Dates and diabetes
Dates are a nutritious food that has a lot of carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals that are useful to prevent many diseases. However, due to its high sweetness and high carbohydrate content, dates can be a concern for diabetics. In this article, we will examine this issue:
In Iran and the world, there are different types of dates. On average, every 30 grams of dates have between 70 and 80 kcal of energy, about 20 grams of carbohydrates and 2 grams of fiber; Therefore, it is necessary to control its consumption during the day, especially for diabetics, and to say that date sugar is natural and can be consumed in free quantities is not true.
Dates are rich in a variety of nutrients including magnesium and potassium. It is also a good source of fiber, carbohydrates and antioxidants.
Fiber: Dietary fiber helps reduce the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, thus helping to prevent high blood sugar. Dietary fiber also helps nourish the beneficial bacteria in the gut, which is an important part of a person’s health.
Magnesium: Magnesium may be beneficial for people with diabetes because it plays a role in controlling blood sugar. Research shows that people with type 2 diabetes often have low levels of magnesium in their bodies. Magnesium intake can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
Potassium: Studies have shown that people with low potassium levels have higher levels of insulin and glucose than healthy people. In addition, potassium is an important nutrient for regulating blood pressure.
Antioxidants: Dates are rich in polyphenols that can reduce inflammation in the body.
Phytoestrogens: Phytoestrogens are substances that show similar effects to the hormone estrogen in the body. Dates have the highest amount of phytoestrogens among fruits.
Glycemic load and index
For a better examination, it is necessary to first get acquainted with the concepts of index and glycemic load. Glycemic index (GI) is a method of measuring the effect of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. This value is measured on a scale of 0 to 100 and the glycemic index of pure glucose (sugar) is set at 100 (the highest amount that your blood sugar can increase after eating).
Carbohydrates with a low glycemic index have a glycemic index of 55 or lower, while carbohydrates with a glycemic index of 70 or higher are in the high glycemic index group.
Foods with a low glycemic index cause less fluctuations in blood sugar and insulin levels. On the other hand, foods with high GI quickly raise blood sugar. This sharp rise in blood sugar can further lead to low blood sugar, especially in people with diabetes whose bodies have less power to control these changes.
People with diabetes usually have to try to stick to foods that have a lower GI. This helps them manage their blood sugar levels. Fortunately, despite its sweetness, dates have a low GI (glycemic index 42). This means that if eaten in moderation, they are safe for people with diabetes.
What does “balanced amount” mean?
To answer this question, we must consider the glycemic load of food (GL). The glycemic load takes into account the “meal size” of that particular food when calculating its effects on blood sugar. To determine the glycemic load of a food, multiply its GI by the amount of carbohydrates in it and divide it by 100. Therefore, two to three dried dates (48 grams) contain 36 grams of carbohydrates and its glycemic load is 17, which is an average GL.
Can patients with diabetes eat dates?
The most important thing in a diabetic diet is to control your blood sugar and prevent it from fluctuating throughout the day. If the diet is developed under the supervision of a nutritionist and the amount of carbohydrates is calculated according to the disease and the drugs consumed, consuming dates in the recommended amount in the diet, not only is not harmful; But due to the unique properties of dates can also be useful and effective.