A handful or my followers know that I type 1 diabetes and celiac disease. It is not something out of the odds to have celiac disease and also type 2 diabetes all at the same time. It is so unfortunate that people who have celiac disease are not supposed to eat rye, wheat or even barley. Making grits the only healthy option in this category. Even disturbing is the fact that in the west, Hawaii, north, and Alaska they don’t serve grits in their hotels. This is sad given the health benefits you can deliver from consuming grits.
As a dietitian, I have come across a handful of questions all about corn grits. The question range from what they are, and how you can fit them in your day to day meal plan. The good news is I have the answer to these burning questions.
What are corn grits?
Starting with a funny answer understandable by most people, corn grits are ground corns. This is where it gets complicated polenta and cornmeal are all from ground corn. It doesn’t end there; there are basically different types of grits.
- Stone ground grits- as the name suggests, the corns are crushed between stones. The end product contains everything including the germ and the endosperm. Stone ground grits make a very nutritious meal with some feeling that they taste a little earthy and nutty.
- Hominy Grits- these types of grips are as a result of soaking corn in alkali The purpose is to make amino acids and vitamins B more available and ready to be used in the body. There are also those who add lime to the alkali solution to add calcium. You can either mash the hominy into mesa making corn tortillas or simply have them as grits. Hominy grits are considered whole grains by the Whole Grain Council.
- Process Grits- they are made from yellow and white corn. It is prepared by cleaning and pealing the corn. The process takes out some fat in it making it low in fats. According to the Whole Grain Council, processed grits are not whole grains.
- Charleston style grits- these grits are made with milk rather than water. Cooked polenta is basically starches found in ground corn cooked into a cream. After cooling, it can be sliced into then later fried or even baked in an oven.
As diabetic grits are a healthy option all you have to do is substitute it to a meal rich in starch or carbs. 1 ½ cup serving of grits contain approximately 15 grams of carbs.
There are many brands selling grits all available in your local market. You can never be sure about the contents so always ensure that you refer on the nutrition facts on the product label. You should also be extra careful on anything you are going to add to the grits. Most diabetic people go for shrimp, a healthy fruit, cheese low in fat and margarine. Avoid anything with saturated fats such as butter or bacon.
Each brand of grit comes with its own instructions on how it should be prepared. For more nutrients go for whole grain grits! Cooking time varies depending on the type of grit you are preparing.
Making grits part of your breakfast
If you are diabetic and wish to make grits part of your breakfast there a meal plan you should stick to. There is little to no chance that you can include your favorites. People with diabetes should ensure that they eat a balanced diet that is a diet with vegetables, fruits, proteins and carbs with a low glycemic index. As long as you don’t consume too much of it, you are good to include grits to your diet.
As mentioned earlier as a diabetic you should eat a balanced diet. In particular, ensure that you consume more vegetables and proteins. Good sources of proteins include eggs, meat low in fats and vegetables that are low in starch and fiber. You can also add in a whole grain meal to add in carbs with a low glycemic index. Half of your breakfast should be vegetables with carbs and proteins splitting the rest evenly.
Yellow corn grits
Yellow corns have a low glycemic index and contain no fats. However, the overall nutrition is relatively low. A ½ cup serving if yellow corns have 15grams of carbs, 2grams of proteins and barely any fiber in it. You will also only get 4% serving of daily iron. Take yellow corn grits with cheese low in fat to add in calcium essential strengthening the bones.
White corn grits
Compared to yellow corn grits, white corns are relatively high in carbs and other nutrients as well. In just a ¼ serving of white corn grits you will get 32grams of carbs, ½ a gram of fat, 4grams of proteins and 10% of the daily iron requirement.
Ensure that your take enough vegetables. Select vegetables of different colors to ensure that you tap in nutrients from a variety of vegetables. Add in proteins that are low in fats with a good example being turkey sausages or cottage cheese. Compliment the diet grits of your choice in a single serving. Now this is a balanced diet.