Why is Flour Unhealthy?

Last Updated on July 2nd, 2023

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To get a general understanding of flour, the different types, and their individual health implications when used for a recipe. 

The main reason flour becomes unhealthy is the way the flour is prepared and cooked. For instance, fry bread will have a higher lipids content than a multigrain loaf of bread. 

Consider there will be more than seven types of flour if you consider how different ingredients affect the base. For this article’s purposes, we will focus on the main seven, including All-Purpose, Bread, and Cake dough, to keep it simple and to the point.

Is all Flour Unhealthy?

Flour is made up of natural grains, mashed into a fine powder, and combined with other natural ingredients to form a special dough mixture. Therefore, flour itself will not be unhealthy, especially if it is made with all-natural ingredients. 

However, recent studies have revealed that bleached flours carry higher risks of health issues concerning gastrointestinal issues, nutrient deficiencies, and the risk of developing cancerous cells in the body. 

In addition, depending on the company practices of the flour manufacturer, there could be the presence of harmful chemicals which are for disinfection and used in a preservative fashion.  


What makes Flour Unhealthy?

As touched on in the section above, there are going to be certain all-purpose bleached flour packages that will be a ‘riskier’ choice when concerning the health risks that are associated with the brand. 

In addition, some production processes will call for the use of certain chemicals for sanitation and other purposes. 

Some of these chemicals can be harmful to the body, if not removed from the flour before packaging, could result in death. 

Another action that could cause the flour to become unhealthy is the baking or cooking processes needed to complete the recipe. For instance, cooking a doughnut would need to be either baked or fried. 


Which Flour is the Unhealthiest Choice?

There is going to be a slight debate on this one, especially when you compare the dessert flours and pastry mixes.

But as we mentioned above certain all-purpose flours will be considered the unhealthiest choice due to the chemicals and the effects of those sprays and sanitation stuff. 

The doughnut and cake batter mixes are going to be filled with ‘unhealthy’ ingredients, especially in the higher amounts of sugar content when compared to, say, bread dough.

To be clear, bleached flour is going to be the unhealthiest choice when you take into account the risk of cancerous effects, and in addition, the flour may not contain much in the way of nutritional benefits.  


Is Flour Unhealthier than Sugar?

Think about it like this, the most addicting substance on the planet is cane sugar, which can be overeating and can lead to a person’s body becoming obese. 

But, then, think about how flour is not always mixed with sugar in it. There are starches present, but not always the quickly-burning glucose sugars. 

Therefore, not all flour will be unhealthy, and some will even be filled with beneficial natural ingredients that are good for the body. 

Whole grain flour and gluten-free flour come to mind, but then you will have cake and pastry dough flour which will have the highest percentage of sugars when compared to the other types of flour. 


Which Flour is Considered Healthy?

To start, there are going to be types of flour that are designed for healthy-minded communities, along with varieties that are infused with multiple grains and types that remove harmful elements such as gluten. 

In addition, many of the healthier versions of flour will incorporate a natural grain or focus on a nut or natural flavor to be the featured taste of the baked good.

Out of the seven covered in this article, plus a few outside additions, the healthy varieties of flours will be:


  • All-natural All-purpose flour
  • Almond flour
  • Coconut flour
  • Multigrain flour
  • Oat flour
  • Gluten-free flour
  • Soy flour


Final Thoughts on Why is Flour Unhealthy

One of the fun things about having all these different types of flour is going to find the best flavor pairings that create the perfect loaf of bread or pastry treat. 

For example, consider using sweeter, natural flour like almond flour to create healthier cookies or pancakes without all the chemicals and artificial preservatives. 

Another interesting part of the diversity of flours will be what agricultural minds will create with the natural plant life around them. 

My mind goes to plants like Agave or bamboo, which are only native to certain geographical locations on the planet, and to what can be created from them, if the flour is even possible with such plant life. 


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