The Hidden Truth About Enriched White Flour

Enriched Flour

To enrich something means to make it richer by adding good things to it. If you add some organic apple cider vinegar to your water, you’ve enriched it. Enriched white flour must have lots of good things added, so it’s good for you. Right? Wrong!

The reality is that many of the good things that were originally in it have been stripped out through refinement. The components added back to the flour are actually toxic!

Iron is a “nutrient” added to enriched flour, except the type of iron added is not really a nutrient at all, but is considered a metallic iron. Metallic iron is not bioavailable to the human body and was never meant to be consumed.

Enriched flour is not absorbed by the body as wheat or a grain, in which case your body could use the energy slowly and effectively, but as a starch. That is because the wheat germ has been stripped from the flour; the FDA states that enriched flour cannot have more than 5% wheat germ.

How Enriched Flour Affects Your Health

Enriched White Bread

Once this stuff has been stripped down, you’re left with a starch. How does your body react to pure starch? The same way it reacts to pure sugar! The consumption of enriched white flour or products containing enriched white flour causes your body to scream through the ride of a sugar high/low roller coaster.

White flour is really nothing more than refined carbohydrates and can contribute to obesity. According to a study that was referenced by Natural News, Americans eat enough extra calories (mostly through refined carbs) to add three pounds of body fat per month to their weight [3]. Carbs should come from unrefined sources, like fresh organic fruits and vegetables. Not from something that’s been processed, bleached, and treated with synthetic nutrients.

Alternatives to Enriched White Flour

Whole Wheat

It’s difficult to live flour-free. Many foods are made with flour of some type and it is hard to go flour-free without switching to an all-produce diet or raw food diet.

There are alternatives to enriched white flour. Try replacing enriched flour with whole wheat, oat flour, rye flour, almond meal, brown rice flour, or millet flour. Pasta and bread are the foods that most commonly contain white flour, but pay attention as many processed and frozen foods contain enriched flour.

If available, sprouted flours are best. Preferably, organic. Organic sprouted whole grain pastas and breads are becoming easier to obtain although the best diet plan would contain little to no grains and more live fruits, seeds and vegetables.

Whole Grain Flour vs. White Enriched Flour

  • Whole grain foods are higher in fiber because the wheat germ and bran have not been processed out of them.
  • Whole grain foods are digested more slowly, leaving you feeling fuller for a longer.
  • Whole grain foods have more nutrients than “enriched” foods.
  • Whole grains are not processed as a starch, so they don’t throw your body into a sugar dependency cycle.

Experiment with a 10 day, no enriched white flour challenge, you might be surprised at how easy it is. Better yet, share the challenge with your family and friends.

- Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

References:

  1. Mike Adams. Refined carbohydrates are to blame for skyrocketing chronic disease, not just obesity. Natural News. 2004 March 02.

Free Sample E-Book: Learn How to Cleanse Your Body of Harmful Toxins Using Organic Methods

This entry was posted in Food

  • http://natalieblake.com/ Natalie

    I heard on Oprah a few years back to always look at the ingredients when buying bread. If it says “enriched flour” at the top, put it back and look for something else. Because of this, I’ve discovered that alot of the breads that say “whole wheat”, even list “enriched flour” as an ingredient. So you really have to look closely at what you are buying.

    I’m a big believer of eating whole wheat breads and pastas. Fiber is very important for overall health. I believe it’s the “key to your health”. Great article Dr. G!

  • P.W.D.

    I like this type of food.

  • http://www.leavethelightson.info Ginkgo100

    Do you have a source for the statement that nutritionally unsuitable metallic iron is used to enrich bleached flour? The FDA guideline for enriched flour (http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/get-cfr.cgi?TITLE=21&PART=137&SECTION=165&YEAR=2001&TYPE=TEXT) specifically requires that “All ingredients from which the food is fabricated shall be safe and suitable.”

  • BARBY PENWELL

    I am so glad to see so much of what I believe in, in black and white where I can copy it and give to my friends. I had cancer 3 years ago and was healed by vitamins and such and I learned so much from a nutritionalist. I preach and preach but I like to have it where I can copy it to show to everyone.
    Finally I am finding more and more of what I believe in so strongly.

    Barby

  • Peter Carminati

    There is still a lot baked goods that I avoid because of the white flour content. I expose myself every Sunday in the church’s coffee room after service when I snack on an old favorite such as gingerbread or some other thing that I used to eat when I was a kid. I no longer drink coffee and now use Himalayan Gree Tea which 99.95+/- caffeine-free. No longer young at 72+.

  • Sandra

    When a product says that it has whole grains in it you can’t always believe them. If you look to the ingredients you will most likely see enriched flour as the first ingredient. There is a stamp that you can find on the product that shows that it IS whole grain. Take time to check the ingredients on the product and you will be able to find whole wheat products. Even better, make your own bread and grind your own flour and you will be much better off!

  • STEVE

    You are right. Iron in a metallic form is not added. The type of iron added to bakery goods is usually iron sulfate which is a water soluble form of iron that is identical to the medicinal iron sulfate taken by most women to replace iron loss in their blood stream. Iron filings in cereal would be a “mistake” and not the result of deliberate formulation. This reference is just more hysteria to make better reading.

  • Karen

    I eat very healthy. Lots of fish, chicken breast, greens, fruits and vegetables. I must stear away from food made with enriched flour if I don’t want to feel sluggish, depressed, tired, agressive and have flatulence.

  • Karen

    Since I have stayed away from foods containing enriched flour; I have never felt so energetic. Lots of fruits, vegetables, greens, fish, chicken and lots of water. Staying away from enriched flour has also helped me take off the last few pounds I had to lose. I am 63 years old but I feel like 40. And also by eating well, I look much younger. Most people think I’m in my 40′s.

  • Byron

    That is Wonderful! Hi I’m an ILS worker and have been working on getting all my clients off enriched and processed foods. I myself stopped purchasing them about 6 months ago and have lost 35 lbs. and feel great. Most people can’t believe how much I weigh (210), they think I weigh 170. Funny tho, I wear cloths that fit me when I weighed 190. America should ban all enriched and processed foods and shut some hospitals down.
    Thanks,
    Byron

  • Carrie

    WOW! I honestly had no idea that enriched white flour was so bad for you. I am going to eat nothing but wheat bread from now on. THanks for the info!

  • pete

    How do you grind flour?

  • bonnie

    i eat white flour i have a birth mark of it i eats it 2r 3 times ady but a time i dont swallow it an that other times i spit itout please help me wit i please com up wit some kind of solution.

  • oliver james

    The dr said plenty of good stuff. However since I and no one else is perfect, so too is this report lacking something. The choosing between wheat flour or white flour (enriched or not), is made moot due to the rarely spoke of fact that bread sits in an oven at 350 degrees Farenheit for an hour. No nutrients are surviving that. To be clear; no nutrients that are the same as the original stalk of wheat are in the slice of bread. This is true for pasta as well. The processes that caused the flour to be devalued nutritionally in the mills, are far less severe than those in the kitchen. As the good doc recommended get get all your nutrients from fruits and salads and nuts and seeds etc.

  • Rick

    Bonnie, you really need to work on your grammer, spelling and sentence structure. AAHHHH!!!!!! this is terrible. How did you pass school?

  • http://none Bill

    I bought Whole Wheat bread and the second ingredient was High Fructose Corn Syrup. Have to read the Ingredients closely!

  • mark

    stop buying cheap weat bread

  • Louise

    You can buy wheat/grain grinder/mills at any Bosch store; other stores sell them as well. I used to grind my own whole wheat flour years ago. I gave it up when I had to start working full-time to make ends meet. The grinder went to my daughter. It is best to grind only enough wheat to make enough flour for the batch of bread you are making. The flour loosing its nutrients as it sits in your cupboard. I also used to use the whole wheat flour to make gluten–and I used it as a meat substitute in a lot of recipes. The kids loved my meatless chicken-fried steak!

  • Louise

    I was told by a nutritionist that using a cast-iron pan to cook in could give you your daily requirement of iron. The reasoning was that the food absorbed iron from the pan. Are you telling me that is false?

  • http://www.GlobalHealingCenter.com GHCCustomerService

    Louise,
    Thank you for your post! You may not receive the RDA by cooking with cast iron cookware but it is possible that you will absorbe some iron from this form of cooking. This can be said of pots that are not coated with non stick or painted ceramic, in most cases the older cast iron cookware is safer to use. So yes, you will get some of the iron, but be sure that you are getting exactly what the body needs before assuming that this will be the “one source” you will need over all.

  • Mike

    Rick…it’s spelled grammar. Ouch. Let’s not judge and let’s stick to the topic.

  • NinoConiglio

    ok your all wrong about everything your writing, because everything your writing is only 2% of the truth. The truth is all flour available on the market today is enriched, whole wheat is really no different than white flour the only difference is it has a small amount of bran added back into it after the refining process. Also there is no part of the germ what so ever present in any flour anywhere in the world (Unless your buying your flour from a mill that milled it that day. I really don’t feel like laying this down right now but I gonna not be lazy and do it any way.

    THIS IS WHAT YOU UNEDUCATED HEALTH NUTS DONT KNOW.

    In 1873 there were over 22,000 flour mills in the US alone
    Today there are less than 200.
    WHY?
    Because those those of you who have ever milled grain and i mean any grain and leave it sit in a for 7 days it smells like a dead body.
    It goes bad. So back then mills only milled enough grain for the day to meet the demand of the people in the area.

    The bran is the exterior shell and the wheat grain it is made up of many nutrient rich layers. More importantly it protects the vital nutrients inside the the grain. Once the bran has been cracked or broken the inner elements are exposed to oxygen, which destroys the element in a short period of time.Within 24 hours of the brain being cracked 40% of the vitamins and minerals have been oxidized. After 72 hours 90% of the nutrients have been destroyed.
    This is the reason why they enrich flour, because they started replacing 6 out of 29 essential vitamins minerals and oils found naturally in ground ground in the early 20th century because of a number of health issues people where facing during the time that they associated with the lack of these nutrients in the bread.

    Now bleaching, bromorating, and the ultra violent unnatural process in which all breads are made today is way to much for me to get into right now so do your own research it wont take more then 30 mins. Boromorating is illegal in the UK, Western Europe, New Zealand, Australia, and Japan because it is considered a carcinogen. You will read things that says nobody in america uses boramorated flour anymore but I assure you, from your local pizzeria and bakery to the grocery store brands they all do. I own 2 pizzerias and a bakery I know. Read the rest for yourselves.

    Ok so what have we got from all this?
    Flour and bread and glutens are baaaadddd?
    NOOOOO
    Everything is bad, from GMOs to HFCS to Preservatives to literally ever fruit, vegtable, meat, and grain that is not brought directally from a small locale farmer its really bad or its empty. You cant say I gonna stop eating grain to be healthy

  • NinoConiglio

    So whats the solution?

    Buy a mill there cheap grind your own flour as you need it.

  • NinoConiglio

    Now for the second Part
    Natural yeast
    Im gonna copy and paste something now cause im not a writer i dont have the paticents for it and im not good at It sooooo
    P.S. this artical is half BS as well meaning its only half the story. Every hardworking American in this country whether you work 12hours a day or none has the time to make bread trust me for those who want more info email me or respond to this.

    Of course the sourdough fermentation of flour from whole wheat and
    rye to make bread has strong traditions in several countries of the
    world, whether the breads are leavened, oven-baked loaves or flat
    leavened breads cooked over hot coals. This method is time-consuming
    and–even more problematic for the modern age–requires the careful
    maintenance of a culture medium, the sourdough starter, which is a
    stable relationship of a family of wild yeast fungi and several strains
    of local lactobacilli. Rather like the carefully nurtured cultures and
    caves that produce delectable fermented cheeses, sourdough bread
    cultures are a product of place and the people who care for them and use
    them. They are all different, produce flavors and rates of fermentation
    peculiar and beloved unto themselves, require temperatures and other
    conditions known intimately and respected by the baker. Commercial
    baker’s yeast, on the other hand, is a monoculture of just one single
    variety of yeast, grown to be a consistently fast and vigorous
    replicator and producer of carbon dioxide, but incapable of developing
    grain flavors (the lactobacilli are best at that). Sourdough cultures
    produce reliably leavened and complexly flavored breads via the
    alchemical communion of the culture microorganisms, flour, water, fire
    and time–plenty of time.

    Michael Gaenzle, a cereal microbiologist now at the University of
    Alberta, Canada, has suggested that sourdough cultures are in fact so
    intimately connected with the people who use them that they form a
    mutually supportive and sustaining relationship.7 That is,
    the microorganisms are part of you (and come from you) and so the bread
    you ferment with them is tailormade to nourish and support especially
    you. You bolster your own health by eating bread cultured with your
    domestic friendly “beasties.” This “home advantage” is an obvious
    traditional benefit conferred on newly married daughters whose mothers
    included a barrel of sourdough in the wedding dowry to start their new
    households–to ensure their daughters’ health and vigor (especially since
    they were soon likely to bear children) and provide them extra strength
    in their new positions in life.

    The traditional sourdough process reliably neutralizes the
    anti-nutrients in the cereal grains as the flour is kept moist and
    acidic for many hours (or days). Ongoing research in cereal microbiology
    is investigating some preliminary evidence that the traditional
    sourdough method may also sever the bonds of the “toxic” peptides in
    wheat gluten responsible for the celiac reaction and neutralize them as
    well.8 In short, certain lactobacilli in a sourdough culture
    acting on wheat flour for a 24-hour period achieved nearly complete
    digestion of the peptides. When bread made with these species was fed to
    recovered celiac patients for two days, the patients showed no signs of
    increased intestinal permeability that were found among recovered
    celiac patients who consumed the same amount of regular bread over the
    same time period. These intriguing results suggest that wheat (or rye)
    flour that has undergone 24 hours of culture fermentation may render the
    “toxic” peptides harmless and allow the bread to be safely eaten by
    those with celiac disease, although studies of celiac patients consuming
    sourdough breads for a much longer period of time will be needed to
    confirm this.

    In the study cited, test bread was made with fermented wheat flour
    and the remainder of the flour from the non-gluten grains millet,
    buckwheat and oats. The recipe does not resemble a classically prepared
    sourdough bread which is traditionally made in a building-up process of
    stages; some of the flour will have fermented for as long as two or
    three days, whereas some of it for only several hours prior to baking,
    during the period when the culture microorganisms experience exponential
    growth rate. The result of breaking down gluten completely is that it
    can no longer raise the dough!

    Deviation from Rational Principles

    Another outcome of the mass production of industrial bakery products
    has been to create grotesque taste standards and expectations that have
    no connection to an honest ingredient. Commercial cereal products have
    become health hazards because of everything from grain hybridization to
    flour adulteration to inadequate, inappropriate and violent processing.
    They also are aesthetically repugnant, which is just as important a
    factor to consider when talking about the nourishment of food.

    Consider this prophetic statement by Rudolf Steiner in an address to
    members of the Anthroposophical Society on June 20, 1924 and published
    in Spiritual Foundations for the Renewal of Agriculture: “. . .
    [U]nder the influence of our modern philosophy of materialism, it is
    agriculture–believe it or not–that has deviated furthest from any truly
    rational principles. Indeed, not many people know that during the last
    few decades the agricultural products on which our life depends have
    degenerated extremely rapidly. In this present time of transition. . .
    it is not only human moral development that is degenerating, but also
    what human activity has made of the Earth and what lies just above the
    Earth. . . Even materialistic farmers nowadays. . . can calculate in how
    many decades their products will have degenerated to such an extent
    that they no longer serve as human nourishment. It will certainly be
    within this century.”

    Grains comprise a wholesome category of foods that must be respected
    for the complexity of nutrient contributions they can make to the human
    diet, and must always be prepared with care to maximize those nutrients’
    availability as well as neutralize naturally occurring antinutrients.
    Resources also exist to reintroduce ancient grains, such as emmer and
    einkorn wheats, into our food supply and diversify cereal choices with
    alternatives to the few overly hybridized cultivars largely in use
    today.

    Growing and preparing food ought to be a sacramental service. It
    should not be based on violence, as is most of modern agriculture,
    factory animal farms and factories that produce finished food items like
    bread. All those processes are based on “conquering” the food item and
    forcing it into a form defined by commerce. There are no more subtle
    energies in these debased foods, let alone mere measureable nutrients or
    soul-satisfying taste and vitality.

    Food is holy. Its preparation and enjoyment constitute a daily opportunity to experience happiness, satisfaction and gratitude.
    rye to make bread has strong traditions in several countries of the
    world, whether the breads are leavened, oven-baked loaves or flat
    leavened breads cooked over hot coals. This method is time-consuming
    and–even more problematic for the modern age–requires the careful
    maintenance of a culture medium, the sourdough starter, which is a
    stable relationship of a family of wild yeast fungi and several strains
    of local lactobacilli. Rather like the carefully nurtured cultures and
    caves that produce delectable fermented cheeses, sourdough bread
    cultures are a product of place and the people who care for them and use
    them. They are all different, produce flavors and rates of fermentation
    peculiar and beloved unto themselves, require temperatures and other
    conditions known intimately and respected by the baker. Commercial
    baker’s yeast, on the other hand, is a monoculture of just one single
    variety of yeast, grown to be a consistently fast and vigorous
    replicator and producer of carbon dioxide, but incapable of developing
    grain flavors (the lactobacilli are best at that). Sourdough cultures
    produce reliably leavened and complexly flavored breads via the
    alchemical communion of the culture microorganisms, flour, water, fire
    and time–plenty of time.

    Michael Gaenzle, a cereal microbiologist now at the University of
    Alberta, Canada, has suggested that sourdough cultures are in fact so
    intimately connected with the people who use them that they form a
    mutually supportive and sustaining relationship.7 That is,
    the microorganisms are part of you (and come from you) and so the bread
    you ferment with them is tailormade to nourish and support especially
    you. You bolster your own health by eating bread cultured with your
    domestic friendly “beasties.” This “home advantage” is an obvious
    traditional benefit conferred on newly married daughters whose mothers
    included a barrel of sourdough in the wedding dowry to start their new
    households–to ensure their daughters’ health and vigor (especially since
    they were soon likely to bear children) and provide them extra strength
    in their new positions in life.

    The traditional sourdough process reliably neutralizes the
    anti-nutrients in the cereal grains as the flour is kept moist and
    acidic for many hours (or days). Ongoing research in cereal microbiology
    is investigating some preliminary evidence that the traditional
    sourdough method may also sever the bonds of the “toxic” peptides in
    wheat gluten responsible for the celiac reaction and neutralize them as
    well.8 In short, certain lactobacilli in a sourdough culture
    acting on wheat flour for a 24-hour period achieved nearly complete
    digestion of the peptides. When bread made with these species was fed to
    recovered celiac patients for two days, the patients showed no signs of
    increased intestinal permeability that were found among recovered
    celiac patients who consumed the same amount of regular bread over the
    same time period. These intriguing results suggest that wheat (or rye)
    flour that has undergone 24 hours of culture fermentation may render the
    “toxic” peptides harmless and allow the bread to be safely eaten by
    those with celiac disease, although studies of celiac patients consuming
    sourdough breads for a much longer period of time will be needed to
    confirm this.

    In the study cited, test bread was made with fermented wheat flour
    and the remainder of the flour from the non-gluten grains millet,
    buckwheat and oats. The recipe does not resemble a classically prepared
    sourdough bread which is traditionally made in a building-up process of
    stages; some of the flour will have fermented for as long as two or
    three days, whereas some of it for only several hours prior to baking,
    during the period when the culture microorganisms experience exponential
    growth rate. The result of breaking down gluten completely is that it
    can no longer raise the dough!

    Deviation from Rational Principles

    Another outcome of the mass production of industrial bakery products
    has been to create grotesque taste standards and expectations that have
    no connection to an honest ingredient. Commercial cereal products have
    become health hazards because of everything from grain hybridization to
    flour adulteration to inadequate, inappropriate and violent processing.
    They also are aesthetically repugnant, which is just as important a
    factor to consider when talking about the nourishment of food.

    Consider this prophetic statement by Rudolf Steiner in an address to
    members of the Anthroposophical Society on June 20, 1924 and published
    in Spiritual Foundations for the Renewal of Agriculture: “. . .
    [U]nder the influence of our modern philosophy of materialism, it is
    agriculture–believe it or not–that has deviated furthest from any truly
    rational principles. Indeed, not many people know that during the last
    few decades the agricultural products on which our life depends have
    degenerated extremely rapidly. In this present time of transition. . .
    it is not only human moral development that is degenerating, but also
    what human activity has made of the Earth and what lies just above the
    Earth. . . Even materialistic farmers nowadays. . . can calculate in how
    many decades their products will have degenerated to such an extent
    that they no longer serve as human nourishment. It will certainly be
    within this century.”

    Grains comprise a wholesome category of foods that must be respected
    for the complexity of nutrient contributions they can make to the human
    diet, and must always be prepared with care to maximize those nutrients’
    availability as well as neutralize naturally occurring antinutrients.
    Resources also exist to reintroduce ancient grains, such as emmer and
    einkorn wheats, into our food supply and diversify cereal choices with
    alternatives to the few overly hybridized cultivars largely in use
    today.

    Growing and preparing food ought to be a sacramental service. It
    should not be based on violence, as is most of modern agriculture,
    factory animal farms and factories that produce finished food items like
    bread. All those processes are based on “conquering” the food item and
    forcing it into a form defined by commerce. There are no more subtle
    energies in these debased foods, let alone mere measureable nutrients or
    soul-satisfying taste and vitality.

    Food is holy. Its preparation and enjoyment constitute a daily opportunity to experience happiness, satisfaction and gratitude.

  • Sugar

    I do not consume any white flour products, I have switched to whole wheat 100 %. Not only has it helped me lose weight, but it really helps with sugar cravings. White breads get me off track and make me want sugar.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Sherman/100003336157374 Carol Sherman

    I would like to hear everyone’s comments about the phytic acid that is in whole grain products.

  • Pierce

    The advice in this piece is very outdated. If we were living in 1992, sure, this article would be “refreshing.” However, nowadays, there is sufficient evidence to conclude that any type of wheat products, because of the modifications made to the grain which has increased its gluten content, are very detrimental to the health of man.
    In short, even whole wheat is bad because of the toxic proteins. Google wheat + gluten.

  • sky

    lol yup ..nice post

  • Sharon

    Bleached flour contains mycotoxins (sp) which is fungus that resemble cancer cells happens to looks just like. White flour is pointlessly pretty.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Nalani401 Shayna N. Porciuncula

    Thanks for sharing !! I have been off of “Enriched flour” for months now. I am glad I made the switch. I love Bread, healthy whole grain bread ! I will be sharing your article on my recipe blog site. Thank you again !

  • Lee Carter Nutritional Coach

    Note… ” Enriched” means that they are using cheep man made Synthetic Vitamins. And they only stimulate your cells, they do Not feed your cells as the Live Natural Vitamins from live plants do. We do not need High Fructose corn syrup, or Monoglycerides, or Calcium propionate = a man made ” preservative” Calcium sulfate, or DATEM, etc. all of them do Not belong in our Body.

  • juca

    What is the real solution to this dilemma?

  • RealityCheck131

    Healed by vitamins and such…Lol ok.

  • http://www.princevansconsulate.org/ Prince Evans

    ABSOLUTELY. AND VERY CORRECT. RIGHT ON POINT.

  • http://www.princevansconsulate.org/ Prince Evans

    Beautiful Karen

  • http://www.princevansconsulate.org/ Prince Evans

    Go Barby Penwell!

  • http://www.princevansconsulate.org/ Prince Evans

    Good job NinoConiglio.

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  • G

    god damn.
    thank you for being pissed enough at all the mistruth on here to type all that out. I’m most certainly of your ilk.

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