Q&A: Is “Wheat Flour” Whole Wheat, And Why Does It Matter?

Question: Is whole wheat considered a whole grain? As I understand it, foods with a low glycemic index are supposed to leave you feeling fuller, take longer to digest, and have health benefits. I thought whole grains were supposed to do those things too, but I’ve also read on the Internet that there’s no difference between wheat flour and white flour. What’s the truth?

Whole grain

Just Because It Isn’t Sweet … Doesn’t Mean It Isn’t Sugar

From a nutritional perspective, is a spoonful of white rice more like a spoonful of sugar or a spoonful of brown rice? Because they taste and look similar, most people assume that white rice and brown rice share many of the same nutritional qualities. It turns out, however, that this is not the case. The reason has to do with the chemical nature of carbohydrates.

White and brown riceImage credit: Two kinds of rice in spoons via Shutterstock

Overeating Fast Food Carbs Causes Signs of Liver Damage

A recent study evaluating the effects of fast-food-based overeating on liver enzymes and liver triglyceride content has been making the news this week. However, most media sources have been incorrectly interpreting the results. The Swedish study, published in the British Medical Association journal Gut, suggests that eating too much fast food can cause liver damage [1].

The Glycemic Index

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a system for rating carbohydrates, or saccharides, based on their immediate effect on the blood glucose level. An organic compound, glucose is a simple sugar or monosaccharide. Glucose is the principle sugar circulating in the blood; all cells use glucose as a source of energy and as a metabolic intermediate. Found in plants, glucose is the product of photosynthesis (the process of converting light energy to chemical energy and storing it in the bonds of a glucose molecule). Biologically active glucose is often referred to as dextrose. Glucose is often incorrectly referred to as table sugar – table sugar is a disaccharide composed of glucose and fructose.