By Richmillet Nagaraju , in Wheat
Purely vegan, kosher, organic Whole Wheat, grown with herbicides is the basis of all kinds of wheat recipes like Indian chapatis, paranthas, naan, Whole Wheat double rotis, buns, bagels, loaves, sandwich slices, rolls, hamburger, biscuits and crackers, pretzels, pasta, macaroni, noodles, etc. Whole wheat is mostly ground and mashed traditionally with stones and in a more modern way, with milling machines. There are basically two types of wheat- unbleached and bleached. Why is bleaching done? This is to make wheat flour look more whiter so that bread and cake look more appetizing. Although bleaching is slowly losing its grip as buyers are preferring more of the natural off-white colored wheat flour. The difference between regular white wheat flour and Whole wheat flour is the lack of folic acid, niacin, iron, thiamin and riboflavin in the former. The normal wheat grain has three components: the germ, endosperm, and bran layer. The germ contains loads of vitamins and minerals, while the endosperm is packed with protein and carbohydrate. The bran layer (the rough stuff) is full of fiber. Whole wheat grain will have the bran, endosperm and germ all ground into flour thus retaining all the nutrients intact even in the flour form. But this inclusion of bran, endosperm and germ made the flour last less as these constituents will start to lose its freshness and rot soon. This short shelf life of Whole wheat flour which is approximately six to nine months was the reason why white flour came into prominence. Millers would separate the germ and bran from the endosperm or kernel of Whole wheat grain. The whole process is done with sifting of the crushed wheat grain in which the fluffy powdery part is separated from the heavy browner part. The result is the white flour left behind deprived of nearly eighty percent of fiber and most of the nutrients.
The naturally found nutrients is retained in Whole wheat as a result added nutrients to enrich the white flour is not required which also makes it costlier to buy. Although to some the cake or the cookie made of white wheat flour may sometimes taste a tad better, it is recommended that we should go for the healthier whole wheat cake or cookie which is no less flavorful. Talking about stone ground wheat flour and steel machine ground flour, it is found that the steel grinding machine tend to destroy some of the vitamins of the wheat grain due to its speed which generates extreme heat that diminishes the nutritious value of the pulverized wheat. On the contrary the slow movement of stone grinding almost always keeps the wheat germ as well as the nutrients intact. There are more than 30,000 varieties of whole wheat and are classified according to their endosperm composition. Apart from Stone ground and machine ground whole wheat there is another type of wheat which is called the Durum wheat. This variety of wheat has large protein quantity. It is a very hard wheat which is less elastic than regular whole wheat. The bran and germ is removed through milling and the remaining endosperm which is called Semolina is left behind. This Semolina granules are used in making cereals and couscous. Note that with low carb, gluten free diet in demand these days, wheat flour which has gluten compound present in it is falling out of favor. Many celebrities have confessed of shifting to no-wheat diet discarding wheat which has made ‘gluten free diet’ a dietary trend. But the truth is unless one is suffering from coeliac disease in its extreme form, they do not need gluten-free diet at all. Even medical science is yet to prove the condition of gluten sensitivity and how or why this happens. The elimination of gluten protein and weight loss connection too needs thorough research. In fact eating gluten-free diet without proper consideration of the intake of other necessary vitamins and minerals may actually lead to a metabolic condition or even an obesity situation. The wheat products sold in markets claiming to be ‘gluten-free’ actually have high glycemic index and other added fats and oils to increase its palatability. Even have starches and gums which are added to increase the density of the texture.
So, the matter of concern is to eat healthy wheat and lead a disciplined dietary life to avoid maladies rising from wrong diets and inappropriate eating.