Can Diabetics Eat Dates

3 Minute Read

Written by Amanda


Foods that are high in sugar come with a big ol’ “do not eat” sign on them for people who suffer from diabetes. It can be extremely difficult to have to avoid so many different foods every day especially with all of the foodies out there these days sharing every single meal and milkshake.

What is diabetes? It’s a medical condition caused by the body’s inability to process sugar into energy and regulate blood sugar levels. This happens due to a lack of or inability to process insulin. Type 1 diabetes is when the pancreas doesn’t produce insulin, while type 2 diabetes is when the body doesn’t know how to respond to it.

There is a long list of food that diabetics cannot eat. It’s relatively straightforward what that list consists of...things that are high in sugar. However, some foods are surprisingly said to be a-ok for a diabetic to enjoy (in moderation of course).

Dates, known as “nature’s power fruit”, are the anomaly of sweet treats and despite popular belief, can be an option for diabetics when they need to satisfy a craving for something sweet. They might taste similar to candy and have a high sugar content, but they have a low glycemic index and other nutritional benefits that make it possible for diabetics to enjoy them.

What is a date?

A date is a chewy delight that comes from a flowering plant species called Phoenix dactylifera, which is part of the palm family called Arecaceae. With origins in the Middle East, it’s a staple food item in that area’s cuisine, but has grown to be widely cultivated across parts of Asia and North America as well.

Dates look a little bit like oversized raisins and they are chewy or sticky in texture. They have a high sugar content, and similar to bananas, the riper they get, the sweeter they taste. There are two types of dates that are more popular than others: medjool dates and deglet noor dates. Each of these varieties have a slightly different look and flavor.

Medjool Dates

Medjool dates are larger, darker and much sweeter than Deglet noor. They are better suited for making mousse, puddings, syrups and great as a substitution for sweeteners. If you combined the flavors of cinnamon, honey and caramel, you’d have something similar to the delightful taste of a medjool date.

Medjool dates are a great choice for diabetics when the craving for chocolate or caramel arises. They are perfect as is, but you can also blend them into a delicious smoothie, or dry them up and turn them into an alternative sweetener. Any way you enjoy the medjool date, it is delicious

#1 Low Glycemic Index

One reason is because dates, although high in sugar content, are still considered a low glycemic index food. This means dates are digested and absorbed more slowly and therefore, raise blood glucose levels at a much slower rate.

#2 High in Fiber

Fiber is an important element in a diabetic’s diet. It has the ability to slow down absorption and lower the impact of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. Dates have a high fiber content and are more easily digested. Fiber can also reduce blood pressure and inflammation.

#3 Vitamin B1, Vitamin B5 and Vitamin B6

Dates are rich with vitamins. A few of the most beneficial for diabetics are vitamin B1, vitamin B5 and vitamin B6. Vitamin B1, or theanine, works to protect the body from nerve damage, while vitamin B6 promotes a healthy nervous system in general and can be helpful for diabetic neuropathy. Vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid, prevents neurological issues and the burning sensation in the feet that can be common problems for many people that suffer from diabetes.

#4 Copper and Magnesium

Diabetics are lacking in two helpful nutrients: copper and magnesium. Dates can provide these much needed elements in a diabetics diet. Copper helps in preventing biochemical problems related to excessive tissue oxidation. It also reduces risks of protein damaging from glycations that are common in people suffering from diabetes. Dates can help replace the magnesium that diabetics lose due to elevated blood sugar levels.

#5 Manganese

The mega mineral manganese plays a significant role in blood sugar regulation. Diabetics are lacking in manganese, which is usually heavily concentrated in the pancreas. Dates can provide a small amount of manganese to help with glucose levels.

Conclusion

Dates of all varieties are delicious, chock-full of vitamins and nutrients, and an awesome addition to anybody’s diet. They are versatile for all kinds of creative recipes from savory dishes to yummy desserts. But they don’t just benefit your taste buds. They have major benefits for your health too. And now we know that diabetics can enjoy dates as well. If you suffer from diabetes, a small win can go a long way. Well, we’ve got a winner. Sweeten things up and add this chewy delight to your shopping list.

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Joolies organic medjool dates are available in 14 oz. Whole and 11oz. Pitted organic dates at an affordable SRP of $8.99. Joolies also carries single-origin Organic Medjool Date Syrup available for SRP $9.99.