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There are many benefits associated with whole grain wheat, some of them nutritional and some of them dealing with the cooking process. Many of the naturally occurring nutrients in wheat are in the wheat berry's bran and germ, which are the parts removed when the wheat is processed into white flour and other products. Using whole grain wheat provides an increase in the amount of magnesium, manganese and fiber that can combine to help the body work more efficiently, lower the risk of some diseases and provide improved digestion. Some manufacturers have found that using whole grain wheat also benefits their production lines, because it is more durable and can easily be mixed, measured and tracked from harvest to the final product, unlike some more-processed flours.
One of the key ways that whole grain wheat can benefit the body is through the way it is digested. The germ and bran are consumed, so the body digests the wheat slower than it would if they were not included. This allows the wheat to be converted into sugars more slowly and naturally than would occur with processed, finely ground white flour made from the endosperm of the wheat. The reduction in the speed of digestion can help to avoid spikes in blood sugar that can cause adverse reactions. This also means the person who has eaten the whole grain wheat will feel full for a longer time, aiding in maintaining a healthy weight.
Magnesium contained in whole grain wheat can help to prevent problems with insulin production, possibly reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Eating whole wheat also has been shown to reduce the risk for heart disease and breast cancer. Certain elements within the whole grain wheat, such as different types of acids in the bran, have antioxidants and other properties that can fight infection and disease and generally have a beneficial effect on the body if eaten in proper amounts as part of a healthy diet.
Some companies that produce commercial baked goods have found that, by using whole grain wheat, they are better able to track and control their supplies of the grains from source to production. The grain also can withstand some processing techniques with more favorable results than processed white flour can. The associated health benefits also mean that some producers find it beneficial to advertise the use of whole grains in their foods to attract consumers.
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