Dates are the fruit of date palm trees. There are multiple cultivars of date; small, semi-dry Deglet Nour are the most popular in the US, though the large, soft Medjool dates are gaining popularity. Their caramel-like flavour and sweetness makes them popular in baking and middle-Eastern cuisine.

Health considerations

Dried dates are primarily carbohydrate, being on average 8% fiber and 64% sugar, though sugar varies by type, from 44 to 80%. The sugar profile varies, with an average of 29% fructose, 30% glucose, and 11% sucrose. However many dates contain no sucrose and are primarily roughly equal quantities of glucose and fructose. Despite this studies have found them to have a relatively low glycaemic index. Dates contain some amounts of B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, selenium, and other minerals. They are also a source of carotenoids, antioxidants, and phenol compounds.

Keep in mind

Dates are energy-dense, containing anywhere from 20 to over 100 calories each, depending on size. They are generally higher in sugar and calories than other dried fruit.

May be found in

Energy bars, energy bites, granola, granola bars, cereal, muffins, cakes, cookies, quickbreads, baked goods


Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Nutrition Reports International

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