If you have diabetes, chances are someone has said that you should avoid eating dates. But is it really something that you need to avoid like the plague, or can it be consumed safely without having any ill effects on your health?
The Myth About Dates & Diabetes
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Generally speaking, it is a myth that people with diabetes need to avoid dates. Dates are packed with nutrients like vitamins A, K, and B-complex, iron, calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, copper, tannins, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, fiber and zinc. These nutrients are beneficial for our health and can help prevent constipation, heart diseases, anaemia and diarrhoea, among other conditions.
The glycemic index (GI) is a measurement of the rise in blood sugar after eating a food that contains carbohydrate. The lower the GI, the more likely the food will control the blood sugar levels. Dates have a GI of 40, which is considered low because foods which have a GI of 55 or lower will not raise blood sugar levels.
Several Studies Back The Same
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According to a 2011-study ‘Glycemic indices of five varieties of dates in healthy and diabetic subjects’ published in the Nutrition Journal, As per a study, published in the Nutrition Journal, when diabetic patients consumed dates, their postprandial glucose levels did not skyrocket. It also stated that dates could offer potential benefits for diabetic patients when consumed in moderation along with a healthy balanced diet.
Another study showed that when dates are consumed in raw form or with plain yoghurt, they do not raise blood sugar levels.
A similar study was done in 2002 to determine the GI of three different types of dates available in the market. It concluded that even though there were significant differences in the GI of dates, the fact remained that consuming any of those varieties will not affect the blood sugar levels.
How Many Dates You Can Have?
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Experts advise that a diabetic patient can have 2-3 dates daily if his sugar levels are under control and he is into regular physical activity. Also, it is advised that one should eat them along with any protein-rich food items (like curd, nuts etc.) so that carbs are digested more slowly.
In general, studies have proven that eating dates in moderation or along with protein-rich food is beneficial for diabetics.
Disclaimer: All content, including tips and suggestions, is entirely based on research and data available on the internet. So, it is advised to not to construe it as professional medical advice and consult a doctor before making any changes in your diet.
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