For many people these days, the emphasis seems to be on eating foods which look the nicest and which look appealing. Unfortunately, these snow white and visually appealing foods come with a hefty price tag. That price tag isn`t one that is measured in monetary terms, but rather in terms of your health and wellbeing. An ingredient called alloxan, which is found in products containing white flour, destroys the beta cells in the pancreas by causing free radical damage to the DNA. This puts you at a much higher risk of contracting diabetes.
White food products become white because of the fact that all of their fibre, minerals and vitamins have been stripped from them. These refining processes result in foods, which are actually empty calorie sources, because they are left with no nutritional value in them. Eating these refined food products has also been shown to increase the risk of heart attacks by as much as 30%. Several studies have shown that people who consume wholegrain and unprocessed food products have a 30% lower risk of contracting heart disease than those who consume white food products.
Flour used to make white bread and food products is chemically bleached with substances like benzoyl peroxide, nitrosyl, oxide of nitrogen, chloride and chlorine. These in turn have various chemical salts added to them to enhance the bleaching process. Nutrients which are removed from the flour during the bleaching process include Vitamin E, potassium, phosphorus, copper, niacin, calcium, thiamin, pantothenic acid and pyridoxine.
White rice experiences the same nutrient loss as white flour when processed. Where brown rice is produced by simply removing the grain husks, white rice is produced by removing the inner husk as well. Once this is done, the grains are then polished with glucose to enhance their visual appeal.
These processes result in foods which have an extremely high GI (glycemic index) content. These result in sugars being released into the bloodstream far more rapidly than they should be. This causes blood sugar levels to spike and releases more insulin into the bloodstream. This results in the pancreas being overworked, which can result in diabetes.
White food products also lead to an increase in LDL (bad) cholesterol in the arteries. They also cause the metabolism to slow down, which results in weight gain, especially around the stomach and waist areas. Their lack of dietary fibre can also lead to constipation in more sensitive individuals. Because the body is then not able to remove all of the waste products it contains, it can then become more susceptible to other diseases such as Crohn`s disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and even colon cancer.
About the author
Shona Botes blogs about green living, budgeting, saving money, natural remedies and humour (which is often combined with the abovementioned topics). Her spare time is spent tending to her organic herb garden, cycling and engaging in photography.
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