The glycemic index of grits can vary

The glycemic index of grits can vary

Due to different processing methods, the glycemic index (GI) of grits can vary considerably.

On a scale of 0–100, the GI measures to what extent a certain food increases your blood sugar. It depends on starches, processing, other nutrients, cooking method, and several other factors (5Trusted Source).

The GI of instant, regular, or quick grits is likely high because they’ve been processed to remove the germ. On the other hand, stone-ground grits probably have a lower GI (5Trusted Source).

One study in 11 healthy adults noted that grits made from milled and fermented corn flour had a moderate GI of around 65 while grits made from non-fermented corn flour scored above 90 (6Trusted Source).

Yet, high-GI foods don’t necessarily lead to poor blood sugar control in people with diabetes. The amount you eat and which foods you consume along with them also matter (7Trusted Source).

For example, eating 2 cups (484 grams) of grits will likely increase your blood sugar more than eating 1/2 cup (121 grams) alongside eggs, non-starchy vegetables, or other diabetes-friendly foods.

Heavily processed types of grits may have a high GI, underscoring the importance of small portion sizes if you have diabetes.

How to add them to a well-rounded, diabetes-friendly diet
If prepared carefully, grits can be part of a balanced, diabetes-friendly diet.

You should try to use stone-ground grits, as these contain more fiber and are less likely to spike your blood sugar. If you can’t find this type in your local store, you can buy it online.

It’s also important to cook your grits with water or broth instead of milk and cheese. While these dairy products might be popular add-ins, they’ll also raise the carb content.

You can still create a flavorful dish by using spices like garlic.

Nonetheless, bear in mind that grits are typically served in large portions with high-calorie foods like butter and processed meats.

Try to limit yourself to one or two servings, making sure to eat a variety of lean proteins, healthy fats, vegetables, legumes, and fruits as well. It’s best to avoid refined carbs and sugary foods.

Grits can be incorporated into a wholesome, diabetes-friendly diet that includes nutritious foods and limits sweets and refined carbs. Just make sure to refrain from large portions, use stone-ground varieties, and cook without milk or cheese.

The bottom line
Grits are a creamy Southern dish made from ground corn.

While they’re high in carbs and can increase blood sugar, you can eat them in moderation if you have diabetes.

Just be sure to pair this savory porridge with healthy, low-carb ingredients and choose less processed, stone-ground varieties when possible

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