Can a person with diabetes eat grits?

It’s no news that grits are a downhome country favorite. It can be enjoyed as a side dish, filling snack, base, breakfast food, etc. 

However, the question “can a diabetic eat grits?” has been thrown several times. And it came back with no definite answer. Grits are a great meal to consume, but as a diabetic, you must consume grits with caution and once-in-while treats.

If you don’t know what grits are:

Grits are made from dried ground corn (although some versions can be created from hominy). They are also known as starchy vegetables and can be cooked in different liquids like water, milk, or broth- and mixed until it gets to a thick creamy porridge-like consistency. 

When cooked, a single cup of grits contains about 24 grams of carbs and 182 calories.

Sadly, when the body begins to digest this carb, they turn it into sugar. For a person with diabetes who does not adequately manufacture insulin, a high intake of carbs can cause your blood sugar to spike. 

How did we get grits?

 The term “grits” is derived from “grist,”; which is the name the indigenous people in Virginia gave to a good ground corn dish they ate and shared with the British colonist. Grits refer to any ground grain. Some say grits are based on a native American corn dish similar to hominy. The authentic food is created by grinding corn in a stone mill, which gives it its texture. 

This was first favored by Americans, who would grind the grains until they formed a paste.

Can a person with diabetes eat grits?

Grits may not sound like the ideal meal option for a diabetic patient. They are high in carbs and can cause an increase in blood sugar, but you can only enjoy grits once in a while. As a diabetic, grit is ok if you eat it in moderation and wisely choose the type of grits.

Before deciding to eat grits, you must take into consideration the processing method of grits and how it affects blood sugar: 

There are four common types of grit that you can buy. They all vary depending on their processing methods. The method used in processing the grits can affect the blood sugar level based on the amount of fiber. A large quantity of fiber helps to lower your blood sugar level. If you’re concerned about your blood sugar level, please consider these processing methods for the grits.

There are several varieties of grits, which includes:

  • Hominy: They are gotten from soaking corn kernels in an Akali solution to soften the tough pericarp. After that, the pericarp is rinsed, removed, and the corn undergoes further processing to make this hominy.
  • Quick and regular: This particular type is processed, which involves the removal of pericarp and the nutrient-rich embryo known as germ so that they can have a longer shelf life.
  • Instant: This type is widely available in grocery stores. This is the precooked and dehydrated version. It has both the pericarp and the germ removed.
  • Stoneground: This type is made from whole, dried corn kernels roughly ground in a mill. They are harder to find in grocery stores due to their short shelf life and take 30-60 minutes if it is being cooked on the stove. If you have diabetes, this should be your best bet. 

In conclusion, grits are a good source of carbs and other nutrients like fiber, iron, magnesium, and selenium. Most grits contain little or no sugar, except you bought the instant grits, which often added sugar. 

Ideally, if you have diabetes, you should aim to eat stone-ground grits, which are less processed and have a lower sugar index, and this should not be regular.