Are grits good or bad for you?
Are you a fan of Southern comfort food? If so, then you have probably heard of grits. These small, grainy bits are a staple in Southern cuisine and can be served as a side dish or even the main course. But are they good or bad for your health? We’ll explore this question and more below.
What Are Grits?
For those who may not know what grits are, they’re made by grinding corn kernels into coarse pieces to create a grain-like substance that is boiled with water or milk. The resulting mixture becomes creamy and thick, producing an ideal base for various ingredients such as cheese, bacon bits, eggs – just about anything you fancy!
Fun Fact: Did you know that Native Americans introduced settlers to what we now call “grits”? They taught them how to turn corn into maseca – crushed maize used to make tortillas.
It’s important to consider the nutritional value of any food before incorporating it into our diet permanently. Here’s a breakdown of some’s nutrients with every 100-grams serving:
- Calories: 80
- Protein: 1.5 grams
- Fat: 0.4 gram (negligible)
- Carbohydrates: 18 grams
- Fiber: Almost negligible (only found in stone-ground varieties)
- Sodium: Negligible
As evident from this breakdown above, that comes across as pretty healthy, doesn’t it!?
Potential Health Benefits Of Eating Grits
High In Iron And Folate
If one is lacking iron supplements in their body or need folate supplements; then including grits regularly could prove beneficial!! A single cup contains almost half your recommended daily intake—same goes with folate supplementation too!!. So if someone happens to be looking for a way to improve their iron, and folate levels naturally; then consuming grits regularly could prove beneficial.
Grits are made from corn rather than wheat (or any other gluten-containing grains). Therefore that makes them an excellent option for anyone who’s sensitive to gluten– yay!
Potential Concerns of Eating Grits
High In Carbohydrates and Low in Fiber
Now carbs aren’t necessarily bad but the absence of fiber is what might make you wanna think twice before opting for grits as your go-to breakfast item or using it too often in your meals. Diets high in carbohydrates can spike blood sugar levels if they do not offer adequate amounts of fiber too. Though stone-ground varieties may come with some amount of fiber, regular ones lack that benefit- bummer!!! So i suggest prioritizing optio ns like quinoa or brown rice which will provide all the good & essential nutrients plus protein – win-win!
Often Served With Unhealthy Add-Ins
While plain grits provide numerous health benefits, many people enjoy adding salt, butter, cheese bacon bits, syrup, etc., which significantly increase calorific intake and intake sodium; leading to increased BP/Cholesterol levels.
Let’s take a look at this: A single packet serving size package of 79g Quaker Instant Butter Flavor provides
calories 250 ,total fat 2 g ,
carbs 50 g,
dieteary fibres1 grams…..woah!! That was alarming!! Wouldn’t you say so?
As one can tell by now, grit itself happens to be relatively healthy overall . However,serving it wth lods of butter ,salt cheese,bacon crumbles,syrup defeats the basics purpose would cause long-term problems such as Increased calorie consumption/having elevated risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes due to firberless consumption.So next time one serves their bowl of grits, opt for healthier toppings like avocado, eggs or beans.