Whole Grains

Is Refined Fiber Good for You?


Refined Fiber White flour is produced by removing bran and germ from whole kernels of wheat. The bran fiber that is removed from wheat is indigestible, but it carries a majority of the vitamins and other micronutrients found in wheat. “Refined” white flour is so nutritionally compromised that “enrichment” is needed to add back selected vitamins and minerals removed in the milling process.Whole Grains

Food scientists are now deconstructing various brans and plant fibers to produce complex chemicals that are colorless and tasteless and yet retain several of the desirable properties found in whole grains and brans. These chemicals have a variety of names including: resistant starch, polydextrose, inulin, maltodextrin, and pullulan. These are added to drinks and foods for the purpose of increasing their “fiber” content.

The benefits of including whole grains in the diet are well known. The risks and benefits of ingesting these “refined’ fiber additives are not clearly understood. It is best to buy foods where the ingredients include “whole grain” or “bran” on the label. Look with some suspicion on chemical ingredients that technically pass the “fiber” test but are actually highly refined products.

The Bible gives this same advice. Isaiah 55:2 (NKJV) “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good.”


Dr. Adams is a graduate of Loma Linda University School of Medicine. His MPH is from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Adams is retired from the position of Medical Director of Tarrant County Public Health in Fort Worth, Texas. He is the developer of the Best Weigh nutrition and weight loss program. He is also the author of the Handbook of Health Evangelism and Jesus Was Thin: So You Can Be Thin Too.