What Is The Sugar Content Of Dates
Commonly considered the best natural sweetener in place of refined white sugar, dates still have their own sugar content. In fact, one Medjool Date can contain 16 g of sugar! In every form, sugar is a simple carbohydrate that is converted into glucose for the body to use as energy. However, not all sugars are created equal. The effect sugar has on the body and its state of health depends greatly on the type of sugar youre eating.
Natural sugars, as found in dates and other fruits, are considered to be fructose. These foods provide important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to keep your body healthy and even help prevent disease. In addition to fructose, dates are high in fiber, which keeps the body feeling full.
On the other hand, refined white sugar, sourced from sugar cane or sugar beets and then processed to extract the sugar, is considered sucrose a combination of that natural fructose found in dates as well as glucose. Refined sugar is a processed product versus a natural one, like dates, and has little to no nutritional value leading to the dreaded empty calorie pitfall.
Food that is closest to its natural form is always a better choice than its processed, refined version that has been stripped of important minerals and nutrients. We invite you to enjoy the delicious natural sweetness of dates in moderation, of course!
Date Sugar Glycemic Index
Since date fruits are high in fructose and low in sucrose and glucose, their GI value is low. The same will hold true for sugar made from dates, as well as date syrup and paste. So far though, those sweeteners havent undergone GI testing.
Thats not that unusual, as not even the trendy coconut sugar has modern GI testing done on it.
Testing requires at least 10 people to volunteer, who have their blood glucose tested before, during, and throughout the two hours after eating a given food. That takes time and money.
At United Arab Emirates University, a clinical study was conducted which compared dates vs. sugar. A total of 13 healthy individuals and 10 with type 2 diabetes participated.
Each person was tested on 8 different days using 50g of glucose and 50g dates .
There were 5 types of dates used Farad, Lulu, Bo maan, Dabbas and Khalas. Not identical to Medjool or the Deglet Noor which are commonly sold in the US, Canada, and United Kingdom, but theyre very comparable.
In both the healthy and those with diabetes, the dates had a significantly lower impact on blood sugar levels.
Here are the charts of the 5 types of dates and their average impact on the 13 healthy individuals:
The glycemic index of date ranged from 43 to 55. This is lower than regular white table sugar which has a GI value of 58 to 84 for the same serving size.
Date Preparation And Useful Tips
Dates are available nationwide and can most often be found packaged in plastic or cellophane containers with or adjacent to the fresh produce area.
For the longest shelf life, keep dates in a resealable bag or airtight container. If stored in the refrigerator, dates can last up to eight months .
To prepare dates, first slice each open and remove the pit. If you need to chop dates, it’s helpful to place them in the freezer for 30 to 40 minutes first to firm them up.
Other tricks include snipping them with kitchen scissors instead of using a knife or continuously cleaning your knife blade so that the sugars do not make a possibly dangerous sticky situation.
Now that you have your dates, here are some quick serving ideas.
- On their own as a sweet treat or paired with somenuts.
- Stuff them with a half teaspoon of nut butter for a sweet snack.
- Add to smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt or grains to addsweetness, flavor and texture.
- Swap out raisins for chopped dates in baked goods.
- Mix into nut butter and use with apples, celery oron a sandwich.
- Add to stew for a hint of sweetness.
Read Also: Yogurt With The Least Sugar
May Support Gut Health
Research into fibre continues to support its important role in health, from helping to maintain a healthy gut microbiome to reducing the risk of certain long-term health conditions.
Dates For Diabetes Has The Sugar Gone To Their Brain
As the CEO of Healing Gourmet, I subscribe to dozens of medical journals, natural health reports and online newsletters.
It is a full time job just to stay ahead of the latest advances in nutritional science. And we take our responsibility to you very seriously as we report on the tremendous power of foods and nutrients to promote health and protect against disease.
After all, when you really think about it, these are matters of life and death.
And thats why Im increasingly astounded at the shoddy research, conflicts of interest, blatant contradictions, and exceedingly bad advice that many of the big guys dish out.
In a previous message, we took on WebMDs promotion of sugar cookies as a quick and healthy breakfast. Astounding, right? And to think that they posted this suggestion right beside an article about battling sugar addiction.
Heres a snapshot below:
Do you see what we mean? Bad advice and blatant contradictions, all rolled into one.
But WebMD is not the only billion dollar publishing empire dishing out bad advice from both sides of their mouth, no less!
Todays offending message 14 Fantastically Healthy Foods for Diabetes came courtesy of Prevention, another one of the worlds largest health publishers.
Of course, preventing and reversing diabetes is a primary focus for us here at Healing Gourmet, so their subject line immediately grabbed our attention.
And there it was
Read Also: Pedialyte Good For Diabetics
Can You Just Eat Endless Numbers Of Dates In One Sitting
Well, you can, but it wouldnt be a good idea.
Used as both a staple and a celebratory food in the Middle East, the primary area theyre grown, dates are nutrient- and calorie-dense. Theyre packed with potassium, B6, niacin and fiber, and they also contain a small amount of iron . Thats great news.
To put that in perspective, 100 grams of 60 percent dark chocolate has less sugar, around 37 grams, than 100 grams of medjool dates , which contains 67 grams of sugar.
Theres good news for date lovers, though. Dates have a low glycemic load, meaning that unlike refined sugars, they wont cause huge blood sugar spikes in the same way that a slice of triple chocolate cake would.
May Facilitate A Natural Birth
Including dates in the diet when in the final few weeks of pregnancy may promote cervical dilation and reduce the need for an induced birth. They are also thought to be helpful in reducing the length of labour. Compounds in the fruit are believed to mimic the effects of oxytocin, a hormone involved in labour contractions.
Recommended Reading: Smirnoff Ice Nutrition Sugar
Are Dates A Healthier Substitute For Sugar
Yes! This easy swap is full of health benefits. Although dates are a concentrated source of sugar, theyre considered lower glycemic than other refined sugars. The fiber in dates helps balance out the sugar preventing such a drastic blood sugar spike. This along with the additional micronutrients make dates a great sugar replacement. There are a variety of ways to incorporate dates as a natural sweetener, which aids in a real, whole foods approach to eating.
Date sweeteners are a more nutritious option than table sugar or agave, given that they contain fiber, calcium, vitamin K, magnesium, antioxidants, and more.
May Promote Natural Labor
Dates have been studied for their potential to promote and ease late-term labor in pregnant women.
Eating these fruits throughout the last few weeks of pregnancy may promote cervical dilation and lower the need for induced labor. They may also be helpful for reducing labor time .
In one study, 69 women who consumed 6 dates per day for 4 weeks prior to their due date were 20% more likely to go into labor naturally and were in labor for significantly less time than those who did not eat them .
Another study of 154 pregnant women found that those who ate dates were much less likely to be induced compared to those who did not .
A third study found similar results in 91 pregnant women who consumed 7076 grams of dates daily starting the 37th week of pregnancy. They were in active labor for an average of 4 fewer hours than those who did not eat dates .
Although eating dates appears to help promote labor and reduce labor duration, more research is needed to confirm these effects.
The role dates may have in pregnancy is likely due to compounds that bind to oxytocin receptors and appear to mimic the effects of oxytocin in the body. Oxytocin is a hormone that causes labor contractions during childbirth .
Additionally, dates contain tannins, which are compounds that have been shown to help facilitate contractions. They are also a good source of natural sugar and calories, which are necessary to maintain energy levels during labor .
You May Like: 15-15-15 Rule Hypoglycemia
Health Benefits Of Eating Dates
In addition to their sweet flavor and chewy texture, dates are loaded with health benefits. Theyre high in important nutrients and have a variety of advantages when it comes to overall well-being.
Higher in calories than fresh fruit, dates are satiating and filling for a smaller quantity. Medjool dates, for example, are a good source of selenium, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and copper. Furthermore, Medjool dates are also an excellent source of phytonutrients, plant compounds that may have health benefits. Studies have shown they can stimulate the immune system, reduce inflammation, prevent DNA damage, and improve hormone regulation.
We all need fiber, and luckily, dates are a delicious way to increase your fiber intake. Fiber can benefit your digestive health by preventing constipation. It promotes regular bowel movements. In fact, in one study, 21 people who consumed 7 dates per day for 21 days experienced improvements in stool frequency and had a significant increase in bowel movements compared to when they did not eat dates.
We also all need antioxidants. Dates provide various antioxidants that have several health benefits, including protecting your cells from free radicals, which may lead to disease in the body. Dates contain flavonoids , carotenoids , and phenolic acid .
Are Dates Healthy Or Are We Just Fuelling Our Sugar Addiction
The sugar tax has officially hit the high street, but if, like us, you grew out of your teenage habit of drinking sugary, soft drinks a while ago, whats actually changed? Not much, you might think
The truth is, between that, and the fact you felt pretty guilty polishing off the last of your Easter chocolate, weve heard the message loud and clear: sugar is bad for us!
And weve been eating less refined sugars for a while now, swapping to supposedly healthier, natural alternatives: We tried honey, then agave syrup and now everyones raving about the benefits of using dates plus theyre fruit and we need lots of that
What we cant seem to budge is the niggling feeling that those dates are also packed with sugar natural or not, are they healthy? We broke it down.
Also Check: What Fruit Has The Highest Sugar
Dates: An Ancient Cure
When you indulge in one of these chewy fruits, know that youre also indulging in an ancient piece of history. The date palm is one of the oldest plants cultivated by humans, with researchers estimating that dates have been used as a food for over 6,000 years.
The exact origin of dates is still uncertain, but the general consensus is that theyre native to the Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East. Ancient texts and dating tools have narrowed this down to the area of modern-day Iraq, but other texts have suggested they could be native to prehistoric Egypt or even western India.
Regardless of their exact origin, dates have played an important role in all of these regions throughout history. They were used as a food source as well as in religious ceremonies and medicinal systems.
In Islam, dates are used to break the day-long fast during the holy month of Ramadan, while dates are one of the seven holy fruits in the Hebrew Bible. Researchers have also found the date palm within Egyptian hieroglyphics, where it was used to symbolize a year.
They are featured on ancient Assyrian and Babylonian tablets as well, including the Code of Hammurabi, which discusses laws of date culture and sales.
Dates were also prized for their disease-fighting effects. In Islamic culture, they were praised as a cure for stomach problems, sore throats, colds, fevers, edema, and even as a hangover remedy.
Watch The Portion Size
Like all dried fruit, dates are best eaten in moderation. Dates have a low water content and higher carbohydrate and fiber amount. If you consume a large amount in one sitting, that can be cause for a stomach cramp or other unpleasant digestive issues.
Eating a large amount can also provide a fair amount of sugar, which may not be beneficial for some people trying to lose weight especially if they have been advised to follow a low sugar diet.
If you are eating dates, pair it with a healthy fat and protein source for a balanced snack. For example, pair dates with cheese, plain yogurt, nuts or in savory dishes.
You May Like: Most Sugar Fruit
Fruits With The Least Sugar
7) Apples: Apples contain bulk of healthy nutrients and good calories making it the best food in a no sugar diet.
Sugar in apples: 10.39 g sugar per 100 g
8) Bananas: Bananas are the best choice to add sweetness in your diet inexpensively. Regular consumption can prevent several illnesses and can be one of the best natural ways to lower blood sugar.
Bananas sugar content: 12.23 g sugar per 100 g
9) Berries: Be it raspberries or blueberries, add them in your fruit salads and stay away from those sweet cravings. The fruit is loaded with several vitamins, natural sugar and minerals which can help in reducing blood sugar and fight cancer.
Sugar in berries: 9.96 g sugar per 100 g
10) Sapodilla: Sapodilla is another inexpensive way to go sweet for all the diet concerned people. Blend it with milk and add some dry nuts. With this you can start your day by adding natural sweetness to it.
Sugar in sapodilla: 5.6 g sugar per 100 g
11) Oranges: Sweet oranges are good to taste and low in calories as well. They can help in adding natural sugars to your body and make your taste buds enjoy the sweetness.
Sugar in oranges: 9.35 g sugar per 100 g
12) Grapes: Grapes are another great way to enjoy sweetness and being fit at the same time. Its splendid amount of vitamins and other nutrients help it to make a great breakfast to start your day.
Grapes sugar content: 15.48 g sugar per 100 g
Sugar in watermelon: 6.2 g sugar per 100 g
Sugar in lychees: 15.23 g sugar per 100 g
Where Do You Find Dates
Dates grow on the date palm tree thats akin to a coconut palm tree, but a different palm species with smaller fruit. They are mostly found in deserts and arid regions such as the Middle East and Northern Africa, but also in American deserts like those in southern California.
Youve probably seen Medjool dried dates at your local health food store, but there are actually over 200 varieties available worldwide. Many are still important staple crops in and around the Middle East, where they are a concentrated nutrition source of many vitamins and minerals.
The Medjool and Deglet Noor are the most common varieties here in America, and are always sold dried for natural preservation on their journey to our shelves. They are soft and chewy, with a caramel-like flavor that can be either be bold and chocolatey or light with a tinge of vanilla, depending upon the variety.
You May Like: Is There Sugar In Pedialyte
How To Use Medjool Dates As An Alternative To Sugar
The easiest way to add to replace sugar with dates is by simply chopping and adding them straight into your dish. You can add them to oatmeal or salads for a touch of sweetness.
Another option is blending the dates into a liquid. This is great for sweetening baked goods or beverages like nut milk, lattes, hot chocolate, and smoothies. You can throw a few in your breakfast cereal or oatmeal or chop them up for a sweet addition to a salad.
On their own, dates make a great sweet snack, especially when a sugar craving hits. I find that a bite or two of a date hits the spot when Im craving something sweet after a meal. You can eat them plain stuff them with nut butter, feta, or even dark chocolate!
Think of this as maple syrup but made from dates! You can use date syrup in place of your typical liquid sweeteners. This works especially well in baked goods! You can also use it to top pancakes and waffles or add it to your chia pudding or plain yogurt if you want a touch os sweetness.
Joolies just launched their date syrup and I could not be more excited! First of all, its delicious. But Im extremely impressed by their commitment to sustainability. Joolies date syrup is made from the not-so-perfect dates that dont meet the quality standards for their date boxes. They upcycle the ugly dates into date syrup, meaning less food waste!