Home Dieting AHA News: Refined Flour Substitutes Abound — But How to Choose the Best One?

AHA News: Refined Flour Substitutes Abound — But How to Choose the Best One?

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FRIDAY, April 2, 2021 (American Heart Association News) — A visit down a grocery retailer’s baking items aisle can depart you in a daze lately should you’re fascinated with replacing white or all-purpose flour with one in every of the many options on cabinets.

In current years, the pantry staple used for baking and making pasta has develop into a dietary public enemy, giving means to more healthy nut and seed flours, akin to almond, chickpea and even banana.

But figuring out how and when to exchange white flour can really feel overwhelming since flours aren’t necessarily interchangeable and may change the taste and texture of any given recipe.

“It’s difficult to take a baking recipe and completely substitute with whole-grain flour or nut flour or other kinds of grains,” stated Mary Ellen Camire, a professor of food science and human nutrition at the University of Maine in Orono. She also is scientific editor of two journals, Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety and the Journal of Food Science.

“You need to have the ratio of starch to gluten in the flour to be able to get cake or bread to rise. You can replace some of it, but if you replace too much, you will end up with something like a fudge brownie instead of a puffy bread.”

So what do you do? The very first thing, Camire stated, is just not to ban white or all-purpose flour altogether.

While refined grains include much less fiber and may spike blood sugar levels, which is saved as body fats, they will nonetheless be consumed carefully. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans advocate eating three servings of entire grains a day and fewer than three servings of refined grains, all-purpose flour or white rice.

A cup of white all-purpose flour sometimes accommodates 443 calories, in contrast with 407 calories in a cup of whole-wheat flour, which has more dietary fiber than all-purpose flour (14.6 grams compared to 3.4 grams).

“The guidelines do not recommend you exclude refined grains from your diet,” Camire stated. “White or all-purpose flour is much less nutritious as a result of, in the milling process, they take off the outer bran, which accommodates most of the dietary fiber, and the germ, which is the coronary heart of the seed.

“It’s become easy to point a finger and say white foods are bad. All-purpose flour has a lot less fiber than whole-wheat flour, but keeping it at less than half of the grains you eat each day is the trick.”

Camire suggests starting by substituting some all-purpose flour in recipes with white whole-wheat flour, a milder variety of wheat flour that shall be less noticeable in baked items than traditional pink or darker whole-wheat flour.

“It’s an easy swap and most people won’t notice it as compared to the darker whole-wheat flours,” she stated. But “you have to be resourceful figuring out what might be a suitable substitute because you can’t just replace all-purpose flour with another flour and be on your way.”

Oat and barley flour, for instance, are thought-about healthier due to their fiber content but will not be preferrred for baking. “They are more for thickening so you can use them for stirring up and thickening soups or gravies,” Camire stated.

Brown rice flour, on the different hand, is an effective selection for many who comply with gluten-free diets. It is beneficial for cupcakes or cookies however not for bread. Almond flour, produced from blanched entire almonds, is also utilized in gluten-free and low-carb cooking.

Buckwheat flour, which is comprised of ground buckwheat and is an effective source of fiber and protein, has develop into well-liked because it is used to make traditional Japanese soba noodles and pancakes.

Coconut flour, comprised of dried and floor up coconuts, is full of fiber and healthy fat and is an appropriate choice for these with nut allergic reactions.

The point is, it’s nonetheless potential to take pleasure in your bread, dessert and pasta.

“I think we need to make whole grains more affordable and accessible to people, but including products that have some all-purpose flour is not going to harm anyone,” Camire stated.

“It’s just about balance. You don’t want to spend the day eating cookies and cakes and white rolls. There needs to be whole grains in the picture.”

American Heart Association News covers heart and mind health. Not all views expressed on this story mirror the official position of the American Heart Association. Copyright is owned or held by the American Heart Association, Inc., and all rights are reserved. If you’ve gotten questions or comments about this story, please e-mail [email protected] heart.org.

By Maria Elena Fernandez

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