Thursday, 15 March 2018

Dates don't cause blood sugar problems, unless there is fructose intolerance

IMG_3018 Dates in a box.
Dates in a box.

Dates have a low glycemic index, a 2011 study published in the Nutrition Journal has found. The research compared the glucose levels for healthy subjects against that of diabetics whose glucose levels are controlled after eating equivalent amounts of Fara'd, Lulu, Bo ma'an, Dabbas and Khalas dates.

Mean glycemic indices were very similar for the two groups, suggesting that diabetics can include dates as part of a balanced diet with no problems.

The same principal researchers compared what happened if healthy subjects and diabetics drank traditional Arabic coffee when they ate Khalas dates. The study, published in 2013 in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, established that there are no significant differences between the two groups whether they had coffee with the dates, or without.

2016 study has found that dates can cause low blood sugar symptoms for individuals who have heredity fructose intolerance (HFI) however.

Author Dr Mohammed Yasawy of the Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine and King Fahd Hospital of the University of Dammam, KSA, described three siblings in the Journal of Family Community Medicine who reported that they avoided eating dates because of symptoms such as bloating, nausea, and, if they ate large numbers of dates, sleepiness, sweating, and shivering - the symptoms of hypoglycemia. Dates are known to contain high levels of fructose. The patients have remained symptom free after following a fructose-free diet.

"If fructose intake is restricted and its intravenous (IV) administration is strictly avoided, serious life-threatening complications can be prevented. Continuous use of oral fructose intake may lead to renal failure and liver cirrhosis," Dr Mohammed wrote of susceptible individuals.


Read the Suroor Asia blog post about the benefits of dates