Benefits Of Including Dates In Diabetic Food Plan

Dates are one of the sweetest fruits in existence and they come in many different varieties. Some are fairly small in size, some are very large, and they range in color as well from bright red to bright yellow. They are versatile in that they can be eaten fresh or dried.

As a diabetic, can you eat dates? YES, you can.

Dates have a surprisingly low glycemic index. Studies have been done to determine the effects of consuming dates on blood sugar levels. They concluded that eating dates does not cause a spike in blood glucose level.

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of including dates in diabetic food plan.

1.. Very Nutritious

Dates have an excellent nutrition profile. Since they are dried, their calorie content is higher than most fresh fruits. The dates calories and other dried fruits calories like figs and raisins are almost the same. Most of the calories in dates come from carbohydrates. The rest are from a very small amount of protein. Despite their calories, dates contain some important vitamins and minerals in addition to a significant amount of fiber. Dates are also high in antioxidants, which may contribute to many other health benefits.

A 3.5-ounce (100 g) serving of dates provides the following nutrients:

Calories: 277
Carbohydrates: 75 g
Fiber: 6.7 g
Protein: 1.8 g
Potassium: 696 mg
Magnesium: 54 mg
Copper: 0.4 mg
Manganese: 0.3 mg
Iron: 0.9 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.2 mg

2.. Maintains blood sugar levels

High glycemic foods increase blood sugar levels quite rapidly. Dates have sugar quantity, but they are also loaded with fiber. Due to this reason, they reduce the release rate of insulin and hence fall in the low to medium GI category.

The glycemic index of dates varies depending on the type of dates, usually between 35.5 and 49.7. The GI of dried dates is 42 according to Harvard Health Publications, and their glycemic load is 18, which is slightly on the higher side, so moderation is required when you eat dates.

3.. High in antioxidants

Dates are high in antioxidants that have many health benefits to offer, including a reduced risk of several diseases.

Antioxidants protect your body cells from free radicals like unstable molecules that may cause harmful reactions in your body and lead to disease.

There are three most potent antioxidants found in dates:

  1. Flavonoids
  2. Carotenoids
  3. Phenolic acid

Flavonoids

Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation and have been studied for their potential to reduce the risk of diabetes.

Carotenoids

Carotenoids are proven to promote heart health, and it may also reduce the risk of eye-related disorders.

Phenolic acid

Phenolic acid is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, and it helps lower the risk of cancer and heart disease.

4.. Contains sucrose, glucose, and fructose

Dates contain a high amount of sucrose in its early stages of maturation. As it matures further, this sucrose gets broken down into glucose and fructose which are the simplest forms of sugars present in our bodies that provide instant energy.

Hence, it is advisable to a diabetic person to eat dates during the day or while working out, it gives an immediate boost of energy and stamina in his body.

How many dates a diabetic can eat in a day

A cup of chopped dates contains 415 calories. It contains 110 grams of carbohydrates, which includes 95 grams of sugar. Dates also contain a good amount of fiber.

The recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals is 10%. This intake includes magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese, and vitamins A and B.  Dates are rich enough to provide these vitamins and minerals.

A diabetic person can safely consume fruit servings which are 15 grams of carbohydrates. So, he is always advised to consume dates in moderation —up to 3-5 dates per day depending on the size of dates.

Conclusion

Dates are definitely one of the most nutritious fruits and they should include in our diabetic food plan. In my next article, I will discuss later some of the most famous types of dates and their benefits if we include them in our diet plan. Meanwhile, write your comments below about including dates in diabetic food plan. Do you agree with this?

References

Self Nutrition Data – Know what you eat, Dates nutrition facts and caloriesHarvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School, Glycemic index for 60+ foodsDr. Health Benefits dot com, Is dates good for a diabetic patient? Expert Judges

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