Dates are the dark reddish-brown fruit that grows on the date palm. They are 1 1/2 inches long and have a waxy-film coating. Each cluster of dates can hold 600 to 1,700 dates. These little fruits are packed full of carbohydrates, sugars and dietary fiber, as well as vitamins and minerals. The nutritional content varies, depending on the type of date you are eating.
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Carbohydrates are a main diet component and are essential for providing energy to your body. They are broken into simple carbohydrates, which contain one or two sugars, and complex carbohydrates which contain three or more sugars. The sugars that make up carbohydrates include fructrose, galactose, lactose, maltose and sucrose. Carbohydrates should account for 45 to 65 percent of your daily calories. If you are following a 2,000-calorie diet, you should be eating 225 to 325 g of carbohydrates, which equal 900 to 1,300 calories.
Dietary fiber is found in plants and is an essential part of a healthy diet. On nutrition labels, it is usually in the carbohydrate section. Dietary fiber adds bulk to your diet, which makes you feel full, aids in digestion and helps to prevent constipation. Dietary fiber is either soluble or insoluble. Soluble fiber is usually found in fruits. It lowers cholesterol, according to the National Institutes of Health. Women should consume 22 to 28 g of fiber daily, and men should consume 28 to 34 g, according to the Mayo Clinic website.
Medjool dates are the diamond of dates, according to Susan Russo of NPR's "Kitchen Windows" program. They are a deep amber-brown and extremely soft and sweet, with a hint of caramel, honey and cinnamon. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Nutrient Database, one medjool date has 66 calories, .043 g of fat, 17.99 g of carbohydrates and 1.6 g of dietary fiber. The carbohydrates can be broken down to 0.13 g of sucrose, 8.08 g of glucose, 7.67 g of fructrose and 0.07 g of maltose. These dates also provide calcium, trace amounts of the B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin K and lutein.
Deglet Noor Dates
Deglet noor dates are the chewier dates often found in trail mixes, according to the organic growers' website Local Harvest. They are not as sticky as medjool dates and do not need refrigeration. A single date has 20 calories, 0.17 g of protein, 0.03 g of fat, 5.33 g of carbohydrates and 0.6 g of dietary fiber. Carbohydrates can be broken down into 1.69 g of sucrose, 1.41 g of glucose, 1.39 g of fructose and 0.01 g of maltose, according to the USDA's Nutrient Database. Vitamins and minerals include calcium, potassium, magnesium, lutein and trace amounts of iron, the B vitamins and vitamin K.