If you are a diabetic with a sweet tooth, eating dates or khajoor in moderation can be a healthy choice to satisfy your sugar cravings. High in fructose but very nutritious, dates are a reservoir of fiber, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamins A, K and B. The good thing is that they have a low glycemic index (GI) and an average glycemic load (GL). This means that while people with diabetes should not overeat khajoor or dates, they can safely consume them in moderation as a natural sugar substitute in their meals. The trick is to combine them with healthy, diabetes-friendly ingredients that wouldn’t cause a sugar spike. (Also read: Ayurvedic expert on rules for eating dates or khajoor, benefits, best time to eat)
“Dates are among the healthiest foods, are delicious and have a low glycemic index. In addition, many studies have come to the conclusion that dates do not raise blood sugar levels. They are very nutritious and contain a range of essential components.In addition to fructose, they are also high in dietary fibre, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamins A, K and B complexes. Congestion, heart disease and diarrhea are just a few of the problems these nutrients help solve,” says nutritionist Anupama Menon.
“Dates are considered highly nutritious due to the presence of healthy antioxidants, fiber, and slow-absorbing natural sugars. Diabetics can safely include dates in their diet with a few considerations. The Average GI of Dates is 42. This makes it a low GI food and safe for diabetics when eaten in moderation,” says Arooshi Garg, Lifestyle Expert and Nutritionist, GOQii.
Garg says the fiber in dates helps the body absorb carbohydrates slowly, which prevents sudden spikes in blood sugar.
Diabetics should try combining dates with a source of complex protein to manage their blood sugar.
HEALTH KHAJOOR OR DATES RECIPES FOR DIABETES
Anupama Menon and Arooshi Garg suggest some healthy ways to consume dates for people with diabetes:
Menon says dates, when used, should be of the unsweetened natural variety, especially when dealing with diabetics. The nutritionist says these dates are a great way to curb sugar cravings.
1. Sweet Chutney
“Make the traditional sweet chutney with dates where you pressure cook 100g of dates with 100g of tamarind with a little chilli powder and salt. Once cooled, the porridge is crushed and strained to make the chutney of traditional meetha that could be used in bhel or as a dip.. You can use about 2-3 teaspoons a day,” says Menon.
2. Date milkshake
“Dates can be soaked for 3 to 4 hours in milk, then mixed to make a milkshake with lots of ice for a hot summer day,” Menon explains.
3. Dried fruit balls with dates
“To do this, mix together chopped dates, grated almonds, pistachios and pine nuts. Shape the mixture into small balls and coat them with the toasted sesame seeds. Let them set for a few hours in the fridge and enjoy this treat healthy,” says Arooshi. Garg.
4. Laddoo Dates and Oats
“To make this simple recipe, mix together toasted oats, add roasted ragi flour. In a blender, add 5-6 pitted dates and blend. Then add the oats and ragi and a choice of nuts. Shape the dough into mini ladoos,” says Garg.
5. Halwa dates
“Enjoy this delicious halwa with a healthy twist. To soak 6-7 pitted dates in hot milk. Blend them to make a fine puree. ghee. Then add the prepared date puree and add a little cardamom powder. Once the mixture leaves the side of the pan, turn off the heat and enjoy this warm winter treat!” said Garg.
6. Date Smoothie
Another protein-rich recipe suitable for diabetics. In a blender add 2 dates and 250 ml of milk. Make a fine puree. Add a few almonds and half a teaspoon of flax seeds and a pinch of ground cinnamon. Blend it all together to enjoy a guilt-free smoothie, says Garg.
7. Oatmeal and date kheer
Savor this traditional Indian recipe with a healthy twist. Boil 500 ml of skimmed milk. Add 5-6 sliced dates and 3 tablespoons roasted oatmeal. Cook for 5 minutes, add a few dried rose petals or cardamom powder for an irresistible aroma. Serve warm on a winter evening, shares Garg.
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