Are Dates A Good Sugar Alternative?

Are Dates A Good Sugar Alternative?

dates are nature's candy!

When it comes to sugar alternatives, dates have been gaining popularity as a natural and healthier option.

With their sweet, rich caramel taste and nutritious profile, dates are a promising option for those looking to reduce their refined sugar intake.

In this blog post, we'll explore the various aspects of dates as a sugar alternative, compare them to cane sugar to see if they really are a healthier option, and give ideas on how to use them!

why are dates healthy?

Dates are not only sweet and delicious, but they are also packed with nutrients. Here are some of the health benefits of dates:

Rich in fiber

Dates are an excellent source of dietary fiber, which is essential for digestive health and can help regulate blood sugar levels. 4 Medjool dates already provide almost 7 grams of fiber out of the 25–30 recommended grams per day. 

High in antioxidants

Dates are rich in antioxidants such as flavonoids, carotenoids, and phenolic acids, which can help protect against oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.

In fact, dates scored the highest in antioxidant content compared to sweeteners like honey and maple syrup. More than honey?? Who would've guessed!

Good source of vitamins and minerals

Dates are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B6.

Did you know: Medjool dates have more potassium than bananas!

Low glycemic index

Dates have a low glycemic index, meaning they do not cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels.

Allow us to explain a bit more in detail:

Dates compose of equal parts glucose and fructose, causing them to have a low GI of 42. This means they are less likely to spike your blood sugar levels, and are a safer choice if you are concerned about your sugar intake.

Foods are classified as low, medium, or high glycemic foods, and the lower the GI, the less they affect your blood sugar levels. A scale of 0–100 is used: Low: 55 or less; Medium: 56–69; High: 70 or above

Some of the most popular varieties include Medjool, Deglet Noor, Khadrawi, Halawi, and Barhi dates.

is date sugar healthy?

is date sugar healthy?

Ok, sure, whole dates are healthy, but what about date sugar?

Date sugar is made by grinding dried dates into a fine powder, making it similar to brown sugar with a delectable butterscotch-like sweet taste.

Date sugar is natural, unrefined, and can be an excellent substitution for traditional sweeteners in a 1:1 ratio.

Since it is only pure grounded dates, it still contains all the goodness, like potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, calcium, niacin, and phosphorus. Date sugar is also high in beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.

However, there are some things to consider when it comes to date sugar vs. whole dates:

Higher in calories

Although date sugar retains many nutrients in whole dates, it is important to note that it is higher in calories than whole dates and is still considered a form of added sugar.


Date sugar is still processed food, which can impact the nutrient content. Although date sugar still contains many of the nutrients, processing can affect the quantities and make it slightly less favorable than whole dates.

Glycemic index

While dates have a low glycemic index, date sugar has a higher glycemic index of around 55 (still good!). This is because date sugar is easier for the body to digest and absorb, affecting blood sugar levels quicker.

Overall, date sugar can be a good alternative to regular sugar. Still, it should be used in moderation and not used as a "but it is healthy!" excuse ;-)

date sugar vs. cane sugar

By now, you may have figured out that date sugar can be an excellent alternative to refined sugar.

Unlike granulated table sugars that undergo heavy processing with no beneficial nutrients, date sugar is simply ground-dried dates.

Now let's compare date sugar vs. cane sugar, the most commonly used form in the United States:

Nutrient content

Cane sugar provides no nutrients besides calories, while date sugar retains many nutrients found in whole dates.

Glycemic index

Cane sugar has a high glycemic index of 65, which can cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. Date sugar has a lower glycemic index of around 55. So to us, this already proves that dates and date sugar are healthier alternatives to sugar!


Cane sugar is heavily processed and undergoes several refining steps that remove all nutrients. On the other hand, date sugar is minimally processed and retains almost all the goodness found in whole dates.

Looking at the above, date sugar may be a better option than cane sugar due to its lower glycemic index and nutrient content, but it is still considered a form of added sugar and should be used in moderation.


are dates good for diabetics?

are dates good for diabetics?

Dates are a source of natural sugar, and as such, they can impact blood sugar levels. However, despite their sweetness, dates may still be an enjoyable and safe treat for individuals with diabetes. The key is moderation.

One of the key factors to consider in diabetes management is the glycemic index (GI) of food. The GI measures how quickly food can raise blood sugar levels. Foods with a high GI can cause blood sugar levels to spike quickly, while foods with a low GI can help keep blood sugar levels more stable over time.

While dates are sweet and contain natural sugar, they also have a low GI. This is due to their high fiber content, which slows down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. In fact, studies have shown that consuming dates does not lead to significant spikes in blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes when consumed in moderation. 

Deglet dates have a lower sugar content than other varieties and are a good choice for diabetic patients. 

However, it is essential to remember that dates still contain carbohydrates and calories and should be consumed in moderation as part of a well-balanced diet.

It is also recommended that individuals with diabetes consult with their healthcare provider or a registered dietitian to determine how to incorporate dates and other foods into their diabetes management plan.

Diabetics should also always monitor their blood sugar levels to learn how their bodies react to the consumption of dates.

are dates good for weight loss?

While dates are nutritious, they are also relatively high in natural sugars and calories. One pitted date contains around 23 calories, making them a less-than-ideal choice for weight loss.

This means consuming large amounts of dates may contribute to weight gain if not balanced with other healthy foods and exercise.

However, if consumed in moderation as part of a well-balanced diet, dates may still be incorporated into a weight loss plan. 

They can indeed be lifesavers when you have a sweet-craving attack!

Dates are a good source of dietary fiber, which can help promote feelings of fullness and reduce overall calorie intake. Fiber also slows down digestion, which helps regulate blood sugar levels and prevents spikes and crashes in energy levels that can lead to overeating.

In addition, dates contain a range of vitamins and minerals important for overall health and well-being, including potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B6. These nutrients can help support a healthy metabolism and aid in weight loss efforts.

If you want to lose weight, it is recommended to consume dates in moderation and incorporate them into a well-balanced diet rich in nutrient-dense whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources. 

are dates good for constipation?

are dates good for constipation?

Yes, dates may be beneficial for relieving constipation.

Dates are high in fiber, which can help promote regular bowel movements and alleviate constipation. One of the main types of fiber found in dates is insoluble fiber, which helps add bulk to stool and promotes movement through the digestive tract.

In addition to their fiber content, dates also contain natural sugars such as sorbitol and fructose, which have a mild laxative effect.

Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol not well-absorbed by the body. It draws water into the large intestine, softening the stool and making it easier to pass. Fructose, on the other hand, is a natural sugar that helps stimulate bowel movements.

While dates may help relieve constipation, it is important to consume them in moderation. Dates are high in calories and sugar, so it is vital to balance their intake with other healthy foods and limit consumption to avoid overeating.

Increasing water intake when consuming high-fiber foods like dates is also important to prevent dehydration and further constipation.




Simply chop them up for a touch of sweetness in any dish. Add to salads, oats, chia pudding, or shakes like this tahini date shake. Or enjoy them whole when you crave a sweet treat!

Get delicious whole dates here!



Make homemade date syrup or buy it from the store. Use date syrup instead of typical sweeteners like maple syrup, honey, or flavorings in baked goods, to top waffles or pancakes, or to sweeten plain yogurt.



Make a delicious date paste like this peanut butter-date caramel paste. It is perfect as a sweetener and binder in baked goods like energy bites and cookies, as a filling in crepes, or to enjoy as a dip!

Or buy date paste from our online store ;-)



Use date sugar as a 1:1 replacement for granulated cane sugar in any recipe to increase the fiber and nutrient content. Keep in mind that it can alter the texture slightly.

Get your date sugar here!