I was wrong again.
Dates made the list of 150 of the Healthiest Foods on Earth, but not because of their nutritional value or amazing health benefits, but because they are “natures candy.”
Yikes. I thought they were a little more healthy & nutritious than that.
Dr. Bowden said “if you’re trying to lose weight and control sugar, you might want to pass on this one,” which definitely makes me second guess my date eating extravaganza.
I bought a pint of dates at The Fresh Market this weekend and I’ve eaten almost half of the container! I just found out that each date has 66 calories is filled with sugar. It is very hard to eat only one date, in fact this morning I think I already had 10 as my mid-morning snack. Does that mean I just had 660 calories? Oh my gosh! I had no idea that dates were filled with that many calories. I guess that dates are good if you have them as a treat, but not as I’ve been doing, which is tricking myself into thinking they were a “free” healthy food.
However, dates pack a nutritional punch with calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamin A. They also have 1.5 grams of fiber each, but dates do not fill me up like other high fiber foods.
While dates may not be the best choice for those watching their weight, they are an excellent choice for incorporating more fruit into a picky eater’s diet. Dates are excellent chopped up in a trail mix, mixed into cereal or just plain. Try to avoid the pre-chopped version at the grocery store though, they add even more sugar to the dates when processing.
Try out this excellent recipe for making your very own Date & Cherry Lara Bar:
- 1/4 c. dates,
- 1/4 c. dried cherries
- 1/3 c. whole pecans, almonds, or walnuts,
- 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
Lay two pieces of plastic wrap on counter. Place fruit in food processor and pulse until it has a paste-like texture. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add nuts to food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add nuts to bowl with the fruit. Add all other ingredients. Use fingers to knead into a paste.
Divide mixture in half. Place each half on plastic wrap. Wrap plastic around mixture and form into a bar shape. Wrap tightly in plastic and store in the refrigerator. Makes 2 bars.
Got a great date recipe? Please share!