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Diabetes: 7 healthy dates or khajoor recipes for people with diabetes

If you are a diabetic with a sweet tooth, eating dates or khajoor in moderation can be a healthy choice for you to satisfy your sugar cravings. High on fructose but highly nutritious, dates are a storehouse of fibre, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins A, K, and B-complex. Good thing is that they are low in Glycaemic index (GI) and have medium Glycemic load (GL). This means that while people with diabetes shouldn’t go overboard eating khajoor or dates, they can safely enjoy them in moderation as a natural sugar substitute in their meals. The trick is to combine them with healthy and diabetes-friendly ingredients that would not cause a sugar spike. (Also read: Ayurveda expert on rules to eat dates or khajoor, benefits, best time to eat)

“Dates are among the healthiest foods, are delicious, and have a low glycaemic index. Additionally, numerous studies came to the conclusion that dates do not cause blood sugar levels to surge. They are very nutritious and packed with a range of essential components. They also have a lot of dietary fibre, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins A, K, and B-complex in addition to fructose. Congestion, heart disease, and diarrhoea are just a few issues that these nutrients help with,” says Nutritionist Anupama Menon.

“Dates are considered to be highly nutritious due to the presence of healthy antioxidants, fibre and natural slow absorbing sugars. Diabetics can safely include dates in their diet with a few considerations. The average GI of dates is 42. This makes them a low GI food and safe for diabetics when eaten in moderation,” says Arooshi Garg, Lifestyle Expert and Nutritionist, GOQii.

Garg says the fibre present in dates helps the body absorb carbohydrates slowly which in turn prevents sudden spikes in sugar level in the bloodstream.

Diabetics should try combining dates with a source of complex proteins to manage blood sugar levels.


Anupama Menon and Arooshi Garg suggest some healthy ways to consume dates for people with diabetes:

Menon says dates, when used, must be the unsweetened natural variety, especially when it comes to diabetics. The nutritionist says such dates are a great way to cut down on sugar cravings.

1. Sweet Chutney

“Make the traditional sweet chutney with dates where you pressure cook 100g dates with 100g tamarind with a little chilli powder and salt. Once cooled, the mush is ground and filtered to make the traditional meetha chutney that could be used in bhel or as a dip. One can use about 2-3 tsp a day,” says Menon.

2. Dates milkshake

“Dates can be soaked for 3-4 hours in milk and then blended to make a milkshake with lots of ice for a hot summer’s day,” says Menon.

3. Date dry fruit balls

“To make this mix together some chopped dates, shredded almonds, pistachios and pine nuts. Shape the mixture in small balls and coat with toasted sesame seeds. Let them set for a few hrs in the refrigerator and enjoy this healthy treat,” says Arooshi Garg.

4. Dates and oats Laddoo

“To whip up this simple recipe mix together some toasted rolled oats, add some roasted ragi flour. In a mixer add 5-6 pitted dates and pulse it. Then add oats and ragi and choice of nuts. Shape the dough into mini ladoos,” says Garg.

5. Dates halwa

“Enjoy this delicious halwa with a healthy twist. To make soak 6-7 pitted dates in warm milk. Blend them to make a fine puree. In a pan add 1 tsp ghee, sauté some nuts in ghee. Then add the prepared date puree and add some powdered cardamom. Once the mix leaves the side of the pan, switch off the flame and enjoy this hot winter treat!” says Garg.

6. Dates smoothie

Another high protein recipe apt for diabetics. In a blender add 2 dates and 250 ml milk. Make a fine puree. Add some almonds and half tsp flaxseeds and a pinch of cinnamon powder. Blend this together to enjoy a guilt free smoothie, says Garg.

7. Oats and date kheer

Enjoy this traditional Indian recipe with a healthy twist. Boil 500 ml low fat milk. Add 5-6 sliced dates and 3 tbsp roasted rolled oats. Cook for 5 minutes, add some dried rose petals or cardamom powder for an irresistible aroma. Serve this hot on a winter evening, shares Garg.

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