Dates are a type of fruit and, like all plant products, are cholesterol-free. You'll only find cholesterol in animal foods such as meat, butter and cheese, so replacing animal-based snacks with dates in your diet may help keep your arteries clear. Dates contain more calories than most other fruits, however, making them more likely to lead to weight gain. Maintaining a healthy weight helps keep cholesterol levels low, so consume only one or two dates per sitting.
If you're seeking foods that have proven cholesterol-lowering properties, dates are not the most potent choice. Dates do provide dietary fiber -- 1.6 grams of it per pitted date -- which you may have heard -- helps reduce cholesterol in the blood. Dates contain mainly insoluble fiber, however, and only have traces of soluble fiber. Although soluble fiber has been shown to reduce cholesterol, insoluble fiber has not. Good sources of soluble fiber include kidney beans, pears and plums.
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