Setting the record straight

11/22/2013

The Wheat Foods Council (WFC) continues to set the record straight regarding misinformation about wheat and wheat foods, recently responding to an article published in the Washington Post characterizing white flour as “the white devil.” The WFC also followed up with the San Jose, CA, Mercury News and the Torrington, CT, Register Citizen, after they ran the same article.

In the letters, WFC President Judi Adams, MS, RD, noted that while the intent of the article may have been to encourage people to make healthier choices by including more whole grains in their diets, she took strong issue with the portrayal of enriched flour as unhealthy.

Ms. Adams pointed out that enriched flour is the primary source of folic acid as well as other B vitamins in the American diet. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledges that enriched grains (primarily wheat), rather than supplements, are responsible for dramatically lowering the rate of neural tube birth defects by approximately one-third in the U.S. and named folic acid fortification of enriched grains as one of the top ten public health achievements of the last decade,” she observed.

The WFC also took issue with the article’s implication that white flour raises blood sugar more than other types of flours from other grains, and listed the GI values of several types of breads – all of which fall within a very similar range – to bring the point home.

“There is certainly merit and value to…suggestions of flours to use to enhance whole grain consumption.  However, by taking an approach based on vilifying a food that has so dramatically impacted public health, [the article] is misleading readers and communicating information not based on sound science,” Ms. Adams concluded.

To read the full letter, click here.

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