Grits for gains

Monday, November 14, 2016. Author Tyler Breedlove & Leilah Isaac


Today, if you hear the word “grits,” you probably begin to think of comfort food. If you are living in the United States, maybe you even think of those delicious southern country-style breakfasts. Hungry yet?

Corn is often the primary ingredient in grits. To become grits, corn kernels must have their hull and germ removed. The result of this process leaves what is known as “hominy corn.” It is then bleached, dried, and ground. The end result of this entire process is the commonly enjoyed “white grits” that people typically eat with their breakfasts. Though there are several types of grits that can be used, research indicates that grits made from corn are the best option. Why you ask?

Healthy bites

Grits (from corn, known as hominy grits) are actually high in carbohydrates, but incredibly low on the glycemic index scale. What does this mean? Well, carbohydrates that show a low glucose response have been shown to be:

  • Beneficial in the prevention or management of diabetes
  • Beneficial in the prevention or management of hyperlipidemia

Additionally, hominy grits are actually gluten free! For those of you who have celiac disease or are gluten sensitive, this is a perfect food to add to your meal plan to increase your carbohydrate intake.

The breakdown

One cup (or around 240 grams) of uncooked white grits contains around 145 calories. Additionally, they have around 30 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, and 0.5 grams of fat.

Grits are also a source of selenium, containing around 6-8 micrograms. Selenium aids in the creation of glutathione peroxidase, an antioxidant that protects cells from damage caused by free radicals. Additionally, grits also contain small amounts of Vitamin A, Iron, Vitamin B6, and Magnesium.

Bulking season

As you can see, grits are not especially nutritionally dense, other than for the high levels of selenium. The aspect to highlight in this food is that it has an incredibly high carbohydrate content. When trying to gain muscle and adhering to a hyper-caloric diet, eating the large amount of food necessary can sometimes be difficult. Cooking up some grits leaves you with a porridge that can be easily consumed without taking up that incredibly valuable space in your stomach! This calorie dense food can easily become a staple of any bulking diet.

The genetics

Now, understanding your genetics can play a key role in knowing if and how you would benefit from the consumption of grits. This becomes very relevant when we look at certain genes. Let’s check the DNA chart below to see where you stand.

Yet to unlock your unique fitness DNA to know which versions you have? Receive full FitnessGenes DNA Analysis and a genetically tailored workout and nutrition plan by purchasing a goal specific Genetic Workout System from our online shop.


Busch, S. (2014, January 28). Grits Nutritional Value. Retrieved November 10, 2016, from

Harlan, T. S. (n.d.). Are Grits Good For You? Retrieved November 10, 2016, from

Panlasigui, L. N., Bayaga, C. L., Barrios, E. B., & Cochon, K. L. (2010). Glycaemic response to quality protein maize grits. Journal of nutrition and metabolism, 2010.

Bodybuilder's breakfast

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 1/4 cup of grits
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup chedder cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped okra
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp chopped chive
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 chopped Jalapeño
  • 1 tsp low fat oil


  1. Peel the sweet potato and then cut into small cubes.
  2. Boil the okra together with the sweet potatoes for 10 mins.
  3. In a separate pot, combine the grits and water. Cook for 15 mins on medium heat.
  4. Stir continuously and add extra water if needed. Mix in the coriander and turmeric
  5. In a frying pan heat the oil and add the chopped onions and jalapeño.
  6. Once the onions start to brown, scramble in the eggs. Cook until no visible liquid remains.
  7. Once cooked, add the egg mixture, sweet potato and okra to the grits.
  8. Finally, fold in the cheese and sprinkle the fresh chives. Serve warm. 

For a low fat version of this recipe, remove the egg yolks and cheese. 

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