Flour: Addictive Substance for Food Addicts

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Many food addicts are willing to give up sugar, but not flour. Paradoxically, because we believe it makes us appear “different,” and because flour has been embedded in so many foods, we may have more difficulty surrendering flour than the more obvious issue of sugar.

We fear appearing “different” when we already appear very ill with food addiction. Normal people think we are “just fat.”

Unfortunately, the food industry is willing to cater to “flour-free” advertising. It is considered a niche market in many health food stores that cater to people with celiac disease (a wheat allergy) and gluten allergies. Some food addicts have these medical issues, but specific to food addiction is the issue of bioavailability.

Bioavailability defines the ease with which something is absorbed from the digestive tract. The higher the bioavailability of a food, the greater the total absorption and rate of absorption. The faster a food is absorbed, the more quickly it turns to glucose in the body.

Whole grains have been in the human diet for thousands of years. Milling and grinding grains is a relatively recent. Whole grains take much longer to be digested that refined flours. The more refined a flour is, the more bioavailable it becomes. And the more quickly it turns into a spike of blood sugar followed by a drop in blood sugar.

The perfect recipe for triggering a binge.

We may initially be persuaded by “faux foods,” i.e. “whole-grain bread,” “flour-free bread,” etc. The fact is that such breads are all made from refined grains. It is a matter of definition on a nutritional label. Reading the glycemic index of such foods tells us the truth about their composition.

Many food addicts find that flours made from other grains are just as bioavailable. Rice flour is likely to trigger the same reaction in a food addict as rice syrup: both are highly refined.

How do you know if you are addicted to flour or sugar?

Check out our self-assessment questions on Am I a Food Addict?  Also read about different types of eaters so you can come to your own conclusions.

The Food Addiction Institute has an extensive research on food and the impact to the human body.

If, despite your best efforts, you are not able to control your intake of flour products, you are not alone.

© A.E. Heald, M.Div.