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For centuries, dates have been a part of people's diets. Dates are a powerhouse of nutrients such as protein, carbohydrate, fibre, fat, calcium, iron, sodium, vitamin C, and vitamin A. They are rich in soluble and insoluble fibres and high in calories as compared to other dry fruits.
In the Middle East, dates are the most commonly eaten fruits and their amazing health benefits are attributed to the high nutritional qualities they have.
There is a myth that diabetics are not supposed to consume dates because they are high in sugar and calories. Besides, dates are dried fruits, which means their calorie content tends to be higher than fresh fruits.
Let's find out whether diabetics can eat dates or not.
Can Diabetics Eat Dates?
A study published in 2002 determined the glycemic index of dates, which showed that consuming these fruits proved beneficial in the glycemic and lipid control in people with diabetes  .
Another study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that Khalas dates when eaten alone or in mixed meals with plain yogurt have low glycemic index. It is beneficial for glycemic and lipid control in diabetic patients  .
According to a 2011 study published in the Nutrition Journal, dates offered potent health benefits for diabetic patients when eaten in moderation along with a healthy balanced diet.
The study was carried out to find out the glycemic indexes of five varieties of dates and the result showed that when diabetics ate dates, their postprandial glucose levels did not increase  .
According to a study published in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, dates can aid in regulating blood sugar due to their low glycemic index, antioxidants, and fibre. Thus, eating dates may benefit people with diabetes  .
Another study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, showed the positive effect of dates on blood glucose levels. The study included 10 people who were made to eat 100 g of dates per day and after 4 weeks, none of their blood sugar or triglycerides increased  .
According to the American Diabetes Association, one should be cautious with their portion size while consuming dates.
How Many Dates Can Diabetics Consume In A Day?
Diabetics can eat 2-3 dates per day as long as they maintain healthy eating habits.
So, no matter whether dates are high in calories and sugar, a diabetic can consume dates keeping portion size in control.
-  Miller, C. J., Dunn, E. V., & Hashim, I. B. (2002). Glycemic index of 3 varieties of dates. Saudi medical journal, 23(5), 536-538.
-  Miller, C. J., Dunn, E. V., & Hashim, I. B. (2003). The glycaemic index of dates and date/yoghurt mixed meals. Are dates ‘the candy that grows on trees’?. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 57(3), 427.
-  Alkaabi, J. M., Al-Dabbagh, B., Ahmad, S., Saadi, H. F., Gariballa, S., & Ghazali, M. A. (2011). Glycemic indices of five varieties of dates in healthy and diabetic subjects. Nutrition journal, 10, 59.
-  Rahmani, A. H., Aly, S. M., Ali, H., Babiker, A. Y., Srikar, S., & Khan, A. A. (2014). Therapeutic effects of date fruits (Phoenix dactylifera) in the prevention of diseases via modulation of anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-tumour activity. International journal of clinical and experimental medicine, 7(3), 483–491.
-  Rock, W., Rosenblat, M., Borochov-Neori, H., Volkova, N., Judeinstein, S., Elias, M., & Aviram, M. (2009). Effects of date (Phoenix dactylifera L., Medjool or Hallawi Variety) consumption by healthy subjects on serum glucose and lipid levels and on serum oxidative status: a pilot study. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 57(17), 8010-8017.