If diabetics or endurance athletes opt for dates, date sugar , date syrup and date paste , this has a number of advantages over refined sugar. I’ll list them for you, along with the caveats for glycemic load and tell you how you can prevent hypo in diabetes, but also how you can avoid the “blow of the hammer” as an athlete.
Three benefits of dates for diabetics:
- Dates and date products belong (in moderation) in the diet for diabetics.
The Glycemic Index of date products is low or flirts with a normal glycemic index. Great for diabetics.
- These fantastic drupes are a good source of fiber, minerals, vitamins, polyphenols and antioxidants.
The antioxidants in date sugar, date paste and date syrup help to prevent or improve the aging that diabetics suffer from due to their poor insulin metabolism.
- Polyphenols in dates and date products such as sugar, paste and syrup are excellent for helping diabetics with healthy diets and more particularly with healthy sugar alternatives.
Side note for glycemic load
Dates and date products contain 70 to 80% carbohydrates. That is a lot of energy and a lot of carbohydrates (sugars). Normally you do not eat (too) many dates, so that the glycemic load is rather low. The glycemic load indicates how many carbohydrates are in a product, taking into account the amount of food per normal serving.
Two large pitted dates together weigh 20 grams = 16 grams of carbohydrates x GI 50 (glycemic index of dates): 100 = a glycemic load of 8.
1 slice of bread is 35 grams = 13 grams of carbohydrates x GI 74 (glycemic index of bread): 100 = a glycemic load of 10.
Glycemic index of dates, date sugar, date syrup and date paste:
Glycemic index of dates 40 – 50
Glycemic Index Date Paste: GI of 50
Glycemic Index Date Syrup: GI of 54
Glycemic Index Date Sugar: GI of 55
How do you prevent hypo in people with diabetes?
The amount of sugar in the blood is constantly changing. This is due to food, drink, exercise, stress, emotions or the flu. A blood sugar level that is too low is called hypoglycemia, or in short hypo. Hypo symptoms include: sweating, palpitations, yawning, hunger, confused, moody and headache. The higher glycemic load of dates is for diabetics to avoid getting into a hypo. In other words, to prevent you from having too little glucose in your blood and thus preventing fainting.
The glycemic load of dates is high and prevents and restores low blood sugar in people with diabetes.
How many dates or date products can you use as a diabetic?
1 date, or 1 small tablespoon of date sugar , or 1 tablespoon of date syrup or a chunk, the size of a date, date paste .
Date products are so much healthier than sugar, cola or grape sugar with an (upcoming) dip (hypo). The effect of a date is slightly slower than with cola or grape sugar, but the relapse is less because the effect lasts longer.
How do you help athletes avoid “the hammer blow”?
The higher glycemic load of dates is good during sports and exercise.
Date products are ideal for endurance athletes to prevent your glycogen (carbohydrate) stock from running out. Endurance athletes know this as if the man with the hammer comes along. You can’t get any further. Suddenly your legs don’t want to anymore. Because the direct energy is no longer available. In other words, the glycogen stock is exhausted. Date products ensure that you have energy for longer and are so much healthier than sugar, cola or grape sugar with an (upcoming) dip.
To avoid the “blow of the hammer” during endurance sports, take 1 date, or 1 small tablespoon of date sugar , or 1 tablespoon of date syrup or a chunk , the size of a date, of date paste every hour. Depends from person to person.