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Nutrition Facts about Grits

Grits when served for breakfast can keep you satiated for the whole day. Along with explaining the nutritional value of grits, this Buzzle article presents information on how you can incorporate it in your diet.
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Nutrition facts about grits
Did You Know?
The sale of grits in the Southern United States amounts to about 75 percent of the total sale in the US. The area stretching from Texas to Virginia is recognized as the "grits belt."

The word "grits" has its origin in the ancient English word "grytt" which means coarse meal. It refers to coarsely ground, dried corn kernels. You can simply cook them in water, add a pinch of salt to it, and your breakfast is ready!

Native Americans have been consuming grits for thousands of years. Traditionally, hominy was produced by grinding the corn with the help of a stone mill (after removing the hull and germ). After sifting, the finer material was used as cornmeal, while the coarser one was referred to as grits. Grits can be white or yellow, depending upon the variety of corn used. Whole corn grits are healthier than other varieties (grits made from refined grains). They may contain some amount of fine bran even after sifting.

Nutritional Facts

According to the USDA, here is what Quaker instant corn grits (plain and dry) offers:

Serving Size: 100 g
Water 10.35 g
Calories 359 kcal
Protein 7.31 g
Total lipid (fat) 2.14 g
Carbohydrate 76.02 g
Total Dietary Fiber 4.2 g
Total Sugars 1.51 g
Minerals
Calcium 378 mg
Iron 38.75 mg
Magnesium 42 mg
Phosphorus 118 mg
Potassium 163 mg
Sodium 1050 mg
Zinc 0.66 mg
Vitamins
Thiamin 1.946 mg
Riboflavin 0.697 mg
Niacin 9.002 mg
Vitamin B6 0.219 mg
Folate 270 µg
Vitamin A, IU 3 IU
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.05 mg
Lipids
Total saturated fatty acids 0.362 g
Total monounsaturated fatty acids 0.395 g
Total polyunsaturated fatty acids 0.967 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Other
Caffeine 0 mg

Health Benefits

The nutrition data shows that grits can offer you sufficient calories. They are a good source of carbohydrates to start the day with.

They are rich in various minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, etc. These nutrients are essential for various metabolic reactions. They can enhance the function of your immune system, and help improve overall health.

They are also packed with niacin, folate, and other vitamins, which can make you healthier and stronger.

They are low in fats, and do not contain harmful elements like cholesterol and caffeine. Absence of these elements and presence of various minerals like iron, potassium, etc., help maintain heart health.

As they are rich in calcium, they help strengthen bones and teeth.

Those diagnosed with diabetes or high blood cholesterol levels can include this food in their diet. During certain studies, grits were compared with other grains, and it was found that they do not cause sudden rise in blood sugar after ingestion. The fiber in this food is responsible for its low glycemic response.

How to Incorporate Grits in Your Diet

These days, grits are made of alkali-treated corn (hominy). Instant grits help save the cooking time. They can be consumed like maize-based porridge polenta. Usually, they are seasoned with salt, and are enjoyed as a breakfast dish.

Add 5-6 parts boiling water to 1 part whole kernel grits. Add some salt (¼ tsp for 1 cup of water), and cook them for about half an hour. Stirring would help prevent formation of lumps.

Grits expand after cooking, and the final product looks like a thick porridge. To enhance the taste, you may add significant amount of butter or cheese to them. You may serve them as a side dish along with fried fish or shrimp during a meal.

You may cook them in milk instead of water, add some sugar and butter, and enjoy the creamy sweet dish.

Sometimes, you may serve them with red-eye gravy, sausage, or bacon.

For a change, you may fry the solidified cooked grits slices in vegetable oil. Breading them in beaten egg and breadcrumbs before frying can help enhance the taste.

Whatever way you prepare grits, they just taste right! So, enjoy your breakfast and stay healthy!
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Published: July 19, 2014
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