What we should know about graham flour

Wheat and flour have, for thousands of years, played an important role in people`s nutrition. Bread has always formed an integrated part of everyday life providing healthy food.

Recently, however, we can hear more and more about the ills of civilization most of which have got to do with improper nutrition. Such diseases are diabetes, obesity, constipation etc.
Why is today’s food different ?
In the good old days people used to eat food made from ground wheat using traditional millstones. Thanks to early last century sopphisticated developments wheat can be ground superfine on one hand and the grain kernel rich in energy can be separated from the husk containing fibres ( bran ) on the other. This provides basic materials that can be kept longer and turned into foods providing energy and high enjoyment level.
With healthy nutrition coming into the limelight researchers have revealed that foods made from corns free of fibres fail to take over the functions which were once fulfilled by coarse ground corns and are necessary to preserve health. These foods are rapidly absorbed in the digestive tract increasing the blood- sugar level and thereby the insulin level. In addition the lack of fibres causes gastric and intestinal and complaints. To preserve our health we have to change over from carbohydrates with rapid absorption to foods which contain carbohydrates with slow absorption and are rich in fibres.
As far back as the late 1980s it was known to nutrition scientists that the husk of corns – bran contained the most valuable fibres. At a WHO conference on nutrition and ills of civilization held at Postgraduate Medical Institute they, however, also drew the attention to the importance of the size of bran in
foods : the bran of slighty coarser size is the best to sweep the inner walls of intestinals properly.
The difference between full-ground flours and graham flour is that the latter including also the bran has larger grains. According to Hungarian Foods Book sieves of mesh size 2000 m have to let Graham flour through to 100 % whereas up to 60 % is allowed to fall through sieves of mesh size 315 m.
Rough grained carbohydrates are absorbed slowly and continuously generating a slow increase in the insulin production of pancreas since food remains longer in the stomach deferring the sensation of hunger. In addition graham flour contains useful substances and elements like wheat germs, mineral substances, folic acid, vitamins B1, B2 , potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and managanese.
Prof. János Rigó gives among others the following explanation in his work:` The Importance of Dietetic Fibres in the Prevention and Therapy of Metabolic X Syndrome` :
Dietetic fibres play an important part in reducing the energy content of food, energy input and the absorption of fatty acids and bile acids. Their physico-chemical characteristics make dietetic fibres effective in the prevention and dietetic treatment of multicausal metabolic X-syndrome.
Another four frequent diseases can be prevented by rough grained dietetic
fibres :
athological carbohydrate metabolic troubles
high triglyceride and cholesterol levels
high blood pressure
According to a publication by Nutrition Research Center of Tufts College of Ministry of Agriculture, USA those who generally eat foods made from unhusked corns rich in fibres are threatened by 2nd type diabetes to less extent. To get protection people have to eat 3 or more portions of whole-meal food ( 1 portion = 1 slice of bread made from graham flour or 1 cup of garnishment of cooked corns ) Thereby they have a better reaction to insulin and are exposed to metabolic troubles leading to diabetes to less extent.
The 2nd type of diabetes developes when the receptors of cells fail to perceive insulin controlling the blood-sugar level and sugar cannot get into the cells. Hence the levels of blood-sugar and insulin will increase. This disease is becoming windespread both in the USA and in Europe ( also in Hungary ).
Symptoms of metabolic troubles leading to 2nd type diabetes : abdominal obesity, high triglyceride level, low HDL ( `good` ) cholesterol level, high blood pressure, high blood-sugar level. Today avoiding foods containing carbohydrates is a fashion which is based on the success achieved with fat people whose insulin sensitivity improved due to the limited input of carbohydrates. It does matter, however, what carbohydrates we eat.
Eating foods from unhusked corns improves sensitivity to insulin.
Taking experts` advice and eating brown bread instead of white bread and brown rice instead of white rice would not be a dramatic change in our nutrition.
All in all superfine ground wholewheat flour and bread baked from superfine ground flour are not at all ideal foods to protect our health. There is no need to worry, however, because you can make any kind of baker`s ware and bread from graham flour !