Pollan calls this a “blunt bit of cross-cultural grand-motherly advice (passed down from both Jewish and Italian grandmothers).” He explains that such advice “suggests that the health risks of white flour have been popularly recognized for many years. As far as the body is concerned, white flour is not much different from sugar. Unless supplemented, it offers none of the good things (fiber, B vitamins, healthy fats) in whole grains–it’s little more than a shot of glucose. Large spikes of glucose are inflammatory and wreak havoc on our insulin metabolism. Eat whole grains and minimize your consumption of white flour. Recent research indicates that the grandmothers who lived by this rule were right: People who eat lots of whole grains tend to be healthier and to live longer” (81).
I’m seeing a pretty simple trend in all of Pollan’s rules so far: eat food as close to its natural state as you possibly can. The less processed it is, the better. That of course includes whole grains. No more “enriched wheat flour”! I have a buckwheat kasha bread recipe that’s absolutely delicious (and totally whole grain). If you’d like a copy, let me know.
The tips are courtesy of Michael Pollan’s book Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual. New York: Penguin, 2009.
Happy, Healthy Eating!