Carb Counts for Dates

Date Nutritional Information and Glycemic Index (It's High!)

Dried Dates in a Bowl
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There are a lot of different types of dates, but the most common ones have very similar nutrient compositions. They are very high in sugar, so mostly should be avoided on a low-carb diet.  However, they can be used as a natural sweetener on a Paleo diet, if you don't need to watch your carbohydrate intake as much.

There are over 100 different varieties of date palm trees, which grow best in desert regions.

The fruits hang in large clusters on the trees, and range from hard, dry varieties, through semi-dry types such as deglet noor, to large semi-soft or soft dates such as medjool dates.  The most common type available in the United States are the semi-dry type, as they can be packed and shipped easily.  However, farmers in hot dry climates are starting to grow a wider variety of dates, often sold in farmer's markets in Southern California and Arizona during the fall season.  Some date farmers are also starting to sell fresh dates online seasonally.  (I have no relationship with the farmer I linked to -- it is merely an example.)

Carbohydrate and Fiber Counts for Dates

  • ¼ cup of chopped dates: 24 grams of effective (net) carbohydrate plus 3 grams of fiber and 105 calories.
  • 1 medium medjool date (they are pretty big, as one is almost an ounce): 16 grams of effective (net) carbohydrate plus 1.5 grams fiber and 66 calories

  • I medium deglet noor date (there are about 4 of these in an ounce: 5 grams of effective (net) carbohydrate plus half a gram of fiber and 20 calories

  • 1 oz dates: 19 grams of effective (net) carbohydrate plus 2 grams of fiber and 79 calories.

Glycemic Index for Dates

I've only seen one study of dates which reported an average GI of 103.

  This is very high -- even higher than glucose!

More Information about the Glycemic Index

Glycemic Load of Dates

  • ¼ cup of chopped dates: 14
  • 1 ounce dates: 11

More Information about the Glycemic Load

Health Benefits of Dates

Dates are fairly high in minerals, including potassium, manganese, and magnesium.

More Information About Dates at Calorie Count Plus.

Selecting and Storing Fresh Dates

If you live where fresh dates are available (usually in the autumn) choose dates that are don't have crystals forming on them.  If you are buying the large plump ones, avoid any signs that they are drying out (shriveling).  Store them in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Store dried dates in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months or so.  They will last twice as long if refrigerated.

More Carb Profiles:


Leroux, MarcusFoster-Powell, Kaye, Holt, Susanna and Brand-Miller, Janette. "International table of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2002." American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 76, No. 1, 5-56, (2002).

USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 20.

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