Are Dates Keto Friendly?


While it is okay to sweeten a smoothie with one or two dates or enjoy a small amount of them with a cup of coffee, these sweet chewy, gooey treats pack a high carb punch.  Eat them in moderation while following the Keto diet. 

calories in dates

 How Many Carbs are in Dates?

There are 5.33 grams of carbs in a single Deglet Noor date.  A 100 gram serving of dates (about 3.5 ounces or 14 dates) contains a whopping 75 grams of carbs!

How Many Calories are in Dates?

There are 20 calories in a single date. A 100 gram serving (or 14 dates) serving provides 277 calories.   

Nutrition Facts

Nutritional information for one average-sized date:

Calories 20
Total Fat 0.03 grams
Total Carbohydrates 5.33 grams
Dietary Fiber 0.6 grams
Sugar 4.5 grams
Protein 0.17 grams
Iron 0.07 milligrams
Vitamin B-6 0.012 milligrams

Origin of Dates

Dates are an ancient superfood believed to have originated in the Middle East, near Iraq, and have been cultivated since Mesopotamian times and in prehistoric Egypt. The Ancient Egyptians ate them at harvest and used them to brew date wine.

Dates are too popular in Saudi Arabia, served on most occasions and hospitality. Fresh dates call Retab in Arabic “رطب”, and packed ones called Tamr “تمر”

dates on keto

Most Popular Types of Dates

There are more than 3000 different varieties of dates around the world.  They vary according to size, colour, texture, antioxidant activity, and phenolic content.

There are hundreds of varieties in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Tunisia, Oman and Morocco, respectively, along with many additional varieties in the other major date growing countries. 

The most popular varieties that we know and love are:

  • Barhi – Syrupy rich soft date, soft and fragile.
  • Dayri. – Heavy, sweet tasting, soft date.
  • Deglet Noor – Sweet, slightly dry date known for its “true” date flavor.
  • Halawy, also Halawi.
  • Khadrawy, or Khadrawi.
  • Medjool, or Medjul.
  • Thoory – Sweet, nutty flavoured, dry date.
  • Zahidi.

Amazing Health Benefits of Dates

  • Dates contain vitamins, minerals and a significant amount of both soluble and insoluble fiber.
  • Dates are a good source of antioxidants. All dates, fresh or dried, contain various types of antioxidants.
  • Dates can be good for blood sugar control. Diabetes researchers have proven that dates have a low glycemic impact.
  • Dates can help lower and stabilize blood pressure.
  • Dates promote healthy brain function.
  • Dates prevent bone loss.
  • Dates relieve constipation as they are known to have a laxative effect on the body, and, for this reason, people suffering from constipation are known to consume them frequently. Dates are high in soluble fiber, which is crucial because it promotes healthy bowel movements and also the passage of food comfortably through the intestines.
  • Dates are great for allergies because of their high quantities of organic sulfur.  Since they contain so much natural sulfur, they have been proven to relieve seasonal allergies and help a large variety of allergic reactions.  Organic sulfur is not found in very many foods, but this ingredient is plentiful in dates.
  • Dates are good for a variety of intestinal disorders because they have amounts of nicotine in them, which is thought to be good for certain types of intestinal disorders. If you eat dates on a regular basis, they can actually inhibit the growth of pathological organisms and stimulate the growth of the “good” bacteria in the intestines.
  • Dates are a heart healthy fruit. When they are soaked in water overnight, crushed in the morning, and eaten immediately, they have even been known to have a positive effect on the heart. Dates have a lot of potassium in them, which has been proven to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.  Additionally, they can reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol.
  • Dates are a good way to treat anemia since they contain so many minerals, including iron.  They are a great dietary supplement for anyone who is iron deficient.
  • Dates are wonderful for the nervous system.  As we age, our nervous system may work less efficiently.  Because of the high potassium and vitamin content in dates, they can help your nervous system become healthier and more responsive. Dates improve the alertness and the speed of activity in the brain and help keep your nervous system functioning properly.
  • Dates improve disorders of the skin.  The vitamins C and D in dates work to improve the elasticity of your skin and keeps it smooth. Regular consumption of dates improves the premature signs of aging and improves the appearance of the skin.   
  • Because dates contain a large number of vitamins, they are great for a variety of hair problems. Vitamin B-5 is especially good for the hair, a vitamin that is abundant in dates.  For this reason, eating dates can help with hair loss, split ends, and brittle hair.
  • Dates boost energy levels because they contain a fair amount of natural sugars (fructose).  They make a quick but satiating snack when you’re needing a quick pick-me-up in energy.  They can also be eaten as a post-workout snack to help your body recharge after a tough workout.

Related Questions:    

How are Dates Served?

Dates with Arabic Coffee – Saudis serve their coffee in tiny coffee cups or glasses accompanied by sticky dried dates. Arabic coffee is made from coffee beans roasted at high temperature and cardamom.  It is a traditional beverage in Arab culture and it is traditionally served to guests with dates, dried fruit or nuts.

Dates on their own – They are sweet and soft which makes a perfect indulgent snack all on their own. 

Stuffed dates – When the pits of dates are removed, pockets are left behind in the dates which are perfect for stuffing. Classic fillings are cream cheese, nuts, cacao, or candied oranges or ginger.

dates keto snack
Small bags of packed dates are very suitable as portable snacks to have anywhere you go

Energy bars – Dates they also have a wonderful sticky quality that makes them ideal for including in recipes for energy bars and balls. Bring them with you to work for an energizing pick-me-up or to the gym for a quick post-workout snack.

Dates to sweeten a smoothie – Add one or two dates to sweeten up a smoothie without adding sugar. Not only do they add flavor and sweetness to smoothies, but they also add thickness, too!

Add dates to desserts – Dates can be incorporated into desserts to add sweetness and a chewy texture.  A popular dessert made with dates is date squares, consisting of a thick layer of date mixture sandwiched between two layers of oatmeal crumble.

Are Dates Gluten-Free?

All fresh fruits (including dates) and vegetables are naturally gluten-free. However, some processed fruits and vegetables may contain gluten, which is sometimes added for flavoring or as a thickener.  Always check the ingredients on the packaging to see if wheat is lurking in the product to ensure it is in fact gluten-free.

Are Dates Safe For Diabetics?

Studies show that consumption of dates by both healthy and diabetic individuals does not result in significant blood sugar spikes.  Eating dates is a great alternative for sugar and helps diabetics who have a sweet tooth to avoid foods that are high on the glycemic index.

Are Dates Safe to Eat During Pregnancy?

Dates have no negative side effects for women who are pregnant or nursing and will not harm the fetus in any way, shape or form.  Because of their levels of iron, dates can prevent anemia from occurring in both the fetus and the mother. They also improve the uterine muscles to prepare for child-birth.  Dates also provide the nutrition the mother needs to produce milk.

In addition, they can even prevent hemorrhaging after birth.  These are just a few of the benefits this fruit provides to pregnant women and their babies, but in actual fact, there are so many more!  So feel free to enjoy dates while you’re pregnant or nursing.

Melissa Marshall

A litigation paralegal and writer. Her first novel debuts this fall. She lives with her kitten, Zoey overlooking the waterfront in beautiful Dartmouth, Nova Scotia - also known as the “City of Lakes”.

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