Is Maida (Refined Flour, Plain Flour) bad for you?
Plain flour is also known as refined flour because it is processed wheat flour. Every other Indian recipes makes the use of maida in its preparation. The consumption of maida is increasing very rapidly in our day to day life. We consume maida in the form of breads or different foods like parathas, samosa, pizza, burger, bakery products etc.
Refined flour is also known as ‘White Poison’ because it has many detrimental effects on our health. It is of great concern because people are not aware and those who are aware of its ill effects cannot avoid it due to the wide availability of foods that make use of maida. People consume maida products for various reasons such as easy access when they have no time to cook, products made with maida are tasty.
Nutrients in Maida
During the processing of maida from whole wheat, the endosperm of the wheat is removed from the germ and bran which helps in digestion. All the necessary nutrients are lost during processing of maida. If we consume refined flour our body is deprived of the necessary vitamins and minerals. Some branded refined flours are enriched by adding 3-4 nutrients and are labelled as ‘enriched flour’ but in reality more amount of vitamins are lost during processing.
Products using maida are not good.
Foods like bread, biscuits, donuts, cakes, pizza, burgers, noodles, samosas, momos, etc are prepared using plain flour. These products are very tasty and tempting but are not good for health. Maida is one of the harmful ingredients in these but they also contain other harmful ingredients like saturated fats, lots of sugar, monosodium glutamate, preservatives and colours.
Consuming plain flour causes digestive problems
Refined flour is called as the ‘Glue of the gut’. Since it lacks fibre, maida slows down the digestion process, causing the metabolism to be slow and can promote weight gain.
Is plain flour good for diabetes?
Foods that are made using maida when consumed, releases glucose very quickly into your blood stream. It is high in glycemic index and can raise your blood glucose levels quickly which is turned into fat. When you have high blood glucose levels your pancreas as to work hard to release sufficient amounts of insulin to bring down your blood glucose levels. If maida products are consumed once in a while your pancreas is able to handle it but if refined flour products are frequently consumed then pancreas won’t be able to manage it and the insulin production will decrease gradually, eventually turning you into a person with diabetes.
Is plain flour good for your heart?
Plain flour lacks fibre and fibre helps to lower down your LDL cholesterol. High consumption of Maida can raise LDL which is a bad cholesterol. If the LDL gets oxidized in the body it can lead to atherosclerosis. Consumption of refined flour can cause inflammation in the body which is also responsible for heart problems.
Is plain flour good for your bones?
Plain flour becomes acidic in nature as all the necessary nutrients are removed during its refining process. High acidic foods that also contain refined flour causes calcium removal from the bones to maintain the pH levels in your blood. This affects the bone density and is the major cause of chronic inflammation. Therefore, consumption of maida in the long run can lead to bone problems like osteoporosis, arthritis and other chronic diseases.
Is plain flour good for your overall health?
When glucose freely moves into your bloodstream it gets attached to proteins and this process is called Glycation that causes inflammation in the body. Inflammation leads to many health conditions like heart problems, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Arthritis, Cataract, and so on.
High consumption of Maida can raise LDL which is a bad cholesterol resulting in health problems like weight gain and high blood pressure. Too much consumption of refined flour promotes weight gain and eventually will leads to obesity. It can raise your blood glucose levels quickly and may cause a sudden drop of the blood glucose making you feel hungry and you may tend to eat more. It makes also you crave for sweets.
Replace maida in your diet
Foods made of maida are not considered to be healthy, and people should consciously try to replace it with healthier options like whole wheat flour, oats, jowar flour, bajra flour, ragi flour and maize flour wherever possible.
Ex. You can make momos using whole wheat flour and healthy ingredients like our recipe for Healthy Momos
. Parathas can be made using wholesome flours such as Pumpkin Paratha
which is made using bajra and jowar flour. Baked Samosa
is a good recipe as it is healthier because it is not deep fried and mix sprouts are used in the filling instead of potatoes.
It is up to a person whether they want to lead a healthy life or not. Now that you know all the ill effects of maida on your health. It is your responsibility to act on it and sustain a better life.