Dried Dates: Does the Additional Sugar Make it Bad for You?

Dried Dates: Does the Additional Sugar Make it Bad for You?

We are often told that vegetables and fruits, such as dried dates, are good for our health. But, how does the drying effect change the nutritional quality of the dates? This article discusses how dried dates can affect your blood sugar, weight and teeth. Be sure to consider all of the points before making a decision on whether or not dried dates are right for your family.

The Effect on Your Blood Sugar

One of the biggest ways that the additional sugar in dried dates can affect your health is through its effect on your blood sugar. Your blood sugar not only gives you the energy needed to make it through the day, but also helps in the regulation of many important body processes, such as the release of insulin from the pancreas. When you eat a meal that is high in sugar, such as dried dates, a high amount of sugar enters your blood stream. This is subsequently followed by a significant blood sugar drop, when all of the sugar is metabolized and excreted from the body. This can be dangerous due to the feelings of dizziness, shakiness, nausea and lightheadedness often associated with blood sugar drops. In some severe conditions, extreme changes in blood sugar can even cause hospitalization.

The Effect on Your Waistline

But, what about the effect of the additional sugar in the dried dates on your waistline? To discuss this question, you must understand how calories work. In reality, not all calories are created equal. Protein and carbohdyrates each contain approximately four calories per gram, while fat contains nine calories per gram. The sugar found in dried dates is a type of simple carbohydrate, and therefore contains only four calories per gram, making it relatively healthy compared to some other foods that may be high in fat.

The Effect on Your Teeth

The sugar will play a major role in the health (or lack thereof) of your teeth. Research has found that foods which contain high amounts of dietary sugar, such as soda, candy and other sugary foods are the major contributors to dental decal and cavities. Therefore, it is important that foods with a high sugar content (such as dried dates) are avoided whenever possible.

The Verdict

While the sugar may not specifically contribute to weight gain, it won't help you lose weight, either. Therefore, the additional sugar found in dried dates does make it slightly unhealthy. For best results, choose fresh or frozen dates. These will have the vitamins, minerals and fiber you need for good health, without providing high amounts of dietary sugar.