Are Dates Good for Weight Loss? Here are All the Deets on Dates!

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Dr. Pakhi Sharma, MBBSGeneral Physician, 6+ Years
Published On : 10-Oct-2022Read Time : 5 minutes
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Are you on a weight loss quest but unable to find the perfect foods to eat? What about dry fruits, specifically dates? Dates are delicious and one of the most nutritious food items you can add to your diet! But are dates good for weight loss? Make sure to stay till the end of the blog to know it all!

Contents:
  • Nutritional Profile of Dates
  • Benefits of Dates in Weight Loss
  • How Many Dates to Eat Per Day for Weight Loss?
  • How to Eat Dates for Weight Loss?
  • What is the Best Time to Eat Dates for Weight Loss?
  • What are the Risks of Overconsumption of Dates?
  • What are the Other Health Benefits of Dates?
  • Don’t Have Time To Read?
  • FAQs

Nutritional Profile of Dates

Dates are fruits that come from the date palm trees. What you eat is commonly the dried version of the date fruit. Chewy with a heavy amount of sweetness, the calories in dates are higher than the fresh fruit as they are dried. Dates add a significant amount of crucial vitamins, minerals, and fibre content to your diet.

There are hundreds of varieties of dates available, and the dates have a similar nutritional profile. 

The nutritional value of 100 g of Medjool dates is as follows:

Nutrient

Content

Water

21.3 g

Calories

277 kcal

Carbohydrate

75 g

Fibre

6.7 g

Sugar

66.5 g

Total fat

0.15 g

Protein

1.81 g

Potassium

696 mg

Calcium

64 mg

Magnesium

54 mg

Sodium

1 mg

Iron

0.9 mg

Vitamin B6

0.249 mg

Vitamin A

7 µg

Vitamin K

2.7 µg

Source: USDA

Do dates help in weight loss? Let's find out. 

Benefits of Dates in Weight Loss

There is not enough scientific evidence to suggest that dates can be beneficial for weight loss. 

The supposed benefits of dates for weight loss may be attributed to their high-fibre content. Consuming enough fibre is very important when you are on a weight loss diet. With about 7 g of fibre in each 100 g, dates can be a great snack to increase your fibre intake.

Fibre generally slows down the process of digestion and promotes the feeling of satiety and fullness. By keeping you full for a longer period of time, dates can prevent indulgence in random snacking or binge-eating. This can reduce your overall calorie intake and help with weight management. Studies also suggest that consuming fibre-rich foods can help reduce your belly fat and even prevent further fat gain.

Further, one study noted that date extracts inhibited pancreatic lipase, an enzyme whose inhibition can help prevent obesity.

Another study found that people can eat a small number of dates each day without any weight gain. 

These studies suggest that dates may be helpful for people looking to lose weight, but more research needs to be conducted before the weight loss benefits of dates can be firmly established. 

How Many Dates to Eat Per Day for Weight Loss?

Although dates are high in nutrition, they are also high in calories and sugar. If you are on a weight loss diet, it is important to watch your calorie intake. Consuming 100 g (4 to 5) dates per day should be okay if you are trying to lose weight. 

How to Eat Dates for Weight Loss?

There are multiple ways to add dates to your weight loss diet. These include:

  • Breakfast: Add 3 to 4 dates to your daily bowl of oatmeal, smoothie, or any other cereal.
  • Snack: Have 3 to 4 dates with a cup of milk. You can also make energy balls with dates and other dry fruits, and snack on them when hungry. 
  • Lunch: Add 1 to 2 dates to your bowl of fruit or vegetable salad or soup.
  • Sugar Alternate: Use dates in the form of puree as an alternative to sugar.

Quick Instructions to Make Dates Puree as a Replacement to Sugar

 

  1. Add ¾ cup (177 ml) of water to 2 cups (225 g) deseeded dates in a bowl.
  2. Microwave them in intervals of 1 minute and keep mashing them using a fork in between.
  3. Keep mashing the dates until a thick paste is obtained.
  4. Allow the mix to heat in a microwave until all the water has evaporated.

What is the Best Time to Eat Dates for Weight Loss?

There is no one time to eat dates for losing weight. You can eat and enjoy this sweet delicacy any time of the day, especially when you feel hungry. You can have them before a workout session, with your main meals, as a mid-afternoon or evening snack or as a nighttime snack.

What are the Risks of Overconsumption of Dates?

While dates may be highly nutritious, eating too much of it, as with anything else, can be harmful. Some of the risks of overconsumption of dates can be:

  • Due to the high-calorie content of dates, you may want to limit your daily consumption of dates to a count of not more than 4 to 5 to avoid any further weight gain.
  • Dates have a high sugar content as well. Thus, those who are trying to manage their blood sugar levels, such as those with Diabetes, should avoid the excessive consumption of dates. 
  • Dates are high in potassium. Since potassium is processed by the kidneys, those with kidney disease should consult a doctor about consuming potassium-rich foods such as dates.
  • Some people may be allergic to dates or to chemicals called sulphites that are found in dates. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include stomach pain and bloating, itchy and red eyes, and skin rashes. Contact a doctor immediately if you observe any such symptoms. 

What are the Other Health Benefits of Dates?

Apart from weight loss, some of the other health benefits of dates include:

  • The antioxidants present in dates such as phenolic acids, flavonoids and carotenoids may help reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of chronic health conditions such as Diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancers.
  • Some studies suggest that dates, when consumed in the last months of pregnancy, may induce natural labour and ease the pain associated with it. 
  • Dates are packed with potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus, which are all known to promote better bone health. They may even prevent bone conditions such as osteoporosis.
  • As dates are low on the glycaemic index, and high on fibre, they cause a slower rise in blood sugar levels, which makes them a great option for managing diabetes.

Don’t Have Time To Read?

  • Dates are a high-fibre (7 g in each 100 g) dried fruit. Fibre-rich foods promote a feeling of fullness and prevent frequent snacking or binge-eating, thus helping with weight loss. However, there is not enough scientific evidence to suggest that dates help with weight loss. 
  • When on a weight loss diet, limit your consumption of dates to not more than 100 g (4 to 5) per day due to the high calorie and sugar content in dates. 
  • You can add dates to your breakfast bowls, eat them with a cup of milk, make energy balls with them, add them to your salads or use them in the form of a puree as an alternative to sugar.
  • You can enjoy dates at any time of the day, such as before a workout session, at breakfast, as an afternoon or evening snack or as a nighttime snack.
  • Overconsumption of dates can cause weight gain due to the high calorie content. Those with diabetes or kidney disease should limit their consumption of dates due to the high sugar and potassium content of dates. 
  • Dates can reduce the risk of chronic health conditions such as heart disease, help manage Diabetes, promote better bone health, and may help induce natural labour. 
  • Use the Phable Care App to consult India's leading nutritionists and dieticians to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Check out our store to order healthy treats, weighing scales, fitness bands, and more! We also have a Weight Management Program which provides 360º care. Start your weight management journey with Phable. 

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