I was recently reading a press release from Nature's Path Organic about two of their new cereals. The press release made a familiar argument: the cereals "provide gluten avoiders with whole grains... unlike many gluten-free cereals which forfeit nutritional benefits..." The implication is that many gluten-free cereals (and other gluten-free processed foods, by extension) are more highly processed in order to improve taste and texture. But they do so by sacrificing nutritional quality.
There is some truth to this logic. Foods made from whole grains are inherently healthier than heavily processed foods, and I'll use our good old enemy - wheat - to demonstrate. I compared whole grain wheat flour (less processed) with white, unenriched wheat flour (more processed) across a range of nutrient measures. Not surprisingly, the wheat underwent a profound loss in (more…)