Flour Nutrition Facts

Calories in Flour and Health Benefits

flour nutrition facts
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Almost everyone consumes flour at some point. It is the basis for most baked goods, like bread and cookies, and it is also used as a key ingredient when you batter and fry meat, seafood or vegetables. But is flour healthy? The calories in flour aren't very high because we often use just a small amount. But there are ways to make your food more healthy with different types of flour.

Flour Nutrition Facts

Wheat, White, All Purpose Flour Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 cup (125 g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 455 
Calories from Fat 11 
Total Fat 1.2g2%
Saturated Fat 0.2g1%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5g 
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1g 
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 3mg0%
Potassium 133.75mg4%
Carbohydrates 95.4g32%
Dietary Fiber 3.4g14%
Sugars 0.3g 
Protein 12.9g 
Vitamin A 0% · Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 2% · Iron 32%
*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

There are many different types of flour that can be used for cooking or baking. One of the common types of flour is all purpose white flour made from wheat. You'll see it in the grocery store labelled "All-purpose, Enriched, Bleached Flour."

Nutrition facts for flour indicate that a single cup provides 455 calories, but you're not likely to consume that many calories when you eat flour because it is blended with other ingredients to make bread, muffins, cookies or other goods.

According to USDA data, a cup of white, all-purpose, enriched, bleached flour is a very good source of selenium, riboflavin, niacin, and thiamin. It is also a good source of copper, iron, phosphorus, and zinc.

But there are many different varieties of flour that you might choose to bake or prepare foods. It's helpful to compare common uses and nutrition facts for different types of flour and to decide which one is right for you.

  • Whole wheat flour provides 408 calories per cup, 16 grams of protein, 86 grams of carbohydrate, 13 grams of fiber and 3 gram of fat.
  • Almond flour provides 640 calories per cup, 24 grams of protein, 24 grams of carbohydrate, 12 grams of fiber and 56 grams of fat.
  • Semolina provides 601 calories per cup, 21 grams of protein, 122 grams of carbohydrate, 7 grams of fiber and 1.8 grams of fat.
  • White cake flour provides 496 calories per cup, 11 grams of protein, 107 grams of carbohydrate, 2 grams of fiber and one gram of fat.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Different Types of Flour

You might choose to use a different type of flour to bake with in order to improve the health benefits of your food. For example, bread made from whole wheat flour provides better nutrition than bread made from refined grains. But not all flour is interchangeable. It's important to know how you are going to use your flour before you make a swap.

  • Cake flour has a very fine texture and is often used in light baked goods like cookies and cakes. It is higher in starch and lower in protein. According to the Wheat Foods Council, one cup of cake flour can be made by measuring 1 cup all-purpose flour, removing 2 tablespoons of flour and replacing that with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.
  • All purpose, enriched white flour is  is made from a combination of hard and soft wheat and is the easiest to use because it is refined to have a softer texture than whole wheat flour. Self rising flour is also all-purpose flour that has had a leavening agent added. Even though all purpose flour is easy to use, it is an enriched grain. Health experts recommend that we replace enriched grains with whole grains as often as possible to increase our fiber intake.
  • Semolina is made from durum or hard wheat that has a higher protein and gluten content than other varieties. Semolina is commonly used to make different types of pasta and couscous. This is not a good flour to use in bread making. It is also not a good choice for people who maintain a low carb diet or are gluten-sensitive.
  • Whole wheat flour is made from the entire wheat kernel. It produces bread that is often heavier, but higher in fiber and nutrition than bread made from enriched flour. While some healthy eaters don't like the texture of baked goods made with this heavier flour it provides greater health benefits than the refined and softer varieties.
  • Almond flour is made from blanched whole almonds and is often used for low carb and gluten free cooking. This flour is a helpful substitute for low carb dieters and people who maintain a gluten-free diet but it is very high in fat.

Common Questions About Flour

The answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about flour may depend on the type of flour you choose

What's the best way to store flour?
Frugal living expert Erin Huffstetler recommends freezing refined flours to kill any weevil or insect eggs. Then transfer to a plastic or glass container with a tight sealing lid.  Wheat flour has a shorter shelf life than other flours, so it won't last as long.  She recommends storing whole wheat flour in the freezer. Almond flour is best kept refrigerated or frozen.

How long will flour last if properly stored?
Flour usually lasts 3-6 months if properly stored. If you store flour in the freezer, it will last longer (up to a year). Many cooking experts say that if your flour still smells good, it is still safe to use. Many flour packages have a "best by" date that you can use as a guide.

Can I combine flour when I buy a new package?
It's best not to combine your new flour with your old flour.

Should I always use whole grain flour for better health?
Not necessarily. Whole grain flour provides important health benefits, but it doesn't always work in every recipe. Use it when you can and consume enriched flour products in moderation.

A Word From​ Verywell

If you are a baker, you may be able to choose the type of flour you use in recipes. But if you purchase or consume packaged baked goods, you may not have a choice. While it's smart to look for ingredients like whole wheat flour, you should also make smart nutritional decisions based on other ingredients in your food. We all love to enjoy baked goods from time to time, but you'll get more bang for your nutritional buck if you choose baked goods with smart ingredients like fruits or vegetables.

Sources:

Wheat Foods Council.Different Types of Wheat. An Easy Reference Guide for Home Bakers. 

Roberta Larson Duyff  Flour Power: Learn about Different Kinds of Flours Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food & Nutrition  

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