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Dates and Diabetes: Balancing Flavor and Blood Sugar
Dates Arabia

Dates and Diabetes: Balancing Flavor and Blood Sugar

  • By: Dates Arabia
  • 19 Jun, 2023

Fructose is a type of sugar known as monosaccharide. Like another form of sugar, it provides the energy of 4 calories per gram. 

It is known as fruit sugar because all the fruits in the world invariably contain this form of sugar. It is also contained in natural products like honey, sugar cane and vegetables like artichokes, asparagus, mushrooms, beetroots, sweet potatoes, tamarind, etc. 

Fructose is a unique form of sugar that doesn’t require insulin to be processed in the body and hence has a low impact on the blood glucose levels of the human body. 

Dates owe their sweetness to the presence of fructose in them.  Most of the fructose that we eat is processed by the liver where it is converted into energy for the body by complex processes that don’t require insulin which is a major reason why it can be easily used by diabetics also without any spike in the blood sugar levels in their body. 

The Glycemic index is a way of measuring the effect of carbohydrates and sugar on the body of a human being. It is measured on a scale of 1 to 100 and classified as follows:

LOW GI ---   Less than 55

MEDIUM GI ---- 56 TO 69

HIGH GI ----   Above 70 

Pure glucose or crystallized sugar is assigned a value of 100, the highest level to which blood sugar can spike in a human body after eating traditional sweets or sugar-based foods. Foods with a high GI cause a sudden spike in the blood sugar levels making it tough for people suffering from diabetes. 

Despite their sweetness, dates have a low GI. This means that when eaten in moderation the blood sugar levels of a human being remain normal Also a single date is packed with nearly 2 grams of dietary fiber or 8 % of the daily value (DV). This is significant as dietary fiber helps your body absorb carbs at a slower pace. The slower the carbs are digested, the less likely your blood sugar will spike after eating it. Hence they are also a nutritious option and a great source of energy for people living with diabetes. 

In a study, researchers examined the GI of 50 grams (2 dates) of 5 common varieties of dates. They found no significant difference in the GI when measured in people with and without diabetes. 

Hence dates are an excellent energy food for diabetics when taken in moderation. 2 dates a day can be safely taken by them.