What Are Grits? Are They Good for You & Healthy?

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corn grits

Originally from the Southern United States, grits are a food made from mature corn that is ground into a coarse meal, then boiled. Grits may be either yellow or white depending on the color of corn used.

Hominy grits are a type of grits made from hominy (corn that has been treated with an alkali in a process called nixtamalization) with the germ removed.

You can learn how corn grits are made at Falls Mill via this link here.

Though often served as a breakfast, grits can also add texture and flavor to lunch and dinner meals. Their satisfying creamy texture and endless savory taste make meals easy and fun. A cup of cooked grits contains 182 calories and 1 gram of fat making it good for weight watchers.

ARE GRITS GLUTEN FREE?

According to GlutenFreeLiving, grits are made from corn and therefore they are gluten-free. Some brands, however, might contain gluten. To check out whether your favorite brand contains gluten, check out this resource here.

Grits give you a full feeling throughout the day reducing your daily fat calories intake.

Grits are a good source of carbohydrate, contain a small amount of fat and protein, rich in vitamin B and E, potassium, zinc, and phosphorus. Consuming grits provides your body with several essential nutrients that help maintain your energy levels and boost your health.

YOU WILL FIND IN THIS POST

NUTRITIONAL FACTS
8 HEALTH BENEFITS:
1. PREVENT NEURAL DEFECT IN FETUS
2. PREVENT HEART COMPLICATIONS
3. BOOST IMMUNITY
4. AMPLE ENERGY SOURCE
5. LOWER RATE OF PROSTATE CANCER
6. FIGHT SKIN CANCER
7. WEIGHT LOSS
8. MUSCLE GAIN
DRAWBACKS
TOPPINGS TO USE

ARE GRITS GOOD FOR YOU? NUTRITION FACTS

AMOUNT100 g
CALORIES59 cal
TOTAL FAT0.2 g
SATURATED FAT0.0 g
POLYUNSATURATED FAT0.1 g
MONOUNSATURATED FAT 0.0 g
CHOLESTEROL0.0 g
SODIUM223 mg
POTASSIUM21 mg
TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE13 g
DIETARY FIBER0.3 g
SUGAR0.1 g
PROTEIN1.4 g

1. ENRICHED WITH VITAMINS (B6, B9, A & E)

Grits modestly boost you with several B vitamins, vitamin A and a small amount of vitamin E. All these vitamins activate enzymes responsible for converting food into energy.

They also keep your nervous system healthy.

Grits are particularly rich in vitamin B9, also known as folate, which is important in maintaining your body’s metabolism. Helps synthesize your DNA, that’s vital for the growth and development of cells.

A cup of grits contains 18% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin B9. It also contains vitamin B6 that aids your body in the production of serotonin, a chemical that enhances your mood.

So don’t be surprised when you’re awfully happy after having a bowl of grits. Adding milk as your choice topping also boosts your intake of vitamin A and D.

2. GREAT SOURCE OF MINERALS

One serving of grits has 14 percent of the daily recommended dose of iron, sodium, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc. Iron is a mineral important for adequate oxygen levels in your body.

The grits may be enriched with iron so the levels might vary according to individual brands.

Eating plain grits adds 127.5mg of sodium to your meal. The common practice of salting grits means there is likely to be more sodium. So in an effort to keep your salt levels in check, you might want to consider using salt substitutes to spice up your grits.

Grits are a natural source of selenium.

This is a mineral that combines with proteins to form selenoprotein. Selenoproteins regulate the metabolism of thyroid hormones and production of antioxidants. They further protect cells and cell membranes from getting damaged.

3. MODERATE CALORIES & FATS

Grits are a moderate calorie dense food. A cup serving of plain cooked grits contains around 182 calories, and 1 gram of fat. In a single meal, you only need 300 to 500 calories for women or 400 to 600 calories for men.

If you are trying to lose weight, then grits are the way to go.

They provide a full feeling throughout the day preventing you from consuming excess fat calories. However, keep in mind that your choice of topping affects the calorie content significantly.

Keep butter, milk, and sugar to a minimum or try out some sugar substitutes. You’ll have the chance to flavor your grits while keeping it nutritious.

4. CARBOHYDRATES & FIBER

A good amount of calories in grits comes from its carbohydrate content. As a grain, grits provide healthy carbohydrates. One serving of grits has 13.5 g of carbohydrates, 1 g of dietary fiber and less than a gram of sugar.

This makes up 4-6 percent of carbohydrates you need in your everyday meals.

They give you energy for your body to function at optimal level. The dietary fiber in grits also adds bulk to your stool making things easy for your digestive tract and preventing constipation.

Whole grain variety of grits has optimal health benefits. Research shows that they are a good choice for diabetics or those with high cholesterol due the foods low glycemic response compared to other cereals.

5. PROTEINS

Grits contain a very small amount of protein. Each serving contains 1.4 g of protein. You require 46 to 56 grams of protein daily. In addition to serving a very small portion of protein, it is also deficient in amino acids that are essential to your diet.

But there is an ace in all this, grits can be served with toppings.

You can use toppings to boost the amount of protein in your grits easily. Varying from milk to butter even slices of fruit. You even have the option of incorporating seafood and meat or poultry to boost your protein content and will give you the amino acids.

Grits have an endless adaptability that makes it easy to pair up with your choice of protein.

ARE GRITS HEALTHY? 8 HEALTH BENEFITS

corn grits in bowl

Cooked grits provide health benefits because they contain minerals and vitamins essential for growth. Pairing them with specific toppings boosts your meal both in flavor and nutrients.

1. PREVENT NEURAL DEFECT IN FETUS

Pregnant women acquire folates from grits that prevent neural defects in the fetus and help in developing the protective covering of nerves, myelin sheath. It is essential in preventing birth defects that develop the first few weeks of conception (see study here). Folates also help boost our immune system and protect us from diseases like cancer.

2. PREVENT HEART COMPLICATIONS

Vitamins B1 and B3 found in grits regulate and optimize our cardiovascular function preventing heart complications and treats insomnia and depression respectively (see study here).

3. BOOST IMMUNITY

Vitamin B-6 helps prevent carpal tunnel, rheumatoid arthritis or vision problems such as muscular degeneration (see study here).

4. AMPLE ENERGY SOURCE

A cup of grits can keep an athlete energized throughout strenuous activities due to its high carbohydrate content.

5. LOWER RATE OF PROSTATE CANCER

Grits contain selenium that regulates and controls inflammations. It may even inhibit the onset of arthritis, and its intake has been linked to lower the rate of prostate cancer (this point has been doubted by scientists – see study here).

6. FIGHT SKIN CANCER

The vitamin E in grits acts as an antioxidant and prevents the formation of free radicals, therefore, fighting skin cancer (see study here).

7. WEIGHT LOSS

One of the best health benefits of grits is weight loss. With moderate calorie content, it keeps you feeling full for a long time. Its iron component ensures your muscles get enough oxygen circulation, so you don’t get fatigued fast.

8. MUSCLE GAIN

Grits are rich in leucine. Leucine is an amino acid that triggers protein synthesis leading to muscle growth. Grits can be included in meals of the elderly who have trouble with muscle growth (see study here).

DRAWBACKS

As you can see, there are some health benefits of grits. However, they come with one major drawback. They are usually made out of refined grains and not whole grains. That is why grits lack some essential nutrients and fiber.

Actually, grits made out of refined grains usually fail to reach the 10 percent supply of the body’s daily needs of fiber. This way you will miss out on many health benefits of fiber, which includes even better weight control.

If you like grits (or want to include them in your daily meals) make sure you eat whole-grain versions instead of ones made out of refined grains.

TOPPINGS TO USE

shrimps with grits

One of the healthiest ways to consume grits is by eating them plainly, with the most common preparation of boiling them in water or milk. However, most of us have more adventurous palates and prefer food with some flavor.

That’s where grits toppings come in.

HEALTHY GRITS FOR WEIGHT LOSS

If you’re out to watch your weight or even health, you can pair grits with healthful ingredients. Fresh fruits and nuts add color and flavor to an initially rather dull meal.

They not only give you a hearty meal but also maintain low-calorie content and boost on proteins and vitamins. Avoiding saturated fats like cheese and butter will ensure your calorie count remains low and at a daily recommended level.

HIGH-CALORIE GRITS FOR FULLNESS & TASTE

Pairing grits with toppings that are known for high-calorie count kick out the healthy factor. But if you feel like that’s what works for you, then go ahead.

Its creamy texture allows you to pair it with a variety of other meals without killing your taste buds. You can have grits with eggs and spinach, cheese grits, grits and fried onion etc.

The options are endless.

Preparing grits isn’t as boring as it may sound. It just needs a bit of ingenuity on your part and you can make quite a tasty meal out of it. Grits flexibility allows you to try your hand in many meal combinations.

YOU CAN FIND AWESOME RECIPES FOR GRITS HERE: 221+ AWESOME GRITS RECIPES

SO ARE GRITS HEALTHY?

We’ve looked at all the ways grits boost your health and can be beneficial to you. So without a doubt, yes! Grits are very good for you.

It’s a great way to kick start your morning and plan other meals too.

Just make sure to read the contents of the brands before you settle for a pack. In absolutely no time you’ll be feeling healthier and more satiated.

Just a girl obsessed with everything related to weight loss & feeling healthy. Christine is my pen name and I hope you will love the stuff I write. Been researching diets & health since 2013 and my articles helped over 12 000 000 readers to date. Please keep in mind that this site is for informational purposes only and that you always need to consult your decisions with your doctor.