I love getting questions like that, because it helps me to confront my own ignorance! It is easy for us to say: "oh, it's wholegrain, therefore it is healthy" without actually knowing any concrete information to back up our assumptions. So, I've started a crusade, for many reasons, one of which is the above question. My other reasons involve an awareness of my own un-healthiness, or the possibility of un-healthy results of it in the future. My last blood test said that I am getting much lower in Iron than I have ever been while on my GF diet. I know that I'm probably not getting enough vitamins and minerals etc, especially as we are now in winter and vegetables are scarce.
So, whole grains. Actually how healthy are they?
I found a wonderful article on coeliac.co.nz all about whole grains. You can read it here.
|(Julie Leeper, Published in Coeliac Link Summer 2009)|
Ok, so that's gluten free grains. What about when the grains are turned into flour? What's the nutritional value then?
I found this little nutrition fact thing about Amaranth flour. [I'm still to find a good source for the other flours, I will keep you posted!]
|Another thing about amaranth flour is that it makes your baked goods turn brown when cooked. So don't add it to vanilla cake!|
From my non-scientific perspective [hey, I do information science ok, not 'real' science] the two most important things to me in a grain or flour are:
- Fibre, because most gluten free baked goods are made out of heavily processed white flours - and therefore constipate. There isn't any gluten free grain that actually comes close to wheat in fibre content, but it's safe to say that corn and rice have the lowest fibre, which is sad because they are the two most common gluten free flours!
- Iron. I'm getting low on iron, like most New Zealand women. Thankfully this is where most gluten free grains shine, look at that first chart! Amaranth and quinoa have heaps of iron in them!
So, thoughts? Questions? More facts?
I plan on doing some more research into this but at present I'd better go and write one of the assignments I've got due. *gulp*