Processing methods affect blood sugar

Processing methods affect blood sugar

The way that grits are processed also affects your blood sugar.

Grits products differ in their amounts of fiber, an indigestible carb that passes through your body slowly and helps lower blood sugar (3Trusted Source).

The more fibrous your grits, the healthier they are if you have diabetes.

Grits are available in several forms, including (4):

Stone-ground: made from coarsely ground kernels of whole corn
Hominy: ground from corn kernels soaked in an alkali solution to remove the outer shell
Quick, regular, or instant: ground from kernels processed to remove both the outer shell and germ, a nutrient-rich part of a corn kernel
Since the outer shell is a major source of fiber in the corn kernel, stone-ground grits tend to contain more fiber than more processed varieties, such as regular or instant (1, 4).

As a result, stone-ground grits are likely the best choice for people with diabetes, since they may not increase blood sugar as much as other types.

However, quick, regular, or instant grits are the most widely available varieties outside of the Southern United States.

Stone-ground grits boast more fiber and nutrients than more processed forms, such as regular or instant, and may thus be less likely to trigger blood sugar spikes.
The glycemic index of grits can vary
Due to different processing methods, the glycemic index (GI) of grits can vary considerably.

On a scale of 0–100, the GI measures to what extent a certain food increases your blood sugar. It depends on starches, processing, other nutrients, cooking method, and several other factors (5Trusted Source).

The GI of instant, regular, or quick grits is likely high because they’ve been processed to remove the germ. On the other hand, stone-ground grits probably have a lower GI (5Trusted Source).

One study in 11 healthy adults noted that grits made from milled and fermented corn flour had a moderate GI of around 65 while grits made from non-fermented corn flour scored above 90 (6Trusted Source).

Yet, high-GI foods don’t necessarily lead to poor blood sugar control in people with diabetes. The amount you eat and which foods you consume along with them also matter (7Trusted Source).

For example, eating 2 cups (484 grams) of grits will likely increase your blood sugar more than eating 1/2 cup (121 grams) alongside eggs, non-starchy vegetables, or other diabetes-friendly foods.

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