What is the Glycemic Index (GI) of dates?

  • Glycemic index (GI) is a measure used to assess how a food affects blood sugar levels. 
  • Foods with a high glycemic index raise blood sugar levels faster than foods with low GI. As for the glycemic index of dates, they have a low glycemic load and are a good source of fruit for energy and nutrition.

Glycemic index (GI) is a scale to measure how quickly a  food raises your blood sugar levels. According to the World Health Organization, 422 million people across the globe have diabetes.  Physicians recommend adopting healthy eating behaviors, including low glycemic foods. Dates are low glycemic and contain natural sugar. For people with diabetes, dates can be part of a balanced diet. Combining dates with a protein source like nuts, cheese, or yogurt can further help balance the natural sugar and improve your blood glucose response.

 The natural product does contain sugars, but they are way much better than artificial sugars that are risky for your health.

Can I have dates in a diabetic diet?

You can enjoy dates as part of a diet for diabetes. Dates are low on the glycemic index, part of a diet for diabetes. They are also nutritious and contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, copper, potassium, iron, and antioxidants. People with diabetes may be resistant to or deficient in insulin production.  Consuming food with high glycemic levels will spike your glucose level quickly. Slow and steady food will aid in maintaining blood sugar like corn, rice, cereals, nuts, and low-fat dairy items. The fiber in dates is both soluble and insoluble, which means some are digestible and some are not. Indigestible fibers do not impact blood sugar levels.

Daily consumption of dates:

Dietitians encourage you to have dates in your diet but in moderation. One-half cup of dates provides 282g of calories, 75g of carbohydrates, dietary fibers, and 63g of sugars. In the case of diabetes, it is permissible to have 2-3 dates a day, following the caution to avoid other sugar sources. Three dates will provide you with 54g of carbohydrates and a glycemic load around 15-30. Fructose is the type of sugar in dates, with 13-24g present per 100g serving of fresh dates. 

Scale to follow for glycemic index:

 Foods with GI below 55 are considered low glycemic. Glycemic index between 56-69 counts for moderate GI foods. Above 70-100 GI are considered higher carbohydrates. Studies have shown that the glycemic index of dates is between 44-53, depending on the type of dates. Take a look at the different foods you consume for their GI range. 

Glycemic Load is used to further assess how a 100g serving of the food affects your blood sugar levels. The numeric score from the Glycemic index into carbohydrates per 100g serving will yield the glycemic index. For example, khudri dates have a glycemic index of 61.7, while their glycemic load is only 14.2. This formula indicates the amount of food needed to have higher or lower blood sugar levels.

Aspects affecting Glycemic Index:

It might interest you to keep the glycemic index of food low by combining moderate or high glycemic index foods with low glycemic index foods.   Further, the GI of foods can change as they ripen. Fully ripened fruits show a higher glycemic index than unripe.

Dates in varying forms still show a lower glycemic index:

You can have dates in any of the forms like fresh dates, dried dates, or dates syrup. All will count for low glycemic values. Unlike other foods, dates are set apart for their many characteristics, one of them being the low glycemic index. Eat dates if you want to focus on your health. 

Glycemic index (GI) of foods is the scale that assesses how much a food increases or decreases blood sugar levels.   Eating more foods with a low glycemic index can keep blood sugar levels stable and prevent blood sugar-related chronic conditions. We believe dates can be a healthy part of anyone’s diet, especially in moderation. 


Dates, among many other foods, hold a low glycemic index with natural sweetness. Due to their low GI, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, they have many health benefits. This winter, enjoy the sweetness and warmth of dates. 


  • Glycemic Index: It is used to measure how much food can increase the blood glucose level.
  • Chronic illness: Disease or illness that persists for a long time or can reoccur at any time.
Written by:
Ifrah Awais, MS



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