This refers to whole grains which have been processed through polishing. This process causes the grain to lose essential vitamins, phytochemicals, fibre and of course minerals. Which is why they are known as empty calories as they have little to no nutrients.
This process takes away the bran, germ and aleurone the outer portion of the endosperm. The bran and germ are the most nutrients part of the whole grain. This leaves the endosperm which leave a small amount of protein and rapidly digested starch. This process also remove disease fighting vitamins, iron, selenium vitamin E and fibre.
The main parts
There are four main parts of a grain, they are the husk, this protect the grain and is inedible to humans, bran which is high in fibre, the germ is rich in nutrients, and the endosperm which contains some carbohydrates, protein and a few B vitamins and some minerals as the grain is refined it removes the husk, bran and germ, leaving only the endosperm.
This leaves a finer texture. Refining a grain removes around two thirds of its nutrients and around a quarter of its protein. Leaving just the endosperm which is the biggest of all three parts of the grain and contains starchy carbohydrates and protein, and little nutrients. Companies will enrich their refined grains with synthetic vitamins. Such as B vitamins riboflavin, thiamine, folic acid, and niacin. Refined grains have a high GI (glycaemic index). Consuming foods with a hi GI, will make your blood sugars spike and your insulin levels.
A fortified grain has ten percent or more of the (D.V) Daily value of nutrients put back in. Refined grains are enriched with B vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and folic acid and iron. For commercial reasons stripping the grain like this dose give the refined grains a much longer shelf life, and it is ridiculously cheap to make, as well as easy to distribute all over the world.
By Aaron Christopher Slade
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