Are grits good for you? This is a question that many people have asked, and the answer may surprise you. Grits are a staple in Southern cuisine but offer more than just delicious breakfast food.
Grits are actually packed with nutrients and health benefits! In this blog post, we will discuss the many benefits of eating grits and how they can improve your overall health.
What Are Grits?
Grits are a type of cornmeal that is ground into coarse flour. They are then boiled in water or milk to create a porridge-like dish. Grits can be flavored with butter, cheese, salt, and pepper to taste.
Different Types of Grits
Varieties of grits include:
- Stone-ground grits are the least processed and contain the highest fiber. Because whole dried corn kernels are coarsely ground, all the whole-grain benefits, including fiber and B vitamins, are preserved. This kind is often thicker in texture and has a pronounced corn taste.
- Hominy grits are made by soaking the kernel in lime or lye and softening the outer hulls. The exterior hulls are then removed, along with the fiber. This preserves the germ, which contains minerals like B vitamins and vitamin E. Hominy can be ground or used whole in soups and stews. It's a versatile ingredient that adds a unique flavor and texture to any dish.
- Quick grits are finely ground and have the hull and germ removed, allowing them to cook faster. However, this processing eliminates much of the grits' nutritional content. Vitamins and minerals are sometimes added back in, so check the ingredients list if nutrition is a concern.
- Regular grits are less processed and have a longer shelf life, but they will take longer to cook.
- Instant grits have been processed, precooked, and dehydrated, so all you have to do is add hot water to make them edible. The kernel's outer coat and germ are removed, along with most of the nutrients. While this makes instant grits more convenient to prepare, it also means that they are not as healthy as traditional grits.
Grits Nutrition Facts
One cup of cooked grits contains:
- 177 calories
- 37 grams of carbohydrates
- 0 grams of fat
- 0 grams of protein
- antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins
As you can see, grits are a low-calorie food that is also low in fat and cholesterol. They are a good source of complex carbohydrates and provide a small amount of essential vitamins and minerals.
Are Grits Good For You?
Grits are a delicious and nutritious breakfast food. While stone-ground grits contain all the nutrients in whole grains, the most often consumed grits are processed in regular and instant varieties. As a result, they are deficient in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Like other fortified cereals, enriched grits varieties are a good source of iron, with one serving to provide 100% of the required Daily Value. Combine them with fruit in the morning for maximum absorption—vitamin C aids plant-based iron absorption. Grits are also abundant in B vitamins, including niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and folate, which are found naturally in corn kernels or are added back after processing.
B vitamins support a healthy metabolism, cells, and energy levels. Grits also include lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that protect the eyes. Grits are also naturally low in fat and calories. So next time you're looking for a hearty and healthy breakfast option, reach for the grits!
Health Benefits of Grits
Now that we know what grits are and what they contain let's look at the health benefits of eating grits.
- Grits are a good source of complex carbohydrates, providing energy to your body.
- They are also a good source of fiber, which can help to regulate digestion and promote a healthy gut.
- Grits are low in fat and cholesterol, making them heart-healthy food choices.
- The vitamin B content in grits helps support a healthy nervous system, while the iron content aids in producing red blood cells.
- Grits also contain small amounts of calcium and magnesium, which are essential for bone health.
How to Incorporate Grits Into Your Diet
Grits are a delicious and nutritious food that can be enjoyed in various ways. One of the most popular ways to eat grits is to make a healthy breakfast bowl. Start by cooking your grits according to the package directions. Then, top with fresh fruit, nuts, and seeds for a nutrient-packed meal.
You can also use grits as a base for savory dishes. Just add your favorite cheeses, spices, sauces, vegetables, meat, or seafood for a hearty and filling meal. Grits are a versatile side dish that can be enjoyed in many different ways. Get creative and experiment with your favorite flavors. No matter how you want them, be sure to add grits to your diet to boost nutrition and health benefits!
Can Diabetics Eat Grits?
If you have diabetes, you may be wondering if grits are a safe food to eat. The answer is yes! Grits are a low-glycemic food that won't cause your blood sugar levels to spike. In fact, the complex carbohydrates in grits can help to regulate blood sugar levels.
For people with diabetes, it is vital to always stay within their carbohydrate range. Grits should be combined with protein and fat to avoid a blood sugar surge. Grits can be a healthy part of a diabetic diet as long as they are accompanied by more nutritious toppings such as skim milk, olive oil, fruits, and/or vegetables.
So are grits good for you? Well, if you're looking for a delicious and healthy breakfast option, look no further than grits! This Southern staple is packed with nutrients and health benefits that will surprise you. From their low calorie and fat content to their ability to support a healthy nervous system, there are plenty of reasons to add grits to your diet. So what are you waiting for? Get cooking!