Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Wanna date, big boy?

My sister recently took a vacation that included both Las Vegas and San Diego, which means they drove past the Shields Date Farm in Indio CA.  And as she has done in the past, she had them ship us a big package of dates.

Talk about heaven on earth -- this package included four different varieties of dates, each one more delicious than the next.  When the package arrived, we tore it open and I had one date from the first box, then announced that I wasn't going to eat any more.  A few years ago I gave up discretionary sugar as a health measure, and dates seemed sweeter than sweet.

While my husband has been scarfing down these wonderful delicacies, I have been wondering whether I really have to abstain, so I checked out the nutritional value.  The good news is that dates are low in sodium, high in dietary fiber, zero in fat.  The bad news is that, as I suspected, they're high in sugar.

Dates have 73 grams of sugar for 100 grams of fruit.  By contrast, apples have only 12 grams of sugar in 100 grams of fruit, bananas have 20 grams, strawberries have 5, pineapple has 12, watermelon has 8, oranges have 10.

But that probably doesn't help us decide how much of a sugar hit we'd get from eating some fruit.  Try this:  one date has 16 grams of sugar (although I think the Shields dates must have more, since they're so big) and 66 calories.  By contrast, the average apple has 18 grams of sugar, 75 calories.   A banana has 24 grams of sugar, 100 calories.  And if you want to get really reckless, a 12-ounce Coke has 39 grams of sugar.

So I'm probably wise to cool it with the dates, maybe one a day.  But that one date is certainly worth it.  As always, thanks, Sis!

1 comment:

  1. Ohh..I used to sneak dates out of the fridge when my mom bought them to make into fruit cake (which I happen to adore). I LOVE date bars....yum yum yum....You're one lucky lady, Ms. Loomis!