When managing diabetes, balancing your diet is crucial, and there are three primary approaches: carb counting, the plate method, and the glycemic index (GI). In this article, we will explore the nutritional value of dates, their glycemic index, and whether individuals with diabetes can safely consume them.
What is the nutritional value of dates?
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, each dried, pitted date (about 24 grams) contains roughly 67 calories and 18 grams of carbohydrates. Dates are also a good source of essential minerals, including 15% of the daily recommended intake per 100 grams, as well as vitamins B-complex and C. Furthermore, dates are high in dietary fiber, with 8 grams per 100 grams, mainly comprising insoluble dietary fiber.
Interestingly, date seeds contain relatively higher levels of protein (5.1 g/100 g) and fat (9.0 g/100 g) than the fruit’s flesh. While individuals with diabetes can consume dates in moderation as part of a balanced diet, it’s crucial to monitor their blood sugar levels and consume them in moderation to avoid any potential spikes.
What is the glycemic index of Dates?
Glycemic index is a value that helps one to measure the amount of blood sugar raised by the consumption of a specific food. The American Diabetes Association recommends including fruits in a diabetic individual’s meal plan as they contain essential carbohydrates. The best options are fresh, frozen, or canned fruits without added sugars. When selecting canned fruits, it’s best to choose those labeled as ‘packed in its own juices’, ‘unsweetened’, or ‘no added sugar’. While dried fruits and 100% fruit juices are nutritious, their portion sizes are small, and they may not be as filling as other options.
A study found that khalas dates have a glycemic index of 35.5, barhi dates have a glycemic index of 49.7, and bo ma’an dates have a glycemic index of 30.5. Bo ma’an dates have a significantly lower glycemic index than the other two varieties. This suggests that dates are low glycemic index foods that release sugar into the body slowly. High glycemic index foods are digested faster by the body than low glycemic index foods.
Can a diabetes patient eat dates?
Yes. Date palm trees are the source of dates. They are a type of tropical fruit classified as a dry fruit and considered one of the healthiest fruits globally. There are multiple health benefits of dates For people with diabetes, consuming dates in moderation can be a part of a healthy diet. This is because a single dried date contains almost 2 grams of dietary fiber. This can help slow down the absorption of carbohydrates in the body. It can be particularly beneficial for individuals with diabetes. This is because slower carbohydrate digestion can reduce the likelihood of a spike in blood sugar levels after eating.
However, dates have high natural sugar content. And the dry fruit version of dates is richer in calories than the fresh fruit. So, you should be careful about the quantity in which you consume dates.
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