Dates can skyrocket your fiber intake!

Dates are high in fiber. Insoluble fiber, in particular. They have between 6.3 and 8.4 grams of fiber per 100g, depending on the variety. Just a date provides 6% of the recommended daily intake of fiber. They can help us meet our daily needs of fiber.

How much fiber do dates have?

Dates are particularly rich in fiber. Medjool dates, which are the most common variety of dried dates, have 6.7 g of fiber per 100g (4 pitted dates). This amount is 24% of the Daily Value (DV). The fiber content of other servings is:

  • 1 date has 1.6 g of fiber, or almost 6% of the DV. That’s a serving for people with diabetes.
  • 1/4 cup (or 2 small pitted dates) has about 2.5 g of fiber, or 9% of the DV.
  • 1/2 cup (3 pitted dates) has 5 g of fiber, or 18% of the DV.
  • 1 cup (almost 6 pitted dates) has 10 g of fiber, or 37% of the DV.

Other date varieties have a similar fiber content:

  • Dried Fard dates have 8 g of fiber per 100g, or 29% of the DV. Fard dates have 19% more fiber than medjool dates.
  • Khasab dates have 8.4 g of fiber per 100g, or 30% of the DV.
  • Khalas dates have 6.3 g of fiber per 100g, or 23% of the DV.

The average fiber content of the most common date varieties is 8 g per 100g.

Are dates high in soluble or insoluble fiber?

Dates contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. However, they’re particularly rich in insoluble fiber. Actually, they’re between 84% and 93% insoluble fiber, depending on the date variety.[1]

Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in the water. It absorbs water, making the stool softer. Insoluble fiber has a laxative effect due to increased stool weight. Also, it supports weight loss, as it induces satiety. On the other hand, soluble fiber dissolves in the water, turning to a gel. It’s also good for weight loss, as it slows down digestion.

In fact, dates act as a laxative. They may relieve constipation!

Can dates help us meet the recommended daily intake of fiber?

We should consume at least 28 g of fiber per 2,000 calories.

Actually, a high-fiber diet has been associated with a lower risk of developing heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and certain gastrointestinal diseases. Also, it may reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol, enhance immune functions, and improve insulin sensitivity.[2]

Most people who follow a standard Western diet fail to meet the recommended daily intake of fiber. In fact, about 90% of Americans don’t get enough fiber.

You should gradually increase your daily fiber intake, though. Otherwise, extremely high amounts of fiber may cause side effects, such as stomach discomfort, bloating, or gas.

Fiber in dates prevents spikes of blood sugar!

Despite their high sugar content, dates have a low glycemic index of 55. Foods with a glycemic index less or equal to 55 are characterized by a smaller rise in blood glucose. People with diabetes should consume lots of these foods.[3]

Dates have a low glycemic index because they have a high fiber and polyphenolic content.

Actually, reasonable amounts of dates are beneficial for people with diabetes to control glucose, and reduce high cholesterol.[4,5]

Always consult your physician before changing your diet.

Dates, prunes or raisins have more fiber?

Dates, prunes, and raisins are all excellent dietary sources of fiber. They have a similar fiber content to dates. Dates have about 6.7 g, prunes have 7.1 g, and raisins have 6.8 grams of fiber per 100g.

Do other dried-fruits have a higher fiber content than dates?

There are dried fruits with a higher amount of fiber. Goji berries are the richest dried fruits in fiber. They have twice the amount of fiber than dates! Dehydrated bananas, and dried figs, apples, and blueberries have a higher fiber content than dates as well.

Other favorite dried fruits, such as cranberries, papaya, currants, pineapples, apricots, mangoes, and cherries have less fiber than dates.

fiber (g)
per 100g
fiber (g)
per 1 oz
% DV
goji berries133.713%
Fiber content of favorite dried fruits.[6]

In addition, many dried fruits are excellent dietary sources of minerals, such as iron and calcium. Dates contain decent amounts of iron and calcium.

What’s the best time of the day to eat dates?

A great time to eat dates is after exercise. The sugar in dates helps replenish muscle glycogen and promote recovery. However, you shouldn’t eat dates before a workout. They can cause stomach discomfort, bloating, or gas, due to their high fiber content.

Moreover, you can eat dates, as a healthy snack, between meals. They’re a great snack, as they don’t spike blood sugar levels. Dates have a low glycemic index. Also, fiber in dates promotes satiety. You can eat almonds, peanuts or any other seed or nut with dates. These foods are also high in fiber and have a low glycemic index!

Another great time to eat dates is in the morning. Dates can provide energy, without spiking blood sugar levels! In addition, dates are packed with antioxidants. It’s good for you to increase the antioxidant capacity of the body first thing in the morning. Antioxidant compounds in dates can help the body fight oxidative stress, due to air pollution, sunlight radiation, or smoking.[7,8,9]

How many dates can I eat a day?

Healthy people can eat 2-4 dates a day. People who want to lose weight better consume only 2 dates a day, as they’re high in calories. Just a pitted date has 67 calories! Only athletes and active people should consume more.

Even people with diabetes can eat dates! According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes can consume up to 15 g of carbs per serving. They should be very cautious with portion sizes, though. So, people with diabetes can consume only 2 tbsp of dried fruits, or just a pitted date a day.[9]

Common foods high in fiber

Only plant-based foods, like vegetables, fruits (e.g. avocado), beans, legumes, whole grains, pseudocereals (e.g. quinoa), mushrooms, seeds, and nuts (e.g. walnuts), are good dietary sources of fiber.

Beans are the richest foods in fiber, though. They can help us meet our daily needs. For instance, a serving of lentils, chickpeas, or soybeans provides up to 55% of the DV.

Berries, like raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries are particularly rich in fiber as well.

On the contrary, animal-derived foods, like dairy, eggs, and meat, as well as refined foods contain negligible amounts of fiber.

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