Can Diabetics Eat Dates? Find out
Dates (also known as “Khajur” in India) are one of the oldest fruit known to mankind. There is evidence of using dates as a staple food thousands of years before.
The fruit which was originated in the middle-east has now spread to different parts of the world, thanks to the rising trade. Dates, which is still the most popular food in Arab countries, are now easily available in the western part of the world.
The food is a good source of vitamins and minerals, apart from that they are high in calories which can boost your energy when you need it the most; due to its high-calorie content, the food is used by the Arab population when they break their religious fast.
But can diabetics eat dates?
If yes, how many of pieces a diabetic should eat?
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In this article, we will try to analyze various research and try to answer the above questions.
But before we dwell on other things, we first try to understand the nutritional benefits of dates.
Nutritional Benefits of Dates
Dates are packed with good amounts of vitamins and minerals. Incorporating dates in your diet can provide you tremendous health benefits for your body.
1. High Fiber Content
Dates are high in fiber; Eating 100gms of this fruit can get you 8gms of dietary fiber which offers tremendous health benefits to your body such as:
a. Improves digestive function: If you have a constipation related problem, adding some fiber in your diet can give you some ease
b. Reduces the absorption of bad cholesterol by body cells
c. Fiber reduces the risk of colon cancer and Hemorrhoids (piles)
d. Keep your stomach full so you won’t feel hungry for longer duration
2. Rich Source of Vitamins
Dates are rich source of Vitamins A, B, C and K
Learn how vitamin D affects diabetes and blood sugar
3. Improves bone health
Dates contain potassium, manganese, copper, and selenium that helps your bones get strong and prevent conditions like osteoporosis
4. Improves blood pressure and heart health
Dates are a rich source of important minerals called potassium. Potassium helps to relax your blood vessels and reduces your blood pressure.
There are other benefits of potassium which I have mentioned below:
a. Maintain normal blood pressure: if you are suffering from constant high blood pressure, taking potassium-rich diet can help you lower blood pressure.
But before getting on a potassium-rich diet, make sure you take your doctor’s advice. Your doctor understand your body and he is the best person who can guide you with proper foods and medications
b. Nervous System: Potassium act as an electrolyte, it helps to transfer brain signals effectively throughout different parts of the body. This improves your response time and better control of your muscular actions
c. Reduce stress levels by controlling hormones
5. Contains Antioxidants
Antioxidants help your body to fight waste free radicals. In this way, they slow down ageing and reduce the risk of cancer
6. Source of Energy
Dates are high in calories and rich in carbohydrates. so whenever you feel fatigued, make sure to have some dates, which will boost you with the good amount of energy.
7. They are low in cholesterol and fats
if you are having dates, you don’t have to worry about the cholesterol levels because it dont’t have any.
Read about the healthy food options for diabetics
Can a diabetic eat dates?
This is the most puzzling question among the diabetic communities.
Dates have great taste and are easily available in the market, and what’s unique about this food is that it can be served in the variety of ways.
So no body wants to avoid this fruit which offers great nutritional value and taste.
Now talking about its relevancy for diabetics, this food should be eaten with caution.
Dates are high in carbohydrates, in fact, 80% of the fruit (by weight) is carbs which are must higher than other fruits available in the market.
But this doesn’t mean that you can’t have a date.
It’s been found in the research that the dates are low in glycemic index, which means that it releases sugar slowly and doesn’t spike the blood sugar.
So in spite of being high in glucose content, dates may not spike your blood sugar in one go.
But how many dates diabetes can eat in a day?
I think you should limit yourself to 3-4 pieces a day.
But as diabetes is personalized problem, its better to test your body reaction by eating dates. Before including dates in your daily meal, first eat 3-4 pieces of dates and then check your blood sugar after an interval of 1-2-4 hours.
If you notice your blood sugar going out of proportion either reduce the fruit intake or completely eliminate from your diet.
How much blood sugar a diabetic should target? Click the link to read
One thing more, there are multiple varieties of dates available in the market with different sugar content, some variations may contain more sugar than another. So be careful with the type of variety you are having, some may spike your blood sugar more than another.
Is there any research about diabetics having dates?
There are multiple researches and most of them point to the same conclusion that eating dates don’t raise your blood sugar much.
A 2011 study published in Nutrition Journal points out that the eating dates in moderation will not spike your Post Paradinal (PP) blood sugar level.
you can read the study here
But as I said earlier, do your own testing and see what happens.
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