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Are Grits Low FODMAP? (Good For You?)

Finding grains and other carb-based products that aren’t high in FODMAPs can seem like a challenging task. This is because most of these contain at least some FODMAPs, which can mean they might be triggering for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Luckily, there are some whole grains that can be included in a low FODMAP diet without causing any issues. For example, let’s take a look at grits – a porridge made with cornmeal.

Are grits high or low in FODMAPs? Can you eat them on a low FODMAP diet?

Are Grits Low FODMAP?

Grits are considered a low FODMAP diet, just as other foods made with corn extracts. Because of that, you can consume them in moderation on a low FODMAP diet without triggering any IBS symptoms.

What’s more, grits are rich in several micronutrients as well as antioxidants that can contribute to good health. They’re also not too high in calories, so you can eat them even when trying to lose weight.

How low in FODMAPs are grits?

Most of the carbs in grits come from starch, which is not a FODMAP. So, grits are allowed on a low FODMAP diet. 

Still, it might be best to limit your serving to only about one cup of cooked grits to avoid any IBS-related problems.

Also, make sure to choose plain grits. Any flavored varieties contain a lot of added sugars, which are FODMAPs, thus bad for people with IBS.

Can you eat grits on a low FODMAP diet?

Grits mostly contain starch, which means that they are low in FODMAPs. So, eating grits can be really good for people with IBS who have to follow a diet low in FODMAPs.

But it’s still important to stick to a certain serving size – one cup of cooked grits – to avoid any digestive system issues.

Also, keep in mind what other ingredients you add to your grits. For example, apples, apricots, cherries, or peaches are high in FODMAPs. So, you should avoid adding this to your meals.

Instead, stick with fruits like unripe bananas, blueberries, papayas, or pineapples. These are low in FODMAPs, which means they won’t trigger any IBS symptoms.

Are grits with milk low in FODMAPs?

Most types of milk are considered low in FODMAPs because they only contain some lactose. As a result, you should be able to consume grits cooked with milk as long as you don’t add too much.

It might also be beneficial to use lactose-free milk, as it’s even lower in FODMAPS, thus even better for people with IBS. But it’s still important to measure your portion sizes carefully.

Also, try avoiding adding butter to grits cooked with milk. This increases the calorie and fat content greatly, raising your risk of weight gain and also increasing the severity of your IBS symptoms.

Are flavored grits low in FODMAPs?

Flavored grits are often sold commercially in stores. They’re packed with added sugar and even ingredients that tend to be high in FODMAPs. So, it might be best to avoid them on a low FODMAP diet.

If you can’t seem to eat plain grits, you can add some low-FODMAP spices to them to flavor your dish. These include cinnamon and nutmeg, for example.

Are grits good for you?

Grits are quite nutritious, thanks to the oatmeal they’re made with. For instance, they’re an excellent source of folate.

Also called vitamin B9, folate is important in red blood cell formation and the healthy growth and function of these cells. 

Folate is also often included in prenatal supplements, as it helps in the prevention of spine and brain defects of the fetus.

So, make sure to load up on folate-rich foods, particularly in the early months of the pregnancy.

Another nutrient found in grits in large quantities is thiamine. This vitamin aids in the prevention of issues in your nervous system, brain, muscles, stomach, and intestines. 

It’s also important to ensure proper electrolyte flow in and out of your muscles and nerve cells.

Eating grits can also help you get enough niacin, also called vitamin B3. This is an incredibly important nutrient, as it improves blood fat levels, reduces blood pressure, boosts brain function, and helps treat the symptoms of type 1 diabetes.

Niacin is also vital for the health of your skin. It protects your skin from sun damage, prevents certain types of cancer, and helps with various skin conditions.

So, make sure to eat foods containing niacin, such as grits.

Plus, grits are very good for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. This is because grits are naturally gluten-free, so people with these conditions can eat them without triggering any adverse side effects.

In addition, eating grits can help you prevent anemia. This type of porridge contains a decent amount of plant-based non-heme iron.

While it doesn’t contain enough to fulfill your daily need for this mineral, it does help you get some, especially if you don’t eat meat.

So, eating grits is good for the health of your cardiovascular system.

What’s more, some studies show that eating grits helps you load up on various important antioxidants. 

These plant compounds help flush out free radicals from your body, which helps in fighting against oxidative damage to your cells.

As a result of that, you are less likely to develop certain health conditions like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

The antioxidants in grits – lutein and zeaxanthin – are also incredibly good for preventing degenerative eye disorders and protecting your skin from sun damage.

So, eating grits can bring you more health benefits than you think.

Conclusion

Grits are made from cornmeal, so they’re categorized as a low FODMAP food. Because of that, you can safely consume them on even the strictest low FODMAP diet. They’re also very unlikely to trigger any IBS-related symptoms and issues.

Plus, grits are a great source of several nutrients, including folate, thiamin, and niacin, among others. So, eating grits can help you stay healthy and clear of various health conditions.

So, including some grits in your diet can be really good.

Source: Nutrition Data, PMC, and National Library of Medicine