If you don’t pay too much attention to what you eat, your diet is probably full of refined flour. If your meals consist of bagels, toast, cereal, pizza or pasta, refined flour has been introduced into your daily routine. Flour is produced by grinding grains. It is then used for breads, cereals, cookies, pizza dough and the list goes on. The average person eats 10 servings of refined grains each day. But what is the problem with this? Refined flour wreaks havoc on our bodies.

These are six negative effects of refined flour

David Ludwig, MD, PhD is the director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Children’s Hospital Boston . “Now that trans fats are largely out of the food supply, refined carbohydrates, including refined grain products, are the most detrimental influence on the diet today.”

1. Causes an acid-alkaline imbalance

A healthy pH level in the body is 7.4. A diet rich in acidic foods forces the body to reduce calcium from the bones. Grains are considered an acidic food. Studies have shown that a diet high in refined grains is linked to bone loss . An acidic diet also damages the immune system, making the body more vulnerable to disease.

2. Increases blood sugar levels

If you are in the habit of choosing wheat because you think it is the healthiest option, think twice. Foods made with wheat flour are even more harmful to your body. A carbohydrate in wheat, known as amylopectin A, is more easily converted to sugar in the blood than any other carbohydrate. Just two slices of wheat bread can raise your blood sugar levels much higher compared to several candy bars or six teaspoons of table sugar.

3. Cause Inflammation

A diet full of grains causes inflammation in the body. Blood sugar levels rise and glucose builds up in the blood, causing it to stick to nearby proteins. A chemical reaction called glycation is the result. Glycation is a pro-inflammatory process that plays a role in many inflammatory diseases, including arthritis and heart disease.

4. Low metabolism

Research has shown that the body can end up displacing nutrients in fat storage when foods that are high on the glycemic index are consumed. Instead of fueling your body, foods made with refined flour slow down fat burning and actually promote fat storage. This process slows down your metabolism, which can lead to weight gain.

5. Destroy gut health

Studies have shown that the lectins in grains cause inflammation in the lining of the intestine. When refined flour is eaten, 80% of the fiber in the food is lost. Your body does not get the fiber it needs and carbohydrates are quickly released. Without fiber, your body is unable to cleanse waste from your gut to help your body detoxify.

6. You can trigger food allergies or intolerance

Wheat is considered one of the biggest triggers for food allergies and intolerances. A type of protein found in many grains – gluten – gives dough its elasticity. Traps air bubbles to create a smoother texture to bread. Wheat now contains more gluten than ever. People who have a sensitivity to gluten are often unaware of the underlying problem that is causing their symptoms.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses. He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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