Maida - a lovable ingredient with threatening health effects

Maida - a lovable ingredient with threatening health effects

The changing food culture has brought so many changes in the food habits of all age groups throughout the world. Many innovations in food research have resulted in the advent of many food products, among which maida is the one that has become a popular and dominating ingredient in most of the kitchens. Most of the people get fascinated by attractive and mouth-watering dishes; they enjoy what they eat rather than bothering on the ingredients used in the dishes. Inspite of the availability of diverse dishes, people opt for unhealthy fast foods, such as noodles (plain noodles, maggi, etc.), parottas (layered flat bread in South India), rumali-roti (thin flat bread in South Asia), pizzas, snacks (sandwich, samosa, puffs, pastries, biscuits, etc.), etc. The popular ingredient being used in all such foods is maida, which is a refined and bleached white flour obtained from wheat. Maida is obtained from the endosperm of wheat grain, while the fibrous bran and germ layer are removed in the processing step. During processing, most of the nutrient-rich parts get removed and they include half of the vitamin B1, B2, B3, E, folic acid, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, iron, magnesium, unsaturated fatty acids and fibre. The endosperm is the largest part of the grain (83%), which is mostly starch and this makes up the entire maida. People get carried away with its economic, palatable and refined (lighter, easy kneading and leavening) aspects but remain ignorant or sometimes pretend to be ignorant with its nutritional aspects. Maida does not offer even quarter the amount of health benefits that whole wheat grain offers but its negative effects are quite serious. Following are the insights on its negative effects on people who consume it on regular basis.

Negative effects of maida:

  • Chlorine oxide used as a whitener and an aging agent produces alloxan as an unintended byproduct, which could cause diabetes and heart problems too in the long run.
  • Due to lack of fibre, indigestion, hyperacidity and constipation might occur.
  • Since maida is high in carbohydrates, it could cause obesity or fat storage in the body and increase sugar in the blood.

Therefore, it is advisable to avoid the dishes made of white flour or to reduce its usage by mixing with whole wheat grain flour if unavoidable.

Lovers of fast food, be cautious and go nutritious!

How to cite this article:
Hameedunissa Begum. Maida - a lovable ingredient with threatening health effects. BioLim O-Media. 16 July, 2015. 3(6).
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