When someone is into a keto diet, they try to keep their daily carb consumption up to 50 grams or less. Therefore, they have to exclude foods with high carbs. However, fruits are not a regular source of carbohydrates, and they can complement the need for sugar and sweets in the diet.
Dates are a popular snack in the United States moreover an excellent addition to your dishes or smoothies as a sweetener. One of my friends who decided to follow the keto approach had no clue what to exclude from her daily consumption. The date is one of her favorite dry foods, and she has been looking for the answer, are dates keto friendly?
Are you tired of looking for the same answer over the internet or asking other people? This article is going to help you for sure. We will see the components inside the fresh and dry dates and learn about their health benefits and compatibility as keto-friendly ingredients.
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Things You Should Know About Dates
The name came from the Greek word “dactylos,” which means finger. It existed for at least 50 million years in ancient times, and evidence says cultivation began from 7000 BCE. Date production is expected in the tropical region, mainly in the Middle East and North Africa.
Date palm trees are the source of this fruit. It is famous as dry food or snacks. There is a ton of variety of dates; nevertheless, the fresh dates and dry dates have many distinctive components.
Unlike other fruits, what makes dates unique is their fiber content. Other fruits may have similar nutrient contents, but dates excel in fiber and improve blood sugar control and other fiber-related issues.
Additionally, the low glycemic index (less than 55) content is also essential for keto and a healthy diet. And dates have a low GI. According to multiple research, the average GI of dates is 42. High GI food can be a massive contributor to obesity.
What Is Keto?
Keto or ketogenic diet is a way to reduce carb intake and moderate the amount of protein and fat consumption. This method makes the body go through ketosis and use the fat stored as an energy source.
The ketogenic diet helps you lose weight, maintain mental clarity, and reduce inflammation. Additionally, it helps with other diseases like cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s, along with health benefits.
Therefore, deduct the foods with high carbs from your keto diet plan. Also, you should count your daily carbs intake, which should not exceed 20 to 50 grams per day.
The Nutritional Profile Of Dates
It is so fascinating that dates come with a lot of nutrition properties. For example, it has vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, iron, manganese, copper, and fiber. Figs and raisins are smiler dry fruits with the same nutritional profile, yet the dates are more efficient in fiber.
One date sized 8-12 grams can provide you,
- Calories- 25 grams
- Carbs- 7 grams
- Fiber- 0.7 grams
- Protein- 0.2 grams
- Sugar- 6 grams
- Fat- 0 gram
- Sodium- 0.3 mg
- Potassium- 55 mg
- Magnesium- 3.5 mg
Can You Eat Dates On Keto?
There is no specific answer, are dates keto friendly or not. The answer will vary depending on the person and their condition. There are other factors present that you should consider.
Fruits are often excluded from the keto diet for their sugar amount. A moderate-sized single date has 16 grams of net carbs. Therefore, if a person is under a strict keto routine and cannot exceed 20 grams of carbs per day, they should exclude dates. However, those who have the flexibility of 50 grams of carbs intake can enjoy dates.
Dates are abundant in carbohydrates and low in fats, the total opposites of the macronutrients necessary for a ketogenic diet. Nevertheless, people have different goals; you should not limit yourself if your carbs limit is 50 grams. However, it is safe to say that the date intake will not throw you out of the keto course.
For example, if you follow a diet such as scrambled eggs in breakfast, keto caesar salad in lunch, and keto pizza at dinner. It subsequently contains 1 gram, 4 grams, and 5 grams of net carbs. One date includes 16 grams of net carbs; you might enjoy two of them if you follow a diet plan similar to this.
The question should be “should I” instead of “can I” in terms of consuming dates on a keto diet? The answer is yes; you can. However, your meal should not exceed your daily carb limit because of carbs from the dates.
Types Of Dates
Dates are cultivated in over 200 varieties across the world. They all differ somewhat in terms of taste, appearance, and nutritional content. Organic dates are usually more nutritious, but you don’t have to avoid inorganic dates entirely.
However, fresh dates are the total opposite of dry dates. They have considerable differences in nutrition and other content. Compared to fresh dates, dried dates offer nearly twice the quantity of calories and carbs.
As you can see, fresh dates have almost half the number of carbs opposite to dry dates, which makes them more keto-friendly compared to dried dates. One hundred grams of fresh dates are packed with 33.5 grams of net carbs when the number is 70 plus for dried dates. Additionally, it will give you 1.8 grams of protein, 1 gram of fat, and 3.5 grams of fiber.
Fresh Dates And Keto
Fresh dates are entirely different as they have a low amount of carbs than dry dates. You may eat fresh dates during keto but with fair moderation. It would be best to make your balanced meal for the day after considering these factors.
You can include fresh dates in your keto menu by following various methods. You can stuff dates with hard cheeses or pecans and make a light evening snack.
Dates have a good amount of natural sugar and can be used in smoothies. You can give a fruit touch to low-carb salads with a single fresh date. Lastly, they can replace raisins in trail mix with other nuts and seeds.
Is Date Sugar Suitable For Keto?
Date sugar from dry and ground dates is an excellent substitute for regular sugar. Date sugar has become popular in recent years as it is less processed than conventional sugar. Moreover, this contains the food value, beneficial vitamins, minerals, and nutrients of dates.
You can either purchase date sugar or make it at home. Because of the variation of the dates, the nutrition can vary. However, 6 grams of it contains 6 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fiber with no fat or protein. The net carbs count is 4 grams in total, while on the other hand, regular sugar is 100% carbohydrates.
Even though the number is better than the regular sugar, it is still very high in carbs to be suitable for keto usage. It is better to use low-carb sweeteners available on the market.
Health Benefits Of Dates
Before answering the question of whether dates are keto-friendly, you should also remember that dates are rich in helpful nutrition. There might be a risk those dates can throw you out of keto. However, you can enjoy the health benefit if you can slightly adjust your carbs consumption.
It contains three types of antioxidants named Flavonoids, Carotenoids, and Phenolic acid, which protect your body from causing free radicals. 7 grams of fiber per 100 grams serving is also impressive as it reduces the risk of constipation and improves your blood sugar level.
Dates promote cervical dilation in the woman’s body that helps them with natural labor. They not only help to shorten the labor time but also lower the need for reduced labor. Thus, consuming this food during the last weeks of pregnancy can induce a natural delivery of a child.
The antioxidants present in dates are beneficial for eye health and brain health. They also contribute to reducing the risk of cancer. Moreover, they prevent diabetes, Alzheimer’s, inflammation, and neurodegenerative diseases.
Dates are beneficial for heart health as electrolytes like potassium improve the cardiovascular system. Magnesium and iron improve overall bone conditions. Magnesium deficiency can cause complexity like osteoporosis. Lastly, dates can provide sweetness without a significant spike in your sugar level, which is helpful during low blood sugar conditions.
Alternative Fruits For Dates In A Keto Diet
Dates are not entirely rejectable. Although the high amount of carbs makes it a less fit choice for keto. Besides, other low-carb fruits are more suitable to consume during keto.
I prefer to use low-carb fruits, especially berries, in small amounts. A few lower-carb fruits may fit into your food plan, but only in small portions. Fruits such as raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, watermelon, and avocado are good alternatives for a change.
Fresh figs have a low carbohydrate content than dates. It only contains 9.6 grams of carbs per 100 grams. While on the other hand, dates have 75 grams of carbs per 100 grams which is significantly more than the daily consumption on a keto plan.
Dates taste like dried cherries, but a smiler carbohydrate level makes fresh cherry preferable. Fresh cherry has just 12 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams. Therefore, eating a pair of cherries instead of dates is considerably more keto-friendly.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Which fruits fit the keto diet?
While many fruits are hard to incorporate into a keto diet due to the high carb content, it doesn’t mean you have to skip them forever. Acai berries, starfruit, coconut, blackberries, and plums are lower in carbs, and therefore they are good to include in your daily diet plan.
2. Does date spike your insulin?
Yes, because dates are high in sugar, they will raise your insulin levels. The liver is responsible for producing, storing, and releasing glucose. The hormones insulin and glucagon, the key regulators of blood sugar, are the primary indicators.
Vegetables and fruits are essential components of a balanced keto diet. Food with high carbs and sugar can spike insulin. However, excessive glucose production will throw you out of ketosis.
3. Can people with diabetes eat dates on keto?
Yes, dates have a low glycemic index, despite their sweetness. Although different varieties of dates have modest variances in their GI, they generally remain below 55. Therefore, dates are entirely safe for people with diabetes when they consume them moderately.
4. Does date fit in the scale of glycemic load?
GL (glycemic load) is considered high with a GL of 20 or more, medium with GL of 11-19, and low with GL of 1 to 10.
Two dried dates (48g) provide roughly 36 grams of carbohydrates per serving. If their GI is around 50, a serving of two dried dates has a GL of 18. It is considered medium.
5. Can dates be used to treat illnesses?
Dates contain effective antioxidants, anti-tumor, and anti-inflammatory agents, making them a viable alternative medicine for treating a variety of diseases.
6. How many dates can I eat on keto?
If you really must eat dates on keto, limit yourself to one or two dates. If you’re eating dried dates, you’ll need to be even more careful. It is probably best to skip dates entirely and replace them with a lower-carb fruit.
7. How many carbs does one single date contain?
Dates come in various flavors and are naturally sweet enough to serve as a dessert or snack. One date (8g) consists of approximately 5.53 grams of net carbs and 6.23 of total carbs.
8. Are dates beneficial for weight loss?
Dates are a good source of iron and calcium, which helps maintain blood and bone health. It provides seven grams of fiber per hundred grams of serving. It may be a good choice as fiber intake in your body will aid weight loss.
Even though most keto experts may advise avoiding eating fruits in general, you do not have to avoid them at all costs. Avoid them if you’re trying to keep your carb consumption to a bare minimum. Whether you should consume dates on the keto diet is totally up to you and your objectives.
However, if you follow a more balanced diet and allow yourself to consume a little more carbohydrates, you may enjoy dates in moderation. I mean no more than two dates each day when I suggest moderation.
Finally, the verdict time to answer the question, are dates keto friendly? They aren’t suitable for everyone’s keto diet plan, but they could suit you. This article covers all the areas you should know about dates.