In this brief guide, we will address the query: “How many dates should I eat per day?” Also, we will explore the effects of eating too many dates, what the nutritional content of dates is, and what are the health benefits of eating dates.
How many dates should I eat per day?
On average, a person should not eat more than 100 grams of dates per day. Depending on their size, this can be 4 to 5 dates per day.
This is because of their high concentration of calories, and the sugar present in them.
While they can provide many benefits, excess consumption of dates may lead to weight gain, which can trigger other health problems such as inflammation, insulin resistance, lethargy, etc.
As is the case with many things, moderation is key to reaping the benefits of many nutritious foods.
What are the effects of eating too many dates?
As dates are rich in sugars, they source the lion’s share of their calories from carbohydrates.
Excessive sugar consumption is associated with oxidative damage and an early onset of disorders such as type II diabetes, heart disease, insulin resistance, fatty liver disease, obesity, and many others.
Eating too many dates can also cause spikes in a person’s blood sugar levels. Drastic variations are dangerous for diabetic patients, as they can lead to ketosis and dangerously low levels of blood sugar.
Obesity, particularly, has many detrimental effects on a person’s body, as it can increase chronic inflammation, cause damage to a person’s joints, generate insulin resistance, and lead to type II diabetes, circulatory problems, and heart disease.
What is the nutritional content of dates?
A 100-gram portion of pitted dates can provide, on average:
- 280 calories – of which 3.5 are sourced from fat
- 2.4 grams of protein
- 0.4 grams of fat (1% of the recommended daily intake)
- 74.2 grams of carbohydrates (25% of the recommended daily intake) – of which 8 grams are dietary fiber, and 63 grams are sugar.
- 2 milligrams of sodium (less than 1% of the RDI)
- 658 milligrams of potassium (19% of the recommended daily intake)
Additionally, the same portion can provide trace amounts of vitamin A, and vitamin C, 2.9% of the RDI of calcium, and 5.6% of iron.
*Recommended daily intake values are calculated based on a diet of 2000 calories a day.
What are the health benefits of eating dates?
Dates can provide many health benefits when consumed in moderation.
Notably, they have important amounts of plant polyphenols, have a high concentration of potassium, provide dietary fiber, and can be consumed as a more nourishing sweet treat, that can substitute synthetic sweeteners high in empty calories.
Dates can also convey a sense of variety to a person’s diet, as they can be eaten dry, fresh, made into smoothies, salads, or stuffed with other snack foods. They’re a good way to incorporate diet into your fiber, in place of foods with high amounts of refined sugars.
The potassium in dates is essential to help your cells maintain an osmotic balance, for your heart to maintain a regular beat and healthy blood pressure levels, and to help your muscles tense and contract.
The dietary fiber present in dates also stimulated digestive function and promotes gut health, by reducing the likelihood of constipation.
The polyphenols found in dates have antioxidant activity. This means they can help your cells stave off damage caused by oxidative stress, and can therefore delay the onset of a plethora of metabolic conditions, including, but not limited to:
- Heart Disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Circulatory problems – such as high blood pressure, the risk of strokes and CVEs,
- Cognitive disorders
- Chronic inflammation
- Liver disease
While dates are nutritious, we encourage our readers to consume them sparingly, as their high sugar content may trump all the other benefits they provide.
If you have doubts about whether or not dates can provide you with the nutritional benefits you require, we encourage you to consult with a general practitioner and/or a nutritionist.
Either will provide guidance and offer tailored indications for you to reach or maintain your ideal weight and blood sugar levels.
To summarize, dates are healthy when consumed in moderation and combined with a healthy diet and aerobic exercise.
In this brief guide, we have addressed the query: “How many dates should I eat per day?” Also, we have explored the effects of eating too many dates, what the nutritional content of dates is, and what are the health benefits of eating dates.