(Edited by the Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno of 10-03-2006)
98% of wheat flour and their derivatives (bread, pasta, biscuits and bakery products) currently existing on the Italian market and sold for full-price supplements, are fake integrals.
They are produced in mills starting from already refined flours to which finely re-milled bran is added.
Medical and nutritional research have shown that the fibers added to already refined products have little efficacy for the protection against glycemic and insulinemic peaks  but also in the prevention of some diseases of the digestive system.
The authentic integrals, also called “whole-body milling” or “coarse-grained”, are actually products similar to those described by A. Keys (Study of the Seven Countries) at the time of the discovery and diffusion of the authentic Mediterranean Diet ( years 40 - 50), in which practically no structures and techniques for a refined grinding existed. This type of products, together with the consumption of extra-virgin olive oil and few other natural foods, was given the highest level of health of the Mediterranean populations , creating the myth of the Mediterranean diet.

Advertising the current refined flour and related derivatives as foods of the Mediterranean Diet could be a misleading advertisement, towards which the institutions should pay more attention.
Today it is also possible to improve the "whole body milling with a preventive" decortication "from a nutritional point of view. It is a technique already used to shine rice, to eliminate the outer layers of the bark of the grain and free them from contamination by pesticides, acid rain, heavy metals, etc.
The industrial mills, equipped with very advanced technical and hygienic structures, would be able to produce them with minor modifications to the plants and to the grinding techniques and with little expense. But this does not happen, either because it lacks the dissemination of a good culture on true integrals and because there is legislation in force (Law No. 580 of July 4, 1967 and No. 187 of February 19, 2001) that effectively protects the production of fakes integrals, as it requires for them only the constraint of a rate of ash (mineral salts incinerated) contained between 1.30 and 1.80 p./100 p. of dry substance. This can be achieved more economically with the aforementioned production of the integral wholemeal, which would not occur if the legislation required for the wholemeal flour specifically express the coarse-grained production and the prohibition of the already refined flours reconstituted with the addition of bran.

Currently, consumers' intentions to consume wholesome, wholesome products

Currently, consumers' intentions to consume wholesome wholesome products are frustrated by full-blown fakes. This, despite having a higher price, damages their health because it causes the same harmful effects of refined products.
To avoid deception to the detriment of consumers, some great living nutritionists (W.Willett, J. Brand Miller, D. Jenkins, T. Wolever, DS Ludvig and others), authors of the most revolutionary nutritional research to avoid obesity and the other metabolic diseases (hypertension, cholesterolemia and diabetes) and chronic degenerative diseases (inflammatory diseases and tumors) using the authentic whole foods, recommend to indicate on the food labels the Glycemic Index (GI) and the Glycemic Load (CG). These are measures of increases in blood sugar caused by ingested foods, risk predictive being affected by an IG 70, while a bread of dark whole-grain flour has an almost equal GI (IG 68) when an authentic whole-wheat bread has an IG not more than 40. The same applies to other bakery products and pasta.

A product with IG 68-70 increases the metabolic risk more than cooking sugar, which has a value of IG 61.
The indication on the label should be used by doctors, dietitians and pharmacists, for the correct prescription of whole foods with low GI and CG, to be recommended to their patients, to make their drug therapies more effective and to avoid damage to health. It must serve the consumer, at the time of shopping, to distinguish a false from an authentic integral, avoid fraud and direct his health choices on products with lower GI and CG.
More details on a healthier diet, on new whole foods with low glycemic load, on the bibliography on international research on IG and CG and on research on the RCCS of Castellana Grotte (BA) on IG and CG of the most common typical foods of Puglia, can be found by visiting the website www.antonioelia.com or by reading the book: A.Elia "Low glycemic Nutrition" - Cacucci Editore - 2005.

Antonio Elia
Bari, 09.03.2006

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