are grits low carb

For people struggling to lose weight, finding a healthy way to help them 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 in cookbooks or from your favorite influencer, and how effective it is to lose weight.

The rule of keto is eating 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.

Are Grits Low Carb?

To know the answer to the question of the day, we need to know this foods carb count.

Net Carbs in Grits?

How many net carbs are in grits? This depends on the type of corn ground to make them and if they are cooked or dry. There are different varieties with different amounts of net carbs per serving. So, to answer, are grits low carb, you need to know the different types available to choose from!

Different Varieties of Grits 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 it 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 they are more flavourful and nutritious compared to processed varieties 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 flavor and to give them a creamy taste. One of the famous Southern recipes is a shrimp and grits recipe for breakfast but can be eaten for lunch or dinner.

The nutritional facts of one cup of cooked grits are as follows:

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

The macronutrient distribution in a cup 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.

Low Carb Grits

buckwheat, grain, fried grits

The traditional grits are not keto! These Southern comfort food made from hominy or stone ground corn, coarsely ground dent corn specifically, which is the less starchy and not-so-sweet kind of corn. Typically, corn is a carbohydrate, so grits contain carbs.

However, keto grits are not made from corn but from low-carb alternative ingredients that lower their carb count. Incorporating them into your diet will increase your daily carb intake which can raise your blood sugar kicking you out of ketosis. Here are low-carb alternatives that can make grits keto friendly.

Low Carb Grits Alternatives

Grits are high-carb food and are not a good choice for keto dieters following a strict ketogenic diet. It is necessary to find keto foods that can substitute the traditional grits. You can modify your regular grits using the following tips to make keto grit recipes that make the whole diet worth your while.

Cauliflower Grits

cauliflower, cabbage, vegetables

These 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 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 recipes a good snacking option. They have a glycemic index of 15 to 30.

Almond Flour

flour, almonds, food

You are advised to avoid grits because the carbs in grits are from the cornmeal used. Corn is high-carb food. A great way to make your grits keto friendly is to use keto-friendly substitutes. A good low-carb substitute for cornmeal is almond flour.

Almonds are keto-friendly nuts high in monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fats that are good for your heart health. These nuts are also low in carbs meaning incorporating almond flour into your weight loss diet guarantees a low carbohydrate intake. The lower the carb intake the lesser the risks of blood sugar spikes which means you stay in ketosis.

The glycemic index of this flour is less than 1. One cup of almond flour (100g) contains 16.2 g of total carbohydrates, 9.3 g of dietary fiber, and 6.9 g of net carbohydrates. Enjoy the ones made from almond flour rather than ground corn on your keto diet.

Use Cream or Broth

montgomery's cheddar, cheese, dairy product

The traditional keto grits recipe uses milk to give a rich and creamy texture. However, milk is high in carbs and not allowed on a keto diet. To make keto grits, you can use heavy cream or cheddar cheese to replace whole milk. These are high-fat dairy products accepted on the keto diet.

clear broth, soup, bowl of soup

Another alternative that will make grit keto is chicken broth. For those on a ketogenic diet who fancy more pop of flavor rather than texture, chicken broth is the best choice. You won’t have to worry about how many carbs are in your bowl with these options.

Keto Grits and Shrimps

shrimp, cooking, food

You could have cooked regular grits that will spike your blood sugar, or you could go for keto shrimp and grits. Eating grits made from low-carb alternatives will take care of the carbs part, but adding shrimp will take care of the fat intake.

Keto Shrimp and Grits Recipe

When I think keto grits recipe, cauliflowers and almost flour 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 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 tablespoon 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 the 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 the heat, cover, and set aside.
  4. Prepare your shrimp by seasoning it 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, and 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!

Where to Buy Keto Grits

If you cannot make your grits keto as suggested above, some companies make them for you. You can get keto grits at major superstores like Walmart. There are options like Quaker grits.

Are Quaker Grits Keto-Friendly?

Are grits low-carb? The coarsely ground ones are in moderation! 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 frequently you eat them. Pairing them with other keto-friendly foods will allow you to 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.

Carbs in Grits vs Potatoes

potatoes, vegetables, nature

We have answered, are grits low carb in the previous paragraphs, but what about when compared to potatoes on the keto diet? Keep in mind the overall nutritional value of both. Consider also that there are low carb recipes of the former that you can enjoy on keto.

As earlier mentioned in the nutrition facts, one cup of cooked grits contains 36 g of net carbs. On the other hand, one cup of cooked potatoes (without skin) contains 25 g of carbs. Corn makes grits high in carbs, even higher than potatoes’ carb count.

But a closer look at the nutritional content of both, grits are higher in calcium, iron, vitamin B12, polyunsaturated fat, folate fiber, and phosphorus. If taken in moderation and the regular recipes modified, grits can be a healthy addition to your keto diet.

Plus adding butter, sour cream, or cheese to them will increase fat content keeping you in ketosis.

Do Grits Spike Insulin?

diabetes, blood sugar, blood test

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

Consider those made from low glycemic index foods like cauliflower grits to lower your blood sugar. Grits from fermented corn have a glycemic index of 60, while those from non-fermented corn have a glycemic index of 90. Also, go for traditional grits with complex carbs that are not released easily into the bloodstream 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 fewer calories and fewer oats. Finally, their digestion time is longer, hence does not cause your blood sugar to rise too high too quickly.

What are the Benefits of Eating Grits?

We might have said no to are grits low carb, but that doesn’t mean doing away with them completely in your diet. They are highly nutritious foods, being rich in iron and folate which can help prevent iron deficiency anemia.

In addition, they are a great source of dietary fiber that promotes gut health and reduces constipation. B vitamins in grits increase the 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 protect the body from age-related conditions.

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

Is Grits Healthier Than Rice?

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 fit 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 Cheese Grits Keto?

Yes, they 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.

Are Grits Healthy for Weight Loss?

Grits are low in calories which could make them a good food for weight loss. However, their dietary fiber content is lower than that of oats. Overweight individuals will experience significant changes in their weight if they consume oats rather than eating grits.


Are grits low-carb? 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.

Have you tried the recipe above? How do you like your grits, as a side or a snack? We’d like to hear from you in the comment sections!

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