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The seemingly innocuous Maida possesses a dark side that has earned it the ominous nickname of "white poison."
August 7, 2023: Maida, also known as all-purpose or refined white flour, finds its way into an array of beloved dishes, from the tantalizing aroma of freshly made samosas and naan to the comforting delight of momos, homemade pizza and noodles.
A flour with ancient roots: The genesis of Maida
Over 32 thousand years ago, the ancient Italians began grinding grains to make flour, and maida was born. Initially, stone pestles and mortars were used for coarse grinding. Further refinement of the flour took place over time. Around 5 thousand years ago, ancient Egyptians tried grinding coarse flour finely. The first form of maida was created by grinding, filtering, and separating the fine and coarse parts.
The hidden peril of Maida: Exposing its harmful effects
Maida conceals many harmful health effects beneath its smooth and powdery appearance. Wheat flour undergoes a rigorous milling process that strips it of essential nutrients and fibres, resulting in a white powder with an extended shelf life.
Impact on blood sugar Levels: A rollercoaster ride
Blood sugar levels are rapidly affected by maida consumption, which is a primary concern. Maida is quickly digested by the body, causing a sudden rise in blood glucose levels. As a result, cravings and overeating may occur, leading to weight gain and an increased risk of diabetes.
Digestive woes: The fibre void
Maida’s lack of dietary fibre poses another severe health issue. Maintaining a healthy gut, aiding digestion, and preventing constipation requires dietary fibre. Maida’s refining process strips it of this essential component, leaving it vulnerable to ailments and discomfort.
An invitation to obesity and heart disease
Maida-based products have been linked to obesity and cardiovascular disease. Fats and cholesterol accumulate in the body when refined flour is consumed, posing a grave threat to the heart’s health.
A Perfect storm of health risks
In addition, maida is often used to produce processed foods containing preservatives and additives. Adding artificial elements to maida’s harmful effects exacerbates health risks, including inflammation, compromised immune function, and cancer.
Embracing healthier alternatives
In response to increasing awareness about maida’s dangers, individuals are turning to healthier alternatives. Wheat, barley, and oat flours retain their natural nutrients and fibre, making them an ideal option for a balanced diet.
There is no denying maida’s allure, but the dangers lurk underneath its pleasant exterior. To safeguard our well-being, we must acknowledge the hidden dangers of this ‘white poison’. By choosing whole grain alternatives and making conscious dietary choices, maida’s perils can be avoided, and a wholesome lifestyle can be embraced.