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With the name Phoenix dactylifera, dates probably have one of the coolest genus. This fruit has been around for a while and has been one of the longest cultivated in human history, but that doesn’t necessarily make it paleo right? Thanks to reader request and some hard work done by Alisa at paleoinpdx we cover dates in depth. Keep the requests coming! We welcome your submissions here and via the Is It Paleo mobile app.
Dates are a fruit that originate from the date palm, a tree native to the Middle East and Northern Africa, but also grown in California and the southwestern United States. Commonly eaten dried, dates can also be eaten fresh. The dried variety is readily available in major grocery stores and fresh is most likely to be found in specialty stores when in season. There are many varietals as well, but the most common include medjool and deglet noor. Dates can be purchased with or without pits, but tend to be softer and plumper when the pit is still in tact.
A three-ounce serving of pitted dates contains roughly 75 grams of carbohydrates, two grams of protein and less than one gram of fat. Additionally, dates are a source of potassium and vitamin B-6.
Yes, dates are paleo, but it’s best to keep consumption in moderation and regard this, “natural candy” as a treat. Dates are dense, rich in sugar and carbohydrates, and easy to go overboard with, especially when used as a vesicle for nut butter or bacon. Dates are a simple option to turn to when that sweet tooth strikes and can even be used to make other indulgences, but should not be a staple in one’s diet, particularly when fat loss is a goal. They can also come in handy when an individual needs a quick dose of carbs, particularly for longer duration workouts, endurance events and training.
On the occasion when one does eat or cook with dates, make sure there is no added sugar, preservatives or flour, which is often seen in packaged pre-chopped pieces.
Are you struggling with which foods are Paleo? Do you need help planning some Paleo meals? Check out this great Paleo cookbook: