As far as health food goes, dates are not one of the most frequently talked about foods. Actually, a lot of people seem to dislike this relative of the popular grape, even in their dried out, wrinkly forms. But dates, like raisins, have a lot of healthy properties.
A study at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, found that for all the sugary sweetness of dates, they don’t significantly raise blood sugar. They have a low glycemic index therefore, and that means they’re an option for people considering a wide range of health concerns, from diabetes to cardiovascular health to liver issues.
“This study was designed to determine the glycemic indices of five commonly used varieties of dates in healthy subjects and their effects on postprandial glucose excursions in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus,” wrote the researchers.
“Composition analysis was carried out for five types of dates. Each subject was tested on eight separate days with 50 g of glucose (on 3 occasions) and 50 g equivalent of available carbohydrates from the 5 varieties of date (each on one occasion).
“Capillary glucose was measured in the healthy subjects at 0, 15, 30, 45, 60, 90 and 120 min and for the diabetics at 0, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150 and 180 min.”
The team found that “there were no statistically significant differences in the GIs between the control and the diabetic groups for the five types of dates, nor were there statistically significant differences among the dates’ GIs,” leading them to conclude the following:
“The results show low glycemic indices for the five types of dates included in the study and that their consumption by diabetic individuals does not result in significant postprandial glucose excursions. These findings point to the potential benefits of dates for diabetic subjects when used in a healthy balanced diet.”
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