Maida products are dangerous to health
Maida (refined flour) is used in a number of snacks and food items that are considered as tasty and are consumed voraciously. Mysore bajji, punugulu, samosas, bread, bun, cakes, pastries etc., are all made with maida. Sometimes it seems as if anything with maida tastes good. If you want to eat something tasty and filling, you immediately think of some maida product. But many of you are unaware of the dangerous effects of maida on your health. Once you realise this, you will never touch any maida product in future.

How maida is preparedrepresentative image
Maida is nothing but wheat flour. But for preparing maida, the husk on a wheat germ is removed, and the seed is ground to obtain maida. It is bleached to make it look white. Compared to unbleached flour, maida has fewer proteins. Bleached maida is widely used all over the world. Cakes, wafers, pastries, biscuits etc., and all sorts of baked products are made only with maida. Actually, unbleached maida too is used in some baked products. But it is very less. In India, parota, chapati, puri and samosas are made with maida. Also, in some places maida is used to a certain extent, even in idly and dosa. Even bread, brown bread, bun, burger, pizza, pasta, noodles and all kinds of junk foods have nothing but maida as the base.

Maida contains no nutrients

Maida contains no nutritious minerals or vitamins. In fact, consuming maida is not healthy. It has high Glycaemic Index (GI). Maida, in fact, is considered the most dangerous food. Everyone likes to have parota. If parota is made with wheat flour, there is no harm to health. But if it is made with maida, then it is harmful. Wheat contains Phytochemicals, fibre, B and E vitamins. When it comes to maida, the outermost layer on wheat is removed. The inside is nothing but starch. Actually, this is yellow in colour. But do you know why the maida that you buy outside is white in colour?

Bleached with toxic chemicals
When the outer layer of a wheat grain is removed, the inside is yellow in colour. But it is bleached to make it look white. For this, peroxide is used. This is a chemical used to clean wounds of patients in hospitals. Benzyl peroxide is a chemical found in creams used to control acne. Along with this, chlorine gas is used to make maida white in colour.

Banned in the West
A majority of European countries have banned these chemicals that are extremely dangerous to health. Also, to make maida look soft and silky, a chemical called alloxan is used. It directly affects the sugar levels in blood. In hyperglycemia (excess sugar) there is inflammation, leading to arthritis and heart diseases. Alloxan is a dangerous chemical. It acts upon the beta keratins in pancreas and makes them useless. With this, diabetes sets in. Alloxan is used to make maida soft.

Used in animals for testing
Alloxan is induced by researchers into mice and pigs in the laboratories, to test the effectiveness of some medicines used for diabetes. After they test positive for diabetes, the researchers test the medicines on them. Benzoic peroxide that is used in preparing maida, is actually a chemical used in cloth industry.

Petition in Madras HC
One K. Rajendran, filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in Madras High Court in March 2016, requesting it to ban the use of toxic chemicals in maida. The court that heard the petition, ordered that an investigation should be done and a report should submitted. The petitioner charged that alloxan, benzene peroxide and chlorine were being used. Chlorine and benzene peroxide have been banned in America, he informed. Rajender also mentioned in his petition that maida loses nutritive value and fibre when bleached, that it is very dangerous to change maida to white and that doctors have determined that consuming bleached maida is slow poison. He explained to the court that alloxan is a chemical used to induce diabetes in mice in laboratories. With this, the court ordered Tamil Nadu government to investigate.

Two methods of bleaching
Two prominent methods are used to bleach maida and make it white. One of the methods is to heat it up. In the second method chemicals are used. Among the chemicals used are calcium peroxide, benzonide peroxide, chlorine, nitrogen dioxide and azodicarbonamide.

Composition of wheat
A wheat grain is covered with a layer of husk. This is full of fibre. The next layer, called germ, contains a number of nutrients. A vast portion of grain is the endosperm. This is called maida. This does not contain any nutrients. It has more of carbohydrates and sugar. As wheat is milled, it is sieved. A sieve with minute holes is used to extract maida. Consequently, the fibre -rich outer layer of the wheat grain is retained in the sieve, while the portion of endosperm is collected at the bottom. It is clear that at least three times the nutrients are lost. After bleaching the fine flour with chemicals, whatever remaining nutrients present, vanishes. With this, the flour turns harmful for health.
representative imageYou know that petrol, diesel and kerosene are produced from petroleum. After extracting these products from petroleum, the remaining mineral oil, has no ordour. If it is used as a preservative in any food product, that will remain stable for long without decomposing. If coconut oil is used for the same purpose, the food item will emit a distinct ordour after a couple of days. Normally, any cooked food product will develop bacteria. But bacteria cannot thrive in mineral oil. With this, it can be realised how powerful it is.Many Indian dishes are prepared with Ajinomoto (Mono sodium glutamate- MSG). It is a salt like substance that increases flavour. It is used mainly in biryani, fried rice, soup and maida-based products. Ajinomoto is used quiet often in Chinese dishes. If you have a headache after enjoying some foods prepared with ajinomoto, it should be realised that it is the effect of the chemical. It is harmful to health.

Bakery items harmful
Sodium metabisulphate, benzoic, citric acid etc., that are used in bakery food products are all chemicals that cause harm to human beings. Pregnant women and children are easily affected. Actually 90 per cent of bakery foods are made out of maida. Toxic chemicals are used in bakery items. Many do not know what they are and how harmful they are. Not just binging on cakes, pizzas, burgers and buns, but one should be aware that they contain, maida, mineral oil, ajinomoto, preservatives, dalda, sachrine and sugar, all of which lead to all kinds of health problems. You should avoid bakery food stuffs, Chinese food and maida-based products as far as possible.

Numerous health problemsrepresentative image
Medical experts warned that those consuming maida-based products often, suffer from obesity, diabetes, constipation and problems related to the digestive system. Wheat flour contains glydine. This increases appetite. As such more calories are consumed. With this, the cholesterol and triglyceride levels increase and consequently, they put on weight. As there is no fibre in maida, alertness decreases. Such persons suffer from constipation. They face problems like piles and fissures. As there is no fibre, they might even suffer colon cancer. Lack of fibre and proteins also leads to gastric ulcers and gall bladder diseases.
After consumption of foods containing high Glycaemia Index (GI), glucose gets absorbed in the blood quickly. To fight this, Pancreas produce a hormone called insulin.

Even as consumption of maida-based products increase, the production of insulin reduces. With this, the person fall prey to Type II diabetes. The effect that any food product shows on blood glucose levels, is referred to as GI. It is shown in GI value. The more the GI value, the higher the rate of glucose absorbed by the blood. With this sugar levels increase. Whatever is needed for the body is used up and the remaining is stored as fat. That is the reason why, when refined flour is consumed in large quantities, fat content increases and the person will fall prey to heart diseases. Similarly, when GI foods are consumed less, glucose is released gradually into the blood. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and beans have low GI value. Whole and boiled rice have medium GI value. GI value is high in maida and white rice.

Instead of maida, you can use whole wheat flour, corn flour, oat flour and the likes. Even Ragi flour can be used instead of maida.
Thu, Jan 12, 2017, 12:09 PM
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