What is Refined Flour (Maida)? & Why it is Bad for Your Health?

Refined flour (Maida) has slowly made it's way to all kind of processed in packed foods like bread, biscuits, noodles, cakes etc. These days most backers are moving towards healthy backing and hence they are opting for wheat flour over refined flour(maida). 

You have often heard people say that maida (Refined flour) and products made from it are very harmful to our health. However, the use of fine flour and things made from it is increasing rapidly in our daily lives. Sometimes at home we consume it as bread and other things, sometimes outside as fast food.

What is refined flour or maida? & Difference between refined flour and whole wheat flour 
Refined flour is the most processed variety of whet. Refined flour (maida) and whole wheat flour both comes from wheat grains. The difference lies in the way they processed. For making whole wheat flour the entire grain of wheat including it's outer layers grounded. 

 While for making refined flour the outer layer of wheat are removed and only the inner part of grain called endosperm is grounded. 
Majority of the fibres and nutrients lie in it's outer layers.
Which means the whole wheat flour has more fibres and nutrients as compare to the refined flour. 

 Refined flour has mostly starch and only very few nutrients. In earlier days refined flour used to be naturally aged with time to improve packing quality. But now that has been replaced with chemically bleaching and whiting which gives the refined flour it's bright white colour. Bleaching the flour also produces harmful byproducts such as Alloxan that are undesirable by body.

How Refined Flour (Maida) Harmful for us?

 This is known as 'white poison' which is becoming an everyday necessity for all of us but it affects our health a lot. Therefore, it is very important to understand why it is bad for us and how much it can harm us so that we improve our eating habits. So let's know about the damage caused by it:

Refined Flour can cause diabetes 

 Whenever you eat things made from fine flour, it secretes sugar rapidly in your blood streams. The higher the glycemic index (GI) in fine flour, the higher the level of sugar in the body. As the sugar level in the body increases, the pancreas has to become excessively active to release insulin in sufficient quantity. If flour is consumed occasionally, the pancreas can help digest it properly. But if it is consumed too much, then the production of insulin will gradually decrease and patients will become diabetic.

Refined flour food Increase bad cholesterol 

 Consumption of fine flour in excess can cause many problems. One of these is the increase in harmful cholesterol (LDL). Due to this, there can be complaints of weight gain, high blood pressure and mood swings.
 
 Excess consumption of fine flour and things made from it can lead you to obesity. In addition, your intake makes you feel more hungry and increases the demand for sweet food.

Use of fine flour (Maida) can cause acidity 

 Use of fine flour can also cause acidity. During the refining process of fine flour, all the nutrients are exhausted due to which the effect is acidic. According to research, acidic foods like fine-grained pizzas, pasta burgers absorb calcium from bones to maintain balance, which leads to weakening of bones.

  High acidity can be the cause of many major and long-lasting diseases including permanent inflammation, arthritis and other diseases.

Fine flour (Maida) causes indigestion 

 Fine flour is called "visceral gum". In today's era, the practice of coarse grains is very less and most of the things like breakfast items, pasta, bread, snacks and many more are made from fine flour. And they all get stuck in the intestines. It does not contain fiber, which slows down the digestion process and consequently slows down the metabolic process, causing indigestion problems. Apart from this, it can also cause obesity, stress, headaches and migraines.

Fine flour also causes allergy

 Allergies to wheat are major among food allergies. The exact reason for this is not known, but many experts believe that high levels of gluten in modern varieties of wheat can cause allergic reactions. Gluten is a protein found in many cereals, including wheat, which allows the dough to dissolve easily by dissolving air bubbles and creating a soft appearance.

Better and Healthier Alternatives of Refined flour(Maida)

  Whenever possible try replacing refined flour or even combine refined flour with whole grain flour. For example you can replace your refined flour and used whole grain flour for making your biscuits, cookies, use rotti insted of bread.
  You can try replacing refined flour with oats flour or ragi flour for making cakes, pancakes etc. 
Even if you do eat food made up of refined flour once in a wile make sure that your other meals and specially your mean meals are made up of whole foods like whole grain, vagetables and pulses.