Are Grits Low Carb? Keto Grits Recipes to Lose Weight

Are Grits Low Carb? Keto Grits Recipes to Lose Weight

For people struggling to lose weight, finding a healthy way to help you reach and maintain a healthy weight is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Many methods have surfaced from workouts, weight loss pills, restrictive diets and surgical procedures to promote weight loss.

Reducing your caloric intake by intermittent fasting while triggering ketosis by pairing IF with a ketogenic diet is an efficient and healthy weight loss method. You all have heard of a keto diet, either on cookbooks or from your favourite influencer and how effective it is to lose weight.

The rule of keto is eating a high fat, moderate protein and low carb diet. In the spirit of maintaining variety while still sticking to the laws of a ketogenic diet, you are on the hunt for keto foods to add to your low carb lifestyle. You’re wondering are grits low in carb? Are they keto-friendly? Isn’t that so? Let’s find out.

What Are the Rules of Keto?

You’re curious to know if grits are low in carbs, and you will have an answer to this in a few minutes. But first, let’s see how many carbs is allowed on a keto diet, then we can decide whether grits are keto friendly or not.

On a ketogenic diet, daily carb intake is limited to 20g to 50g a day depending on how restrictive your keto diet is. The distribution of calories for macronutrients is 5% to 10% from carbs, 10% to 20% from proteins and 70% to 80% from fat. It is important to know what you can and cannot eat on a keto diet to stay within recommended calorie intake.

What Are Grits?

buckwheat, grain, fried grits

Traditional grits are a southern food made from hominy or stone ground corn, dent corn specifically, which is the less starchy and not so sweet kind of corn. Typically, corn is a carbohydrate, so grits contain carbs. Do you remember the rules of a keto diet? You are supposed to limit your carbohydrate intake. So, on a ketogenic diet, you should avoid grits.

What Different Varieties of Grits Are Available?

People who eat grits can pick from four different varieties, depending on the texture they prefer. Quick grits are finely ground and because of this, they take a short duration to cook. Regular grits are made from medium ground corn and take about 10 minutes to cook. Instant grits have the finest texture because they have been precooked and dehydrated before grounding. This type takes the shortest time to prepare, and they can be eaten after adding boiled water or milk.

Stone ground grits, from whole corn kernels are coarse grind, and take the longest time to cook. When properly cooked, stone-ground grits are more flavourful and nutritious compared to processed grits containing refined carbs. In addition, traditional grits are better for diabetics because they have a lower sugar content compared to the processed kind, helping with blood sugar control.

Southerners eat grits in casseroles, as side dishes and porridge. Others add cheese for additional flavour and to give grits a creamy taste. One of the famous southern recipes is shrimp and grits recipe for breakfast but can be eaten for lunch or dinner.

Are Grits Low Carb?

How many net carbs are in grits? This depends on the type of corn ground to make the grits, and if they are cooked or dry. The nutritional facts of one cup of cooked grits are as follows:

  • 38g of total carbs, 36g net carbs
  • 2g dietary fiber
  • 1g fats
  • 4g proteins
  • 154 calories

The macronutrient distribution in a cup of cooked grits is 10% protein, 87% carbs and 3% fats. In just one cup of grits, you can get all the carbs you are allowed to eat on a low carb diet. Are grits low carb? To answer your question, no, they are not. However, I won’t be quick to completely say no to them because they are nutrient rich foods.

Why Should You Eat Grits?

Grits are nutritious foods. They are high in iron and folate which can help prevent iron deficiency anaemia. In addition, they are a great source of dietary fiber that promotes gut health and reduces constipation. B-vitamins in grits increase breakdown of fat, carbs and proteins to provide energy. The complex carbohydrates in grits provide you with enough energy to fuel your body throughout the day.

girl, eyes, green eyes

The lutein and zeaxanthin in grits promote eye health, bettering vision and also protects the body from age related conditions.

When picking regular grits, I’d recommend the low carb grits alternative. So please take note of this before purchasing your grits.

Are Regular Grits Bad on Keto?

These Southern United States popular food are high carb and keto dieters should not eat them on a regular basis. Are grits low carb? No. The total carbohydrates in grits disqualify them from being keto-friendly. If you are on less restrictive ketogenic diet, like targeted or cyclical ketogenic diet, then you can enjoy grits.

flour, almonds, food

Besides, you can find a low carb substitute like grits made from almond flour or other flours with a lower glycemic index to make yourself keto grits. You can also eat low-carb regular grits if grits are a must-have for you.

Are Quaker Grits Keto-Friendly?

Quaker grits are coarsely ground cornmeal or oatmeal and are considered keto-friendly. They have a higher carb count than other keto foods, so be careful of the portion sizes and how frequent you eat them. Pairing these grits with other keto friendly foods will allow you stay within the recommended keto carb intake.

The carbs count in a serving of Quaker grits is 15g of net carbohydrates, which is generally low making it keto-friendly. Their high dietary fiber content makes them good for gut health, but if consumed in excess, they could stop ketosis preventing weight loss.

Are Cheese Grits Keto?

montgomery's cheddar, cheese, dairy product

Yes, cheese grits are keto. This is because cheeses like cheddar cheese and parmesan are keto friendly. Cheddar cheese is high in fat, low carb and contains moderate proteins which are the basics of keto foods. One ounce of cheddar cheese contains 1g total carbs and 1g net carbs.

High fat foods reduce sugar cravings leading to reduce carb intake. Adding cheese to your grit recipe is what makes grits keto. Cheese not only makes keto grits but adds flavor to rather bland cooked regular grits.

Do Grits Cause Blood Sugar Spikes?

diabetes, blood sugar, blood test

Cornmeal is what makes grits high carb. Foods that are high in carbs increase blood sugar levels. Quick grits, hominy and other processed grits should be avoided, especially by people with metabolic syndrome like diabetes. Corn grits have a glycemic index of 69 which means they can elevate blood sugar. Processed grits contain refined carbs that cause insulin resistance, rise in cholesterol and blood sugar levels which are diabetes risk factors.

Consider grits made from low glycemic index foods like cauliflower grits so as to lower your blood sugar. Grits from fermented corn have a glycemic index of 60, while those from non-fermented corn has a GI of 90. Also, go for traditional grits with complex carbs that are not released easily into the blood stream over refined grits that have been stripped of fiber and bran.

Avoid oatmeal grits if you have issues with regulating your blood sugar. This is because oatmeal spikes blood sugar which could cause major health issues for individuals with metabolic syndrome.

Opt for steel cut oats when on a ketogenic diet but are not looking to lose weight. Steel cut oats have a higher amount of fiber which increases satiety and reduces food intake. Moreover, it is cooked with a high liquid ratio compared to regular oats, meaning you may eat a large portion of steel cut oats, yet be eating less calories and fewer oats. Finally, their digestion time is longer, hence does not cause your blood sugar to rise too high too quickly.

Are Grits Good for Weight Loss?

health, diet, fitness

Grits are low in calories which could make them a good food for weight loss. The dietary fiber content of grits is lower than that of oats. In 100g of grits, you will get 1.4g of proteins, which is generally low for weight loss. Overweight individuals will experience significant changes in their weight if they consume oats rather than eating grits.

Is Grits Healthier Than Rice?

rice, rice grains, food

Compared to rice, are grits low in carbohydrates? Corn is high in protein and sugar content. On the other hand, rice has more calories and carbohydrates compared to grits. The glycemic index of grits is lower and is a better fir for low-carb diets than rice which best suits low-fat diets. Regular grits that are low-carb are a healthier choice for people with obesity and diabetics for weight loss when consumed moderately.

Are Grits an Anti-inflammatory?

symptom, inflammation, syndrome

Grits contain antioxidants caffeic acid, lutein, zeaxanthin and syringic acid that prevent cellular damage by reactive oxygen species. Increased oxidative stress caused by cells interacting with free radicals lead to inflammation, a risk factor of chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases.

Is Grits and Eggs A Good Breakfast?

Grits and eggs are easy to make and are a filling comfort meal for you to enjoy. Eggs are rich in protein and can make for a good topping for your cheesy grits. Adding parmesan or cheddar to your grits plus a fried egg or poached egg will pack your breakfast with healthy fats to trigger ketosis in your body.

Alternative Keto Grits That Are Low Carb

Grits may be too high in carbs for keto dieters following a strict ketogenic diet, so it is necessary to find keto foods that can substitute grits. You can make keto grit recipes that make the whole diet worth your while.

Cauliflower Grits

cauliflower, cabbage, vegetables

Cauliflower grits are low in carbs because cauliflowers are low-starch vegetables and are keto-friendly. Adding cheese and more butter provides for a low-carb and high fat grit recipe that has low calories, promotes satiety and is great for weight loss. One serving of cheesy cauliflower grits contains 10g total carbs and 8g net carbs, making these keto grits recipe a good snacking option.

Keto Shrimp and Grits

shrimp, cooking, food

What is common in all southern recipes? They are high in carbs, are delicious and are good comfort foods. High carb diets are a no for keto dieters, so it is amazing to find a keto grits alternative that one can enjoy.

brain, think, human

Fish and seafoods are keto-friendly because they are high in fat and low in carbs. Shrimp is a good keto option because 3 ounces of shrimp contain 0.2g of net carbs, 20.4g of proteins and 0.2g of fat. Moreover, shrimp contain omega-3 and the antioxidant astaxanthin that promote hearth health and brain function. Keto shrimp and grits are a match made in heaven and this grit recipe is a must try on a ketogenic diet.

Keto Grit Recipes for Weight Loss

Here are recipes to make keto shrimp and grits, and cauliflower grits for your grits keto snacks and side meals.

Cheesy Cauliflower Keto Grits Recipe

This is one of the popular recipes for delicious keto sides. You should add cream cheese for a richer, buttery and more delicious outcome.


  • 1 cauliflower, riced.
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup preferred keto-friendly cheese, shredded.
  • 1 tablespoon butter (unsalted)


  1. Rice your cauliflowers in a blender until fine but not creamy
  2. In a saucepan, add sour cream, cauliflower rice, sea salt, butter and cayenne pepper, simmer on medium heat.
  3. Stir frequently until the cauliflower is tender for about 7 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  4. Add cheese into the mixture and keep stirring.
  5. Serve while hot with butter and cheese as toppings!

Keto Shrimp and Grits Recipe

When I think keto grits recipe, only cauliflowers come into mind as a great substitute for grits keto meal. But feel free to try out shrimp and grits with other low-starch vegetables as substitutes for cauliflower in this keto shrimp and grits recipe.


  • 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (you can use your preferred spice)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced.
  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 1/2-pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar.
  • 1 table spoon unsalted butter.
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth


  1. In a saucepan, simmer your cauliflower rice in chicken broth until tender.
  2. Once cooked, drain excess broth. Add butter, salt pepper and cheese and mix. Mash using a potato masher until the consistency resembles that of cooked grits.
  3. Turn off heat, cover and set aside.
  4. Prepare your shrimp by seasoning with cajun seasoning, sea salt and pepper.
  5. Heat a skillet on medium heat, melt your butter, then add seasoned shrimp. Cook for 3 minutes on both sides, until shrimp are pink, tender and curl slightly.
  6. Add your heavy cream and butter to the skillet and stir until the sauce thickens.
  7. Serve your keto grits in a bowl and top with shrimp and pour sauce. Enjoy!


Grits can be keto-friendly depending on the type of grits you choose. They can be incorporated into your ketogenic diet if you pay attention to portions and the frequency you consume grits. If you’re strict on eating keto, there are alternatives to grits that are low carb for you to enjoy.

The best dietary decisions you can make to help you meet your weight loss goals are to eat a balanced diet and go keto. The good news is with any keto recipe there’s room for creativity, use keto foods that you like and explore different dishes.

Have you tried any of the grit recipes above? How do you like your grits, as a side or a snack? We’d like to hear from you on the comment sections!



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