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The low-carb ketogenic diet is a popular but controversial way to lose weight. It’s popular because it works. Cutting carbs from your diet forces your body to burn more fat for fuel, which is part of the reason keto is so effective.
However, keto also goes against many of the tenants of nutrition.
The good news is that, contrary to popular opinion, keto is very safe and has been around for well over a century.
This low-carb diet was used to treat epileptic children before it became popular for weight loss.
The most common interpretation of keto, the Atkins diet, has been around for nearly 50 years, which strongly suggests this diet works. It’s clearly here to stay!
Of course, to follow the keto diet, you need to watch what you eat and avoid foods (like pumpkin) that contain too many carbs. This raises the question, are dates keto, or are they best left out of your keto eating plan?
Keep reading to find out!
Are Dates Keto?
What Are Dates?
Dates are the fruit of tropical date palm trees. They’re very popular in Eastern and
Mediterranean regions, where there are eaten as snacks and also used as ingredients in many meals and desserts.
Some countries give dates as festive gifts, and they’re often used as a nutritious alternative to sugar.
Most dates are sold dried. They have a stone in the middle, which is inedible.
YOU can buy pitted dates to save you from removing the stones yourself, although dates are also sold pre-pitted.
Dates are sweet and chewy and contain several beneficial nutrients.
There are several types of dates, with Medjool and Deglet Noor dates being the most popular.
Like most dried fruits, dates are a concentrated source of nutrients. Two (2) dates provide:
- 133 calories
- 36 grams of carbohydrates
- 3.2 grams of fiber
- 32.8 grams of net (useable) carbs
- 0.8 grams of protein
- 0 grams of fat
Dates are also high in several important micronutrients:
- Vitamin B6
In addition, dates are a rich source of antioxidants, including carotenoids and phenolic acid.
The Benefits of Eating Dates
Like most types of fruit, dates offer several noteworthy nutritional and health benefits:
Better digestion – dates are high in fiber, which may help prevent constipation. Straining to go the bathroom can increase the risk of hemorrhoids, diverticulitis, and colorectal cancer.
Fiber is indigestible plant material, also known as non-starch polysaccharides. Because it’s indigestible, for all intents and purposes, it’s calorie-free and is also very filling. Most people should eat about 35 grams of fiber per day.
Improved heart health – the antioxidants in dates could offer protection from heart disease. Studies suggest that eating dates can increase good HDL cholesterol while lowering bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
They may also prevent the build-up of plaque that causes coronary heart disease.
Protection against free radicals – free radicals are molecules with unpaired electrons in their outer shells. This makes them unstable and highly reactive.
Free radicals cause damage to cells and DNA and can cause a host of illnesses, not least cancer. The antioxidants in dates offer powerful protection against free radicals.
Are Dates Keto?
With about 33 grams of carbs per two-date serving, it’s safe to say that dates are NOT keto-friendly.
Even eating just one could be enough to kick you out of ketosis and derail your diet.
Dates are undoubtedly tasty and healthy, but, unfortunately, they are not compatible with the low-carb ketogenic diet.
However, you can still eat plenty of fruits on keto, including watermelon, coconut, avocado, blueberries, strawberries, and apricots.
Most of them are not just lower in sugar and carbs than dates but also more nutritious.
For example, avocados and coconuts contain fats that can help you lose weight faster. So, don’t feel bad that you can’t eat dates on keto, as there are lots of things you can eat instead.
A lot of people think that they can’t fruit on keto. And while it’s true that high sugar fruits like peaches, bananas, and dates are off the menu, there are still plenty of types of fruit you can eat.
It’s also worth noting that vegetables are generally lower in carbs and contain more nutrients, making them the ideal choice for ketogenic dieting.
Keto is often said to lack vitamins, minerals, and fiber, but that doesn’t have to be the case. There are lots of nutritious, low-carb foods you can eat on keto. It doesn’t have to lead to malnutrition!
So, while you can’t eat dates on keto, you can still fill your plate with lots of other low-carb fruits and vegetables.