Whole Wheat Flour: The Big Hoax

bread-1329360-1279x1074 There’s a huge hoax in the world of health information today, and it has to do with a common household staple. You’ve already guessed by now from the title — I’m talking about wheat.

So if you eat wheat, hopefully this post will make things clear —- hopefully clearer than mud anyway :).

By in large, studies have shown that 73% of shoppers believe that wheat flour and whole grain flour are the same thing. Even labels are deceiving, stating that certain healthy products are “made with whole grains”. When you turn the package over, and look at the ingredients, they might say something like: wheat flour, whole wheat flour, or enriched whole wheat flour.

Why is wheat flour not the best thing to be eating? Well, if you look on the list of ingredients I mentioned above, that means that the natural vitamins and minerals have been stripped from the wheat, and the mill has enriched it, or replaced a few of them back.

Like a friend of mine says, if you had 21 dollars, and a robber came and took all 21 of your dollars, and then returned 3, would you feel “enriched”?

That’s exactly what happens when flour is enriched. The mill strips 21 nutrients from the natural grain, and then replaces 3 of them. It doesn’t sound so great now, does it?

So why is it done in the first place?

Well, natural grains are prone to going rancid, so when a mill refines the flour, it increases the shelf life for quite a long time.

Often, the “enriched” or “replaced” vitamins and minerals are also synthetic, and not even the natural ones originally found in the wheat in the first place! The companies can claim that a product is whole wheat or whole grain if at least 5% of the wheat is whole grain.

Why would this be a problem? Well of course if a natural food is stripped of its vitamins and minerals, it’s a lot less nutritious and you’re just eating junk food disguised as healthy food.

“Unbleached whole grain flour” is also a very misleading term. Whole wheat flour is never bleached in the first place, so this term only serves to make you feel better about the junk you just bought.

So what conclusion should you come to if you’re looking to eat wheat in a healthy way?

In the US, simply look for “whole wheat grain flour” as the first ingredient on the package. Don’t trust the flashy front label to tell you whether it’s made from whole grains or not, look on the ingredient facts on the back of the package.

This may vary in other countries. In the US, if the ingredients say “whole wheat flour”, it must contain the complete whole grain. In Canada, the whole grain will be labeled “whole grain whole wheat flour”. In the UK, it will be labeled as “wholemeal”.

If you’re concerned about getting the best nutrition available, avoid these ingredients:

Wheat flour
Enriched wheat flour
All-purpose flour
Unbleached wheat flour
Bread flour
Cake flour
White flour

Hope this helps with all the confusion.

Talk to you later,
Deborah Leaverton

The Battle of Motivation vs. Habit

Is motivation the real thing that gets people to change? That’s something I’ve had to think about for a while. I brought it down to real life.

How often do I feel motivated to clean the kitchen, do the laundry, or cook? For me, that answer is, “rarely”. How often do I feel motivated to make healthy choices or exercise. Again, my answer is, “rarely”. Now you might want to just call me lazy, and you might be mostly right :).

The fact is, with the exception of feeling more comfortable in a clean house and not embarrassed when people stop by, or feeling good about my health because of exercise and a good diet, these sorts of things don’t really cause me a lot of joy.

I cook because my family likes to eat LOL (don’t tell them that…although I’ve told my husband on numerous occasions that I could give up cooking forever and it wouldn’t bother me a bit!), yet I continue to do all of these things daily.

The thing I’ve had to do in my life because of the lack of motivation, is to develop good habits.

When you make a good habit into a daily habit, it changes who you are.

“You are the culmination of your habits.”

Exercise, as I mentioned above, is a perfect example of something that I wanted to change.

You see,  when it comes down to it, motivation is a myth. How do I know that? Because even if you’re motivated for a while, it wears off.

It’s not just you or me. Did you know that even after an athlete consistently trains for years and years, most of them only feel motivated to work out half the time?

A habit is something you do automatically,  and that’s what athletes do. They train whether they feel like it or not. It’s just a part of who they are.

You can set goals for yourself, and setting goals will help a lot, but there will never be a permanent change unless you learn how to make them a habit in your life.

The real struggle with changing bad habits into good ones, is to figure out how you can convince your brain to make permanent habits that will bring lasting change to your body and health.

If someone could make you change your habits so that you enjoy making healthy choices and exercise, they would have hit the jackpot!

What are your best tips to change a habit, so that it doesn’t matter whether you’re motivated to accomplish the task or not?

For me, I have to write the task down, and put it somewhere where I can see it constantly. For me, that’s the dining room table at the place where I usually sit. Now that’s not earth shattering, but since I also sit there to work on my computer, I see my list often through the day. Maybe you need to set an alarm on your phone. Maybe you have a certain person that you do things with on a regular basis, so seeing them reminds you of that goal you need to accomplish every day.

Whatever it is, you need to have something that makes you do what you set out to accomplish every day, until it becomes a part of your life, and you need to do it to feel accomplished.

To good habits for life!
Deborah Leaverton