If you’re one of the many people looking for a healthier alternative to ultra-processed cane sugars and chemical-filled artificial sweeteners, date sugar is worth a second look. Today we’re going to discuss the many date sugar benefits!
7 Date Sugar Benefits To Stop Overlooking
The following is a list of date sugar benefits you’ll enjoy when opting for it over other sweetener alternatives.
1. Date Sugar Is Less Processed
Cane sugar, coconut sugar, palm sugar, and other popular sweeteners have little to no nutritional value.
These sugars are extracted from the syrup, sap, or other liquid of a plant then processed into an easy-to-use form like granulated sugar. This means that they’ve been processed down into an almost pure glucose form.
Date sugar is different! It is made by crushing, grinding, or finely chopping dried dates.
If you’re looking for a less processed type of sugar, date sugar is a great choice.
2. Date Sugar Has More Nutrients Than Other Sugars
Most other sweeteners are known as “empty calories,” meaning that they contribute no nutritional value to food beyond simple carbohydrates.
Date sugar, however, is different! Because it is less processed, it retains all of the nutrition available in the date fruit.
3. High in Fiber
A 3.5 oz serving of dates contains almost 7 grams of fiber!
One of the date sugar benefits is that because it’s made up of ground dates, it retains all of the fiber from the fruit.
Not only can fiber contribute to easier bowel movements, but it may also help slow digestion of food, leading to fewer blood sugar spikes and a more sustained energy release.
Fiber has also been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer. This makes date sugar a healthier option than other sugars (although it’s worth noting that this fiber also means that date sugar won’t dissolve like granulated sugars.)
One serving of dates contains a significant amount of your recommended daily intake (RDI) of several vitamins and minerals: 20% of your potassium, 14% of your magnesium, 18% of your copper, 15% of your manganese, 5% of your iron, and 12% of your vitamin B6.
Again, one of the date sugar benefits is that it is not processed in any way (other than crushing/grinding the fruit) so it retains all of these minerals.
If you’re looking for a type of sugar that can boost your vitamin and mineral intake, date sugar is going to be your best choice!
5. A Great Source of Antioxidants
Dates are high in several different types of antioxidants, including flavonoids, carotenoids, and phenolic acid.
These antioxidants may help protect your body from disease and damage from what are commonly referred to as “free radicals.”
Antioxidants may help prevent various types of cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, macular degeneration, and more.
Dates are higher in antioxidants than other dried fruits, so date sugar is a great way to increase the antioxidants in your diet.
6. Low Glycemic Index Compared to Other Sugars
Lower glycemic index foods cause a slower rise in blood sugar because they are more slowly broken down by the digestive system.
Because of its high fiber content, date sugar has a glycemic index than other sugars: white sugar has a GI of 80, but the GI of date sugar is only 23.
The lower the better when it comes to GI, so if you are watching your blood sugar levels date sugar may be a great choice for you.
7. Date Sugar Is an Easy Baking Substitute
One of the best ways to use date sugar is to bake with it! It has a similar flavor profile to brown sugar, although there’s some debate about the ratio for substitution.
If your concern is texture, you can easily do a 1:1 ratio (substituting 1 cup of date sugar for 1 cup of brown or white sugar.) However, some people say that date sugar has a sweeter profile and it’s best to substitute at a lower ratio (say, ⅔ cup date sugar to every 1 cup of brown or white sugar.)
It’s best to do your own experiments and see what ratio is most satisfactory to what you are looking for.
There Are Many Delicious Date Sugar Benefits
Lest you think that this sugar alternative is only good for baking cookies, let’s discuss a few date sugar benefits in cooking that you might not have considered!
- Date sugar is great in applications where you don’t need it to fully dissolve (because, well, it won’t.)
- It makes a great topping for things like oatmeal or yogurt, or even on top of muffins.
- It’s known for having a flavor profile of caramel and butterscotch, so it goes well on top of toast or even baked into homemade bread.
Making Your Own Date Sugar Is Easy
Unlike other forms of sugar which would be difficult to process in your kitchen, one of the date sugar benefits is that you can make it yourself with very little effort. All you need are dried dates (easily found in most grocery stores.)
You’ll want to remove the pits and then dry the dates further, either in a dehydrator or in the oven, until they are hardened.
Once you’ve let them cool, you just run them through a food processor, blender, or even a coffee grinder until they have the fine, grainy texture you’re looking for.
This process couldn’t be easier, and if you like having full control over the ingredients in your kitchen it might be a great option for you.
Whether you’re eating more whole foods, trying to move away from processed and refined sugars, or just like the idea of your sweetener packing a nutritional punch, the many date sugar benefits should be considered!
What other sugar has such a great nutritional profile of more than just empty calories? What other sugar is so easy to make in your own kitchen? What other sugar can boast such a high fiber content? It’s clear that date sugar is well worth adding to your pantry, even if you just keep it on hand to sprinkle on your oatmeal.