How many dates should I eat a day when trying to lose or gain weight?

  • The nutrients in dates can contribute to bettering your health.
  • Dates can also help when you are trying to lose or gain weight.
  • When eaten the right way, dates can be a great addition to your diet and help you reach your body goals!

People have been eating dates as a snack for a long time. We may not know how eating even a single date per day can make our bodies healthier. Whether you are trying to lose weight, gain weight, or you are being intentional with what you put in your body. You must know how many dates are too many or not enough to eat per day. 

The US Department of Agriculture says one pitted date is 7.1 grams which are 20 calories for every date you eat. Past studies say that dates have strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumorous nutrients and may even cure some diseases. The suggested number of dates you can eat daily is about 100 grams of dates, four to five medium-sized dates. 

 

The United States Department of Agriculture breaks down the nutrients in 100 grams of dates as follows:

  • Water 21.3 grams
  • Calories 277kcal
  • Protein 1.81 grams
  • Fats 0.15 grams
  • Carbohydrates 75 grams
  • Dietary Fibre 6.7grams
  • Calcium 64 milligrams 
  • Iron 0.9 milligrams
  • Magnesium 54 milligrams
  • Potassium 696 milligrams 
  • Sodium 1 milligram
 

Through this composition, we see the necessary components in 100 grams or four to five medium dates or a quarter cup of dates, and from it, we can derive how many dates to eat a day when trying to lose, gain or maintain their weight.

 

How many dates to eat per day for weight loss

We now know about the high fiber content in dates. Because of this,  a couple of dates in the morning can help you feel fuller for longer, thus assisting in weight loss. Dates are an amazing source of fats and proteins that aid weight loss.

Dates can also be used as a sweetener because they do not spike blood sugar as quickly as other sweeteners despite being naturally high in sugars. Dates can also be used as a snack as they keep you fuller for longer. Without the added unwanted calories and trans fat that may come from other unhealthy snacks.

But like most things, moderation is key when adding dates to your weight loss journey. So it is important to know how many dates you should eat a day to lose weight.

A study done in 2020 showed that a daily intake of three dates did not contribute to the increase of weight to the group of people in the study. There is another study on the consumption of dates and their link to type 2 diabetes. It shows how three dates a day can improve an individual’s health while still maintaining cholesterol levels. 

This indicates that eating three dates a day can lead to weight loss.

How many dates to eat per day for weight gain

With anything that has a high calorie intake, such as dates, when consumed in high amounts can lead to weight gain. For anyone that is trying to gain weight, it is recommended to eat above the average recommended dates that are four to five daily to achieve your goal.

Studies have pointed out that eating from five to eight dates a day can lead to weight gain. As one date equals 20 calories, you will have consumed about 100 to 170 calories by eating five to eight dates.

Dates also help in the improvement of the digestive system, especially when trying to gain weight. Your body, especially your gut is being introduced to a lot more calories, protein, and fats. During this time most people may experience symptoms of constipation.  Meaning the maintenance of your gut health should be a priority when gaining weight. A study randomly placed men into two groups, group one ate seven dates a day and group two ate a carbohydrates and sugar mixture every day and after a period of time, they switched. At the end of the study, their bowel movement frequency had improved.

This shows us that you can still eat the above-average amount of recommended dates a day, gain weight and still be able to maintain your gut health.

Through this article, we have seen how dates can help a person’s well-being. Whether they want to gain or lose weight. We have also seen the importance of eating dates in moderation. After reading this article, we recommend that you first speak to a health professional or registered dietitian so that can give you the perfect amount of dates you should be eating a day for you.

Summary

If you’re diabetic, you will always have to manage your blood sugar.  This does not mean avoiding carbs including fruits completely.  For example, you can still consume a moderate portion of dates daily.  These naturally sweet dates can be safely added to your diabetic diet.  In fact, they are a good source of fiber, natural sugar, and antioxidants.  They also have a low glycemic index that supports diabetes.  Dates will keep you full longer and improve your health in so many ways.  For example, they will improve your bowel health, triglyceride levels, and bone health.  Date fruits are full of nutrients and not only sugar.

SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION:

  • Antioxidants: substances that prevent or delay damage to cells caused by free radicals. These radicals can play a role in cancer, heart diseases, and many others. 
  • Anti-inflammatory: Property of a substance or treatment that reduces inflammation or swelling (i.e Aspirin)
  • Anti-tumorous: Property of a substance that prevents the formation and growth of tumors
  • Blood sugars: The concentration of glucose in the blood
  • Carbohydrates: Are simple sugars found mainly in plants (i.e Glucose)
  • Fibers: A type of carbohydrates and fruits that cannot be digested.
  • Calories: A unit of energy in food
  • Fatty acids: These are the building blocks of the fat in our bodies from the foods we eat.
  • Type 2 diabetes: A chronic disease that affects the way the body processes blood sugar or glucose
  • Trans Fat: A type of fat that is usually found in some processed foods like fried foods and snack foods
Written by:
Innocensia Kambewe
Public Health Specialist
Reviewed by:
Registered Dietitian

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