Most of whole grain products derived from cereals that we find in supermarkets nowadays are reconstituted wholegrain products. They are obtained from white flour, that is, refined by removing completely the outer layers of wheat grain, then adding the initially rejected bran.
This procedure is not the same as grinding the whole grain of wheat, which leaves fibres and starch tightly bound.
From a legislative point of view, the so-called reconstituted wholegrain products (made by adding bran to white flour) follow the current regulations, as whole wheat flour is actually given by bran and ash in an amount that is in compliance with the law, no matter how bran has been added to the flour.
Reconstituted wholegrain products are preferred because their productive process is more profitable (cylinder grinding). However, within the digestive system, reconstituted and authentic wholegrain products (only obtained through stone grinding) act in a very different way.
Reconstituted wholegrain products are composed of two parts (starch and fibre) which are together but separate from each other, so they are treated separately by the stomach as regards digestion and assimilation. By comparison, in authentic wholegrain products, the starch and fibers are more tightly bound, so this makes digestion and absorption of carbohydrate blood a longer process.
In other words, the real wholegrain product has a lower glycemic index compared to a reconstituted wholegrain product.
According to many studies, consuming low GI products is very useful in controlling diabetes and its evolution. It allows a faster and more stable fat loss (not just weight loss) and is effective against the metabolic syndrome and polycystic ovary syndrome.
The authentic whole wheat semolina, stone milled according to the laws of the Mediterranean Diet, also contains wheat germ.
Wheat germ is the embryo, that is, the basic part of the seed from which the plant grows, so it is a real concentrated nutrient, such as vitamins B and E , amino acids, mineral salts, protein and “good” fat.
Unfortunately, with the current milling methods, the wheat germ is removed from the caryopsis, so its components do not form part of the flour which, in this way, is deprived of a great part of fibers, vitamins and mineral salts. On the one hand, the elimination of the germ increases storage time as fatty acids contained in the product turn rapidly rancid, but on the other hand, it deprives food of its most precious nutrients.
Whole wheat grains, however, keep all three parts of the grain, for this reason their health benefits are now universally accepted.
Wheat germ also contains a substance called octacosanol, which could improve athletic performance and pituitary gland function, optimising physical and mental efficiency. From all perspectives, wheat germ is an excellent nutritional supplement also for sportsmen and professional athletes.