Nutrient Loss Through Food Processing

Hello Everyone!

Today I want to talk about how wheat is processed.  First I’ll explain the different parts of whole grains before it is processed. (I just figured out how to add pictures so you can have an actual representation of what a whole grain looks like).

GrainParts_WGC_4x4.5_WGC.jpg

The Germ holds all the vitamins, minerals, and fats,  the Endosperm is full of starch and protein, and the bran is rich in fiber, B vitamins, and trace minerals.

There are three ways to process food: refinement, positive processing, or whole grain.  Refinement is when the bran and germ is removed and the endosperm is all that is left.  This means there is no vitamins or fiber which there is only empty calories left.  An example of this would be white bread.  Positive Processing is also known as enrichment which is when thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, and iron get added to grains that have been through refinement (the amount of the additives are specified by law).  Positive processing is only an addition to refinement, not a different process in itself where nutrients are added back to the refined grain.   Then there is whole grain where the grain still has all the nutrients, minerals, and fiber present.

This is why it is so important to read your food labels to know what you are putting n your body!  At the grocery store make sure any wheat product you buy says 100% whole grain to insure you are getting as many vitamins, minerals, and fiber to sustain your body.  Look for 100% whole grain in breads, cereal, tortillas, bagels, pasta, etc.  This is the best way to eat healthier when it comes to carbs as I talked about in my last blog.  This also helps from consuming empty calories which turn into fat with out helping your body in any way.

There is also something called fortification.  This is where nutrients are added to prevent nutrient deficiency diseases.  Examples would be Iodizing salt, adding vitamin D to milk, and folic acid to bread.  This is to add as much micronutrients to food as possible.

Thanks for reading! Please comment or ask questions if you’d like!

-Megan


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