Wondering if dates are keto-friendly? In this article, we’ll delve into the nutritional benefits of this fruit and determine its suitability for those following a low-carb or ketogenic diet. We’ll also provide a keto-friendly way to enjoy dates without exceeding your daily carbohydrate quota, along with low-carb alternatives to this natural sweetener.
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Dates have gained popularity in recent years and are often hailed as a superfood. They are widely used as a natural sweetener in paleo-friendly desserts. However, concerns have been raised about their high sugar content, which may pose challenges for individuals on a low-carb or ketogenic diet.
If you’re aiming to maintain a state of ketosis, it’s crucial to pay special attention to the macronutrients found in this tropical fruit.
What Are Dates?
Dates are the fruit of the date palm tree, originally cultivated in Middle Eastern countries. Today, they are grown in tropical regions across the globe. These fruits are naturally high in sugar and can be consumed fresh or dried. Once the pit is removed, dates can be eaten whole or used to sweeten baked goods and smoothies.
Are Dates Keto?
Due to their high carb content, dates are not an ideal choice for a ketogenic diet. In fact, one cup of pitted and chopped dates contains nearly 100 grams of net carbs, surpassing the carb levels found in starches like rice or potatoes.
How Many Net Carbs in Dates?
According to the USDA, one cup of chopped dates contains approximately 98 grams of net carbs. Here are the detailed nutritional facts for one cup of dates:
|Value||Net Carbs||Fat||Protein||Total Carbs||Fiber||Calories|
Are Dates Low in Carbs?
For those following a low-carb diet, it is advisable to limit the consumption of dates. The popular Deglet Noor date contains 20 calories each, with 5.3 grams of net carbs. A small handful of dates can have as many carbs as a serving of rice. Moreover, dates are low in fat, making it challenging to fit them into your macros on a keto or low-carb diet.
How Many Dates Can I Eat on Keto?
Everyone’s macro requirements differ, and your carb allowance may be higher or lower compared to others on a keto diet. Typically, a successful keto diet involves limiting carb intake to around 50 grams per day. Since a single date provides over 5 grams of carbs, it is crucial to ration them carefully to fit within your dietary goals. Additionally, most individuals may find it best to avoid dates altogether.
Dates Nutrition (Dates Macros)
How Many Carbs in Dates?
Dates are rich in sugar, resulting in a high carb content. A typical date contains approximately 5 grams of carbs and only ½ a gram of fiber. As the fruit ripens, the fructose content increases, contributing to its sweetness.
Dates have minimal to negligible fat content.
Dates are not a significant source of protein. For keto-friendly protein, consider incorporating seafood, beef, chicken, or eggs into your diet.
A single date weighing around 7 grams contains 20 calories, primarily derived from carbs. Medjool dates, which weigh an average of 24 grams each, contain a staggering 66.5 calories.
Keto Dates Substitutes
Although dates are commonly used in paleo-friendly desserts, they are less suitable for a ketogenic diet due to their high carb content. Instead, opt for low- or no-carb sweeteners like stevia, monk fruit, or erythritol.
What Fruits Are Keto-Friendly?
While most fruits are not keto-friendly due to their high carb content, there are a few exceptions you can enjoy on a keto diet:
Are Medjool Dates Keto-Friendly?
Medjool dates are larger than regular dates and therefore contain a higher carb count. Even with a small serving of three dates, you can easily exceed your daily carb limit and potentially be kicked out of ketosis. Three Medjool dates provide nearly 50 grams of carbs, most of which come from sugar.
Keto Chocolate Dates Balls
If you’d like to incorporate dates into your keto diet, we have a delicious recipe for keto chocolate date balls. These protein-packed treats are keto-friendly and Whole30 approved. Enjoy them as a pre-workout snack or to satisfy your sweet tooth between meals.
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