Diet & Nutrition 5 MIN READ 153 VIEWS January 9, 2023

Did You Know – Refined Wheat Flour (Maida) is Extremely Harmful for You

Written By HealthKart
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Refined Wheat

The refined wheat flour known as maida has a lot of calories but little nutritious value. It is manufactured from wheat grain, which is a great source of fibre, vitamins, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and selenium.

The vital fibre component is completely removed during the manufacturing process, leaving flour devoid of any nutrition. 

In this blog, we will explain why refined wheat is harmful to health.

What does Refined Wheat Flour Mean?

The best type of wheat flour, known as “Maida,” is refined flour, which is used to make bread, bhatura, samosas, pizza bases, and a variety of other snack foods. Its white colour and an aesthetically pleasing appearance are both results of the bleaching process.

Negative Effect of Eating Refined Wheat Flour

There are many negative effects of eating refined wheat such as:

1. Results in Weight Gain

Maida can’t keep you full for very long, as has been demonstrated. It makes you more ravenous and encourages bingeing.

Additionally, the high carbohydrate content causes an increase in insulin secretion which also results in weight gain and obesity. It has a high glycemic index as well, which has been associated with overeating and obesity.

2. SMBS’s Presence

Foods manufactured with refined flour also contain benzoic acid [used for flour treatment], which is harmful to children and pregnant women. As well as sodium metabisulphite (SMBS), a toxic chemical used in preparation of items from flour.

3. Diabetes and Refined Flour

Experts claim that alloxan, a substance that causes diabetes, is abundant in refined flour. Refined flour has a high glycemic index, which has been demonstrated to cause blood sugar levels to rise and affect the insulin levels. Type 2 diabetes and inflammation may result from regular flour consumption.

By increasing blood sugar levels, the consumption of refined grains leads to metabolic dysfunction. Refined flour contains dangerous toxins and fewer nutrients. It is surely not healthy to use refined flour as a substitute for more nutrient-dense meals.

4. Stomach Problem

It is often referred to as the “glue of the gut” and has no fibre content. It also slows down the digestive system as a whole, which contributes to obesity, stress, and constipation.

5. Nutrient Deficiency

When flour is refined, all of its nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, are lost. Additionally, the bleaching method used to create white renders it harmful to the human digestive system.

6. Depression

A high intake of refined carbohydrates is linked to a higher risk of developing depression. Refined flour may also cause depression by promoting systemic inflammation and bringing on mood-altering swings,  even though there is a bidirectional relationship between these two factors.

Depressed people frequently “self-medicate” their depression with high-carbohydrate foods as high carb foods are linked with increased levels of serotonin which is known to elevate mood.

7. Acne

While doctors have long debated the connection between diet and acne, it is now well-established that refined carbs play a role in the onset and development of this distressing skin condition.

Curiously, hunter-gatherer communities with diets free of refined carbohydrates do not experience acne. Refined carbohydrate intake causes the overproduction of insulin, which in turn increases the androgen levels stimulating sebum production in skin follicles, obstructing the follicles and causing irritated skin lesions, such as pimples. As a result of the crucial role insulin plays in the aetiology of the disorder, Acne has even been referred to by some experts as a “metabolic disease” of the hair follicle. However, staying away from processed carbohydrates can help prevent acne.

8. Gluten

Refined wheat has a lot of carbohydrates, but it also contains another element that could be dangerous to some people: gluten. A class of proteins called “gluten” is present in wheat, rye, barley, and triticale that is in charge of giving dough its elastic consistency. Perhaps celiac disease, a disorder in which the body responds to gluten with an immune reaction which can cause considerable damage to the small intestine, which is the illness for which the effects of gluten are most well-known. Tissue transglutaminase-2, a gluten-digesting enzyme in the gastrointestinal tract, and only one member of the gluten protein family—alpha-gliadin—is responsible for celiac disease (tTG-2). It’s possible to have an intolerance to gluten and/or other parts of wheat.

One should consume wheat flour instead of refined wheat because wheat flour has many wheat flour benefits.

What to Eat Instead of Refined Wheat Flour?

It is obvious that refined flour has no real health benefits for us and may even be quite harmful. But which types of carbohydrates should we eat instead?

1. Whole Fruit

Whole fruits are rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients; regular consumption of whole fruits, But not fruit juice, is linked to a lower risk of a variety of chronic diseases. Seek for organic fruits that have the fewest pesticide residues and which can be safely bought conventionally. Hunter-gatherer tribes, who traditionally ate a lot of carbs, usually obtain the majority of their carbohydrates from starchy tubers like sweet potatoes and cassava.

Winter squash, beets, rutabaga, plantains, and white potatoes are additional foods that include nutrient-dense carbohydrates.

2. Whole Grains and Legumes as Gray-Area Carbs

What about whole grains if refined grains aren’t the best for our health? After all, health professionals have been advising us to “consume more whole grains” for years in order to promote our health.

According to research, switching from refined to whole grains has very small health benefits if your objective is to lose weight. Control your blood sugar levels, or lower your risk of developing chronic diseases. A Paleo diet, which forgoes all grains in favor of fruit and tubers as sources of carbs, regularly results in more pronounced benefits in metabolic health. If you have insulin sensitivity and/or are an active person, you may want to add legumes and whole grains to your diet as sources of carbohydrates.

Stick to gluten-free grains like amaranth, millet, buckwheat, teff, quinoa, and sorghum if you are worried about gluten. Soak, sprout, or ferment legumes and whole grains before cooking to increase their nutrient bioavailability.

Research shows that eating sourdough bread resulted in a much lower postprandial blood sugar response compared to regular bread, which is intriguing since it suggests that sourdough bread may offer a feasible health-promoting option to bread manufactured from refined flour.

You get more nutritional value for your money because the fermentation process used to make sourdough bread increases the bioavailability of B vitamins and minerals in the grain.


Refined wheat flour is unhealthy for us because of the manufacturing process. In moderation, the consumption of refined flour is not harmful, but excessive consumption can cause weight gain and harm to the liver and kidneys. Healthy grains should always be consumed to maintain body health.

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