Dates, in addition to their indomitable nutrients, contain natural sugars, and unfortunately, sugar and diabetes don’t exactly get along, but does this enmity mean that diabetics should utterly discard dates and forgo the health benefits provided by this wonder fruit? Are Dates Good for Diabetics? You’d be surprised to find out the answer.
Can Dates Benefit Your Blood Sugars?
Dieticians say dates are one of the pillar foods to have in a diet as they are loaded with nutrients and rich in natural fibers that boost health and the immune system. However, the burning question is, Are dates suitable for diabetics to consume?
How Does Diabetes Work?
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder affecting blood sugar regulation. Metabolism is the chemical process your body uses to convert or transform the food you eat into the fuel that keeps you alive. It involves the breakdown of certain substances like protein, carbohydrates and so on by enzymes and redistributed as energy around your body to take on the plunge of everyday activity.
A metabolic disorder arises when a metabolism process fails which causes the body to have too much or too little of those essential components needed for everyday activity. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder wherein the pancreas develops a problem. The pancreas is an organ that produces and releases insulin; a hormone which helps the body store and use the sugar and fat from the foods you consume.
When the pancreas fails to produce insulin or produce insufficient amounts of insulin (Type 1 diabetes) or fails to respond appropriately to the insulin produced; a case of insulin resistance (Type 2 Diabetes), then diabetes occurs. It can be a shock to find out you have diabetes. And it changes your life completely.
The consequence of this is quite breathtaking when you begin to think about it. The body is made up of a lot of cells and these cells play the part of empowering the various parts of the body with energy.
When you eat or drink, much of your food is broken down (metabolism) into a simple sugar called GLUCOSE, which is transported through the bloodstream to the millions of cells in your body where it can then be redistributed as energy for the body.
The glucose levels in your bloodstream are regulated by insulin, which are released by the pancreas bit-by-bit depending on the state of your body. When you have more glucose than is necessary, the pancreas releases more insulin to push more glucose into your cells, causing sugar levels to drop.
When your blood sugar levels are too low, your body signals you to eat (that’s hunger) so you can get a replenished dose of glucose flowing in your bloodstream.
People with diabetes have a problem with insulin which causes them to have unusually high levels of sugar in their bloodstream. As a result, diabetics are advised to consistently monitor their blood sugar levels and take proper care of their diet patterns to avoid a spike. That means staying away from sugar of all forms. But, like every other thing on earth, there’s always the famous exception.
For diabetics, it’s fruits (amongst others). Fruits are essential for health as they are packed with a bucket load of vitamins, minerals and nutrients needed by the body. Dates are one such fruit which have been found to be immensely beneficial to both the body and mind. So, the burgeoning question manifests: ‘How exactly can diabetics consume dates?’
Check Out the Video Below for More Information
About Dates and Diabetes
Dates – The Wonder Fruit
Everyone knows that most successful dates begin with a killer conversation and a good first impression. Let’s start our romance by initiating the conversation about the wonder fruit.
Dates are small fruits that grow on the Phoenix dactylifera (the Date palm tree for short), known quite famously as the “Tree of Life” because of its longs shelf life and rich nutritional profile of its fruits (dates).
Dates have been proven to have exited as long as over 50 million years ago and have been cultivated for thousands of years, being a consistent staple in Middle Eastern diets as long as 5320 calbc (that’s a heck of long time!). Dates are usually dried fruits and have the characteristic wrinkled skin. They come packed with essential nutrients like iron, vitamin A, B-complex, magnesium, selenium and important anti-oxidants.
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Dates are recommended by almost every dietician because they are so effective at filling the body up with essential nutrients, but what about diabetics? Dates, when dried, contain almost 75% fructose which is a red flag for diabetics. You do not want fructose.
The good news is that a study carried out in 2011 on some varieties of dates, showed that dates did not adversely affect the blood sugar levels of diabetics. It showed that dates had a relatively reasonable Glycemic Index and when taken in moderation could boost the overall well-being of diabetics.
Additional studies gave proved that although dates contained a high amount of sugar (over 75% by weight), these natural sugars do not cause blood sugar levels to skyrocket. Dates contain no cholesterol, very little fat, and a fleet of nutritional components which provide the body its much needed dose of vitality.
So, is it safe to say that diabetics can consume dates? You betcha! Dates are an important component of daily diet that are not only delicious but healthy. However, the key to maintaining a balance is moderation.
Moderation is the watchword of any diabetic and is of utmost value in making sure that complications do not arise. Now that we’ve made a good first impression on our date, we can proceed to understanding the nutritional profile of this super fruit.
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Nutritional Profile and Health Benefits of Dates
Dates are very versatile little chums. They contain a host of anti-oxidants, vitamins and dietary fiber which are not only easily digestible, but are also fundamental to the overall functioning of the human body. Some of the contents found in dates include:
Dates are about 7-12 percent dietary fiber which helps the body against inflammation and reduces the risk of blood pressure. It also lowers your cholesterol and acts as a sort of ‘pseudo-insulin’ that regulates blood sugar level spikes.
Dates are an excellent source of thiamine (vitamin B) which helps to protect diabetics from nerve damage and diabetic neuropathy; a common diabetic complication. Thiamine also helps in glucose metabolism and plays the key role of improving muscle and heart function.
Consistent intake of dates (matched with moderation) helps to supply vitamin A to the body which improves diabetic retinopathy, a condition leading to loss of eyesight in diabetics. It also helps to control and possible improve early diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.
Dates contain vitamin K which have been proven to activate proteins like osteocalcin and calcium which helps to aid blood clotting and reduce inflammation.
Diabetics tend to have reduced levels of magnesium in the body as elevated glucose levels lead to an increase in the loss of magnesium in the urine. Dates are an excellent source of magnesium which helps diabetics to control their blood sugar levels.
Dates contain a good dose of iron which is important in the production of healthy red blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen in your veins (which could help in the healing process of diabetic wounds and ulcers).
Dates contain manganese which plays an important role in blood sugar regulation.
Flavonoids, Carotenoids, Phenolic Acid
These antioxidants found in dates are by far one of the most important components of dates. Flavonoids help reduce the risk of inflammation, Alzheimer’s and diabetes related complications.
Carotenoids are proven to promote heart health and eye related disorders such as macular degeneration, and Phenolic Acid is widely known to reduce inflammation and lower the risk of cancer and heart disease.
The health benefits of dates are as numerous as the sands in the Atacama Desert. They are a good source of energy, boost and promote brain and heart health, help in bowel movement and constipation problems.
They also provide relief from intestinal disorders like gastroesophageal reflux due to its rich dose of soluble and insoluble dietary fibers, give relief from anemia, aid in the treatment of sexual dysfunction, help treat chronic diarrhea and optimize bone health.
They may also aid in the fight against cancer, provide possible relief from Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis, and a host of others (if we continued deliberating the health benefits that exist, we’d most likely have to nap here!).
So the bottom line as far as “Are Dates Good for Diabetics?” is moderation, which is the key to success in the often complicated road down diabetes alley. Too much and complications may arise, too little and…well, complications may also arise. It is paramount that diabetics know what to take and how to take it in order to guarantee a life free from risk and laden with vitality.
Dates are one such food that should be moderated due to its fructose content, but should also be prioritized due to its myriad of nutrients and the roles these nutrients play in regulating glucose levels in the body.
Phew! It’s been a long date with our illustrious dates. Now that we know that dates are good for diabetics and we understand why they are necessary, we can end the conversation with a smile and look forward to a long, promising relationship with sweet chewy friends!
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16 thoughts on “Are Dates Good for Diabetics? – Dates Help Your Blood Sugars”
This is a great content and I need to appreciate you for writing this precise and thorough article. I have been struggling with diabetes for long which has affected every part of my body but I haven’t gotten reasonable ailment for it. I have heard about dates and I am very sure it will be a perfect fit for my challenges.
Thanks for sharing
Thank you! Sorry to hear that you are dealing with diabetes.
The best way we can fight it is to eat healthy foods such as dates. I love them and they are good for us with diabetes so long as it is in moderation.
All fruits have sugar and dates are no different which is why we can’t overdo it.
So add dates to your diet because they are beneficial.
Thank you for sharing 🙂
Hi there. Let me Say am overwhelmed and happy so much to know about this new discovery about dates and diabetes, I actually know that dates contains natural sugar but am always concerned that can diabetic patients takes this dates, but I must say your article has just given me an answer to my question and has also added to my knowledge about diabetes, and also dates. Thanks for this wonderful tips and am taking my time to also share with other people who needs to read articles about dates and diabetes
Dates are fruits that contain sugar like any other fruit.
It’s important to note that the glycemic index is 44 which falls below the index of 55 which makes it safe to eat for diabetics.
When you have diabetes you always want to be careful and know what foods you should be eating and which you should not be eating.
I’m happy to provide this information so that you can add it to your list of foods that are good!
Thank you for sharing!
Thanks a bunch for the awesome information!
I had no idea that dates were so good for diabetics. I knew about the high fructose levels when dried, but you’ve opened my eyes to quite a few things, and now that I’m able to have dates, that’s pretty exciting. I’ll be sure to delve into the rest of your content ASAP.
Thank you again!
You’re welcome! It’s amazing how much you can learn about things, right?
I always thought dates were off the table if you had diabetes, but as long as you have them in moderation, you’re fine.
As a diabetic, you want to limit your carbs and sugar intake.
While fruits like dates have sugar, it’s the glycemic index number that means something.
Anything below 55 on the glycemic index is good to go! Dates are around 45!
Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
This is an informative article, it’s full of health education. Diabetics isn’t a sign of good living, but this article explains ways to stay free and what to eat. Dates are sweet but it has natural sugar, dates are fruits full of natural nutrients like magnesium, iron and dietary fiber. it’s also good for diabetic people
Your article is very helpful to pass around with people suffering from diabetics. Thanks for the information
Thanks! I always try and provide information on the best foods we can eat as diabetics.
While dates may not be my favorite of fruits they are at least low enough on the glycemic index level to be good to eat.
But of course as with anything with sugar, you want to be careful now to overdo it.
And the fact that dates are full of nutrients and fiber is a plus too.
Thank you for your comments and for sharing 🙂
Nice article on dates for diabetics. I must commend you for a job well done for your findings and the overall article, I find the article so informative and educative on matter patterning to good health.
I must say that I am surprised that dates are good for diabetics. That is the reason why they say knowledge is power. The most surprising of all is that you can find them in the garden!
Thanks! I try to provide quality information about anything that can help lower blood sugar.
While dates are good for diabetics, it’s only in moderation. Eating too many can actually spike your blood sugars.
Everyone has different tastes when it comes to fruit and it matters how much sugar is contained in any particular fruit.
When you have diabetes, you want to know exactly what foods are good for you and which ones aren’t.
Thank you for your feedback!
Few years ago I started eating dates but I never knew about most of its nutritional value and I have even learned more today from your article. It was a very useful article.
My father had an increase in blood sugar level and I have been contemplating over time whether to give him a date seed or not since date is of high nutritional value which I found out recently. I never gave him date fruit because I was scared that his blood sugar might rise if I give him date. Now I am going to let him know that he can eat date fruit moderately because moderation is the key.
Hey Kenechi 🙂
Fruits and vegetables are obviously healthy for you and fruits do contain sugar.
But it’s the kind of and amount of sugar that matters.
Dates are low enough on the glycemic index to be good for diabetics.
However, that doesn’t mean to over indulge with dates. Moderation is key.
So enjoy your dates but don’t make them the major fruit to eat. Berries have the lowest glycemic index numbers just to let you know.
Thank you for your comments!
Thank you, for sharing your post about if eating dates are good for diabetics. I’ve been schooled by you today. I think I am starting to get a better understanding of the way the pancreas and your metabolism work to changing food into energy and releasing insulin. I’m learning a lot at your website and that’s why I keep coming back for more diabetic information. Am I saying this right- that insulin regulates the glucose levels in the blood? The more insulin my pancreas puts in the bloodstream, the higher my glucose (sugar) goes causing a diabetic attack? I thought dates were dried up extra plump grapes to large to be called raisins. It must be all of the nutrients dates carries, that helps a diabetic over time? I like that there is no cholesterol in the fruit. And I would like to know more about Alzheimer’s and dates study.
Thank you and I’m glad you enjoyed my article about dates.
We all need to know what we can and cannot eat when you are a diabetic.
It’s a smart choice to choose foods that have a low glycemic index so that our sugar levels don’t spike.
Yes, insulin does regulate the glucose levels in your blood. This is vital for your health.
Dates are good because they are rated in the 40’s which is good because anything under 55 is considered good when it comes to your blood sugar.
Thank you for sharing!
Thank you for the info on dates. Being a type 2 diabetic, there are so many foods/ drinks I need to stay away from. So far my A1C has been in the normal range but it could be a little lower. I liked dates as a child. I was anemic and this was one food the doctor recommended for me to eat. It’s so nice to hear it still good for me to eat (in moderation). What is a good amount for me to start at?
Hi Sandra 🙂 You’re welcome! Yes we all want out A1c levels to be in the normal range. Fruits such as dates are good for you because the glycemic index is good. But having them in moderation is the key to helping your blood sugars and not raising them. 2-3 dates a day is the correct amount but no more. Good luck and thanks for sharing 🙂