Are you the health conscious type who shops for grain products made with whole wheat? Do you specify whole wheat pizza dough when you eat at an Italian restaurant? You may be aware that whole grains are healthier than white, but do you know that there are products that only claim to be “whole wheat” but really or not? Or that those that are advertised to contain “the goodness of whole wheat” are not whole wheat at all?
Why Wheat Grain is Healthier
It is a known fact that whole grains are better for the health. Whole foods of whatever kind contain more fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than their processed counterparts. Whole grains have been proven to provide the dietary minerals and vitamins required by the body while whole wheat fiber is highly beneficial to heart and colon health.
Unfortunately, even if people try to buy breads, flour, cereals and other grain products which they believe are healthy, they lack the necessary information that would help them make informed choices when it comes to food.
Additives in Whole Wheat Grain Products
There are two ways in which consumers of whole wheat and whole grain products are misled by unscrupulous manufacturers.
1.They include “whole grain” on the ingredients list even if the product does not contain it at all or it may but in almost negligible amounts.
2.They add other ingredients to the whole grain products to improve the taste which in the process makes them worse for the health compared to processed white bread.
What makes it even more shocking is that breads that claim to be 100% natural whole wheat” often list enriched wheat flour as an earlier ingredient. This means that there is more of it that whole wheat. Breads that are said to have “the goodness of whole wheat” really contain synthetic vitamins and tasteless oat or pea fiber thus only the “goodness” of whole wheat but not whole wheat itself.
Enriched or Whole Wheat: Which is better?
Enriched flour may sound healthy but it does not offer the same health benefits as whole wheat. This flour has vitamins and minerals added to it and undergoes heavy processing. According to the Wheat Foods Council (U.S.), the practice of adding the said ingredients dates back to the late 1940’s when people suffered vitamin deficiencies as a result of World War II. This may be well and good but the problem is that the vitamin added are laboratory synthesized with other chemicals and impurities thereby resulting in a product that is not quite the same in goodness and nutritional value as natural whole grains.
You can wisen up by doing your research and checking the fine print ingredients listed on the label of the every whole wheat grain product you are considering to buy. Learn how to read between the lines. Check out both the front and the back of the package. Keep in mind that what’s written on the front is usually meant to catch your attention so it’s mostly hype. What’s more important is the information on the ingredients list at the back. It is there where you will know exactly what you are getting.
Frederick Hail is a bread aficionado. He enjoys cooking bread while listening to his favorite audio book on cd collections. He loves to travel the world with his family.