Are Grits Gluten Free?

Updated September 21, 2022
Bowl of grits with breakfast

Grits are a common breakfast food made from ground corn. They can be made from either yellow or white corn and seasoned with sugar or salt. And the sugar vs. salt debate is a hot topic!

Grits are typically touted as a comparable dish to oatmeal. However, concerns surround the safety of grits for those following a gluten-free diet. So, what are the deets on gluten and grits? Let's dive in a little further.

Gluten-Free Grits Brands

Grits made using traditional processing methods are made from ground corn. So, they should naturally be safe for those with gluten intolerances, right? Unfortunately, it's not always that simple.

Corn-made grits are typically safe to eat for those with gluten intolerance. This holds true if they only include corn and no other ingredients. However, it is crucial to purchase grits from a reliable source to avoid the risk of cross-contamination. These are a few gluten-free grit brands.

Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Corn Grits

Bob's Red Mill produces a celiac-friendly corn grits. This product is manufactured in the company's dedicated gluten-free factory. These grits are certified gluten-free, and the packaging notes that the grits are made from yellow corn polenta.

The Sprouted Flour Organic Gluten-Free Yellow Corn Grits

This brand has created a line of gluten-free corn grits that contains only organic yellow corn grits. These grits are produced in a closed facility with dedicated equipment to ensure the product is gluten-free.

Palmetto Farms Stone Ground Grits

Palmetto Farms offers an all-natural, gluten-free, and non-GMO grit. The company offers two other varieties of grits as well. They boast of using traditional methods to harvest and being family owned. The company only offers corn products.

Grits That May Contain Gluten

It is important to examine product labels on grits packages to look for gluten-containing ingredients. Many brands will naturally be free from gluten and potentially safe for individuals following a gluten-free diet.

Brands With No GF Label

Some grits brands could be exposed to a higher risk for cross-contamination. Some brands can have a warning label stating the product may contain wheat, making these unsafe for those with gluten intolerances. Other products do not have a label. Therefore, if you have a severe gluten intolerance, it's best to look for the gluten-free label on the product. A few brands to watch for include:

  • Quaker Grits - does not list wheat ingredients but does not carry a gluten-free label
  • Great Value Enriched Quick Grits - does not list wheat as an ingredient, but no gluten-free labeling
  • Old School Stone Ground Grits - no information about cross-contamination and no gluten-free label

Flavored Grits

Gluten is a tricky substance. It works to add consistency and shape to food products. Therefore, it can be added through flavoring. And flavored grits do exist. These products contain a more extensive ingredient list and more room for gluten cross-contamination. For example, Quaker makes a variety pack of original, butter, cheddar cheese, and country bacon grits flavors. Although none of the ingredients on this list are gluten-containing, for safety reasons, it is best to avoid this product.

Remember, grits are naturally gluten-free as they are traditionally made from corn. However, if diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, the safest choice is to purchase grits from certified gluten-free companies. A gluten-free label meets the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requirements of less than 20 parts per million of gluten. Additionally, consult a registered dietitian if you have concerns about the grits you are eating.

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Are Grits Gluten Free?