If you usually eat oatmeal for breakfast, maybe it's time to bring diversity and try grits. They are helpful for the stomach, positively impact eye health, burn fat, and are delicious.
Grits are porridge made from cornmeal. As oatmeal, cornmeal is also boiled with milk or water; it depends on the taste preferences. While cooking, it is very important not to overdo liquids; grits taste better when they are thick and creamy.
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Generally, the variations of grits depend on grain milling: fine, medium, and coarse. Here is the list of the most common grits:
Instant (quaker instant grits)
Instant grits can be quickly cooked at home or work in a couple of minutes by pouring boiling water. This type of grits is the least helpful; during production, the outer layer and germ of the kernel are removed, and all the valuable properties of the product are gone.
Stone-ground grits are finely crushed grain, white or yellow in color. They are the least processed form of grain, have a more rough texture and richer corn taste. Stone-ground grits contain more fiber and are rich in vitamin B.
Hominy grits are very popular in Mexican food culture. It is made from field corn, also called maize. Corn grains are soaked in an alkaline solution; therefore, grains swell and take the form of big corn kernels.
Yes, no wonder they are called so because of color. Yellow grits are saturated yellow and have a rich taste of corn. Compared with white grits with a removed hull, yellow corn uses the whole kernel of corn.
It depends on the grits and their manufacturer. Naturally, grits are gluten-free products. However, some companies produce grits with other grains; therefore, this component gets into the package.
For the overwhelming number of people, gluten is entirely harmless, but if you have a gluten intolerance, always check the label and consider the packaging when you purchase grits.
Grits are very useful for the stomach: they eliminate toxins and positively impact the whole gastrointestinal tract. They are also a good source of iron: according to the National Institutes of Health, a cup of grits contains more iron than a man needs for the entire day and just 0.1 milligrams short of what a menstruating woman needs.
Here are the nutrients for grits cooked on the water (per 100 g):
Energy: 65 kcal
Protein: 1.38 g
Fat: 0.4 g
Carbohydrates: 14.8 g
Fiber: 0.8 g
Sugars: 0.29 g
Grits contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which boost your health differently. Firstly, grits are a source of important eye health antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin. According to research, both protect against eye disorders like cataracts1Buscemi S, Corleo D, Di Pace F, Petroni ML, Satriano A, Marchesini G. 18 September 2018. The Effect of Lutein on Eye and Extra-Eye Health. Nutrients. DOI:10.3390/nu10091321..
Antioxidants in the composition of grits improve blood circulation and mitigate cellular damage from free radicals. Simply put - the consumption of grits reduces the risk of heart diseases and even can protect your body against cancer.
Insufficient oxygen saturation of the blood can make you tired and trigger diseases like anemia. In this case, grits help fight this problem. Cornmeal is a source of iron that helps your body produce hemoglobin, allowing red blood cells to carry oxygen2Coates TD. July 2014. Physiology and pathophysiology of iron in hemoglobin-associated diseases. Free Radic Biol Med. DOI:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2014.03.039.
As mentioned above, grits are a source of iron but contain many carbs. There is no problem if your body absorbs glucose correctly, but for people with ínsuline sensitivity, it is better not to intake this product. A 2016 study found that different types of corn flour and grits affect blood sugar differently. The researchers noted that porridge prepared from fermented maize grits had a lower glycemic index (65.4) compared to whole corn flour and grits (94 to 109)3Mlotha V, Mwangwela AM, Kasapila W, Siyame EW, Masamba K. 7 October 2015. Glycemic responses to maize flour stiff porridges prepared using local recipes in Malawi. Food Sci Nutr. DOI:10.1002/fsn3.293..
Not all types of grits are good for your body. Due to the method of processing, regular or instant grits are not useful for your health because they don't include all the nutrients like stone-ground grits4Devika J. Suri,Sherry A. Tanumihardjo. 28 June 2016. Effects of Different Processing Methods on the Micronutrient and Phytochemical Contents of Maize: From A to Z. Journal of Food Science. DOI:10.1111/1541-4337.12216. So when buying grits at the store or market, choose a package with whole grains.
Avoid toppings to make your porridge healthier. Flavorings significantly increase the amount of fat and calories, whereby you consume extra calories. To keep grits healthy, use low-fat milk or better cook on water. Serve grits with fruit or honey instead of sugar. Instead of meat, combine grits with vegetables. You can also sprinkle the porridge with a pinch of cinnamon or other spices to add flavor and keep it nutritious.
Try to cook this easy and delicious cheese grits recipe with only four simple ingredients.
Grits and oatmeal are both beneficial for your health, are equal in price, and have many similarities in composition. What is better to eat depends on your purpose. If you want to lose weight, grits give you a full feeling, but at the same time, they have fewer calories and three times less fat than oatmeal. Usually, grits are not prepared with sugar, while oatmeal is often served with unhealthy sweeteners. Oatmeal, in its turn, lowers your appetite and increases fat burning because it is higher in fiber and protein than grits.
Another major benefit is folic acid. It helps prevent major congenital disabilities of the baby's brain and spine. For pregnant women, it is better to eat grits; they contain five times more folic acid than oatmeal.
Grits are low in fat and calories. They are often used as a garnish or they can easily replace the main course. So if you want to lose some kilos, eating grits contributes to satiety without significantly increasing calorie intake. But be careful with toppings and flavorings. In the different recipes you can find advice on how to make grits more delicious by adding sugar, honey, butter, jam etc. Always remember these supplements increase calories and promote weight gain.
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