bread. You can lower your chance of developing some malignancies, coronary heart disease, gastrointestinal disorders, diabetes, and obesity by eating whole grains.
Now that I study food labels, I’ve discovered that many items appear healthy at first glance but are actually not. Make sure you still examine the ingredients on your favorite bread’s label if it says “soft wheat” or “multigrain,” as these types of bread are frequently prepared with enhanced flour. Even without the phrase “enriched,” if it doesn’t mention “whole,” the contents are the same.
Also keep in mind that unbleached wheat flour still lacks the bran and the germ, which contain vital nutrients and fiber, even though the color of the bread is brown and it appears to be very healthy.
My recommendation Try to find food items that say “100% whole wheat” or “whole grain”—the good stuff!
The following foods frequently contain enhanced flour:
- pizza crust
- Breaded chicken nuggets
Avoiding foods made with enriched flour? How have you managed to avoid including it in your diet?
Must I stay away from enhanced flour?
Your body is no longer able to absorb flour manufactured from wheat that has been completely stripped of its inherent minerals and nutrients, such as the germ and bran.
Sugar and fat are both absorbed from enriched flour. Whole wheat flour, on the other hand, absorbs more slowly and maintains a stable level of blood sugar and energy.