Without a doubt, grits are a downhome country favorite. When cooked with water, milk, or broth, the grits appear as a creamy substance with the consistency of baby food or porridge. People enjoy it as a side dish, breakfast food, base, or filling snack. However, you might wonder, ‘Can a diabetic eat grits?’ The answer is not completely black and white. Ideally, they should abstain, but as a once-in-awhile treat, it might be okay if you choose the type of grits wisely.
What Are Grits?
Grits are made from corn (although some versions are created from hominy), which is a known starchy vegetable. A single cup of grits cooked contains carbs of 24 grams. When your body starts to digest the carbs, then they turn to sugar in your blood. Your system uses insulin to use sugar to provide energy. Sadly, people who have diabetes do not adequately manufacture insulin, so when you eat high carb foods, your blood sugar can dangerously spike.
History of Grits
The term ‘grits’ historically refers to any type of ground grain. Grits were first favored by Native Americans who would grind the grains to form a paste. After the European settlement of the USA started to take place, grits became known as the official food type of the state of South Carolina.
Can You Eat Grits With Diabetes?
You can enjoy grits, but you must be smart about it and limit your consumption while trying to balance it between other carbs, fats, and proteins to reduce the effect of the grits on your blood sugar. When deciding to eat grits, you also must take into consideration the processing method.
The Processing Methods of Grits and Blood Sugar
There are three types of common grits that you can buy. They vary depending on their processing methods. The way that the grits have been processed affects the body’s blood sugar levels based on the amount of fiber. In fact, an abundance of fiber helps lower your blood sugar level. Ideally, if you are concerned about your blood sugar, then please consider the processing methods of the grits.
Grits that are more fibrous are your best choice:
- Stone ground: With stone-ground grits, the results are very course. If you have diabetes, then this is your best bet.
- Hominy: Hominy is made from the kernels of the corn, which are first soaked in a very alkaline solution to remove not only the outer shell but also the germ of the kernel.
- Instant, regular, or quick: These are always ground kernels that have been processed to successfully remove the outer shell and the germ of the corn kernel.
Ideally, if you have diabetes, then you should consume grits with caution. Only eat the stone ground varieties. Hominy, instant, quick, or regular grits should always be avoided because they will dramatically increase your blood sugar levels.
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