Are dates keto-friendly? In this post we share if you can enjoy dates when following a low carb diet + nutritional information + how to use them + better alternatives for a ketogenic lifestyle.
You have indeed seen that dates are being used quite a bit as an alternative to sugar to sweeten desserts.
You can find dates in various presentations: dried, in a paste, and even dried and crushed and with an appearance very similar to that of brown sugar.
But if you wonder if dates are keto-friendly and if you can consume them on a ketogenic diet, here is the answer.
What is a ketogenic diet?
A ketogenic diet, or “keto,” is a way of eating in which carb intake is reduced, and moderate amounts of protein and high amounts of fat are consumed.
The idea behind the ketogenic or low-carb diet is to put your body in a state of ketosis. This happens when most of the body’s energy comes from ketones derived from fat.
How does a low-carbohydrate diet work?
A ketogenic diet reduces high carb foods consumption and increases fat intake.
This change in diet puts your body in ketosis when your body begins to use stored fat as its primary energy source.
What are the benefits of a ketogenic diet?
There are many benefits to following a ketogenic diet: weight loss, mental clarity, and inflammation reduction.
Ketogenic diets have also been shown to help with diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
How to start a ketogenic diet?
Suppose you are interested in starting a ketogenic diet. In that case, the ideal is to first talk with your doctor or a registered dietitian.
The doctor will help determine if a ketogenic diet is suitable for you and provide the following guidelines.
What are the dates?
Dates are fruits that grow in tropical regions and are commonly cultivated in the Middle East and North Africa.
In the United States, date palm trees are grown in Southern California and Arizona.
The date is the fruit of the date palm tree, Phoenix dactylifera.
The date’s name is due to its shape that looks like a finger. The word date comes from the Greek word “dactylos,” which means finger.
The fruit is picked by hand or shaken from the tree when ripe.
Dates are one of the first known foods to be eaten, and their consumption dates back to 5000 BC. C.
Dates contain many essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and iron.
They are often eaten dried or soaked in water to rehydrate and used in baking and to raise energy levels.
Dates can be found dried, fresh, or in paste, depending on where you live.
Nutritional information for dates
Dates are packed with potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, phosphorus, B vitamins, and fiber.
Dates nutrition facts:
Nutritional value per 100 g (dry and seedless):
Energy: 280 kcal
Carbohydrates: 75 g
Sugars: 63 g
Fiber Content: 7 g
Fat content: 0.40 g
Protein: 3 g
Minerals: Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc.
Vitamins: Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Thiamine.
Health benefits of dates
Dates are a rich source of antioxidants, potassium, and dietary fiber.
The antioxidants in dates can neutralize free radicals and help reduce the risk of diseases like cancer and other chronic ones.
Due to their potassium content, dates can help regulate blood pressure and reduce the risks of heart disease.
Because of the high tannin content, they have some medicinal uses, such as an intestinal astringent.
It is also consumed in infusions to relieve sore throats and colds.
Dates provide a lot of energy, which is why they are often used to recharge your batteries in endurance activities such as hiking, biking, and running.
Additionally, the B vitamins in dates support energy production and healthy skin, hair, and nails.
People who follow a diet plan to lose weight should control the consumption of dates because they are very caloric fruits.
How to use dates
Dates can be eaten fresh or as a dried fruit.
If you like fresh dates, removing the pit and enjoying them is a good choice.
To eat dried dates, soak them in water for a few minutes to soften them and remove the pit if it hasn’t been already removed.
They can be eaten as desserts, snacks, or replenish energy if you practice sports.
Dates are also used to sweeten smoothies, fruit juice, jams, chutneys, or patés instead of refined sugars. Many people use them as a sugar substitute.
For that, you can buy it at the supermarket or prepare it at home using a food processor.
How to store dates
Store dates in an airtight container to maintain freshness.
You can also keep small portions in a glass container, hermetically closed, in a cool and dry place, away from direct light or heat sources.
You can freeze dates after pitting to extend storage time.
Are dates keto-friendly?
The general opinion of keto experts is that dates, among their beneficial features, should not be consumed on a ketogenic diet. However, it depends on you and your goals in your keto meal plan.
Dates are probably not the optimal ketogenic choices for keto dieters because they contain sugars and carbohydrates.
Perhaps it is best to consume other fruits that are keto-friendly.
What are some keto-friendly fruits?
Some fresh fruits are low-carb fruits and can be eaten during the ketogenic diet.
These include raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and watermelon.
Another good option is avocado.
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