When we talk about a he althy diet without added sugars, we usually turn to natural sources of sweetness. Among the most widely used are dates. They are extremely sweet and can be used in a number of recipes as a good substitute for sugar. Prunes are also among the fruits that can be a worthy opponent of dates in this category. But let's see which of the two choices is he althier and can we even compare them?
What is the nutritional content of each of the two dried fruits?
There are about 23 calories in one prune. There are approximately 20 calories in one dried date, according to Medical News Today. If you're looking for a snack with more fiber, dates win on this count. And if you're looking for something lower in sugars and carbs, prunes definitely lead here.
First of all, it is important to keep in mind that portion control is extremely important when consuming dried fruits, as they are very high in fiber and carbohydrates because they are dehydrated. This means that if you overdo the amount, it can have its side effects. Gastrointestinal problems, bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain are possible. If your gut can't handle large amounts of fiber and carbs, it's definitely a good idea to be careful with dried fruit, even though it's a he althy alternative to sugar.
What vitamins and minerals do prunes and dates contain?
Both fruits contain a huge variety and abundance of vitamins and minerals. Prunes contain high concentrations of the mineral boron, which is essential for bone he alth. Pine is known to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, according to he althdigests.com. Research published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition found that one serving of prunes a day provides all the boron needed for the day. In addition, they are extremely rich in antioxidants, which reduce inflammation and lower the risk of a number of diseases.
Prunes can help lower bad cholesterol, which has cardiovascular he alth benefits.
What are the possible negative effects of eating prunes and dates?
Sometimes the benefits are worth the side effects. That is why it is of great importance that any he althy food is not abused. Quantity is of the essence.
Just as prunes can promote the he alth and function of the gastrointestinal tract, they can also worsen it. Abundant consumption of prunes can cause bloating, gas, pain, diarrhea, constipation, cramps. Dried dates can contain high amounts of acrylamide, like many other dried fruits. This is because of the processing and rapid drying at high temperatures at which the fruit is dried. Clinical studies have found that high levels of acrylamide can cause certain types of cancer, the US Food and Drug Administration reports.
Dates have a higher concentration of sugars. They have a higher glycemic index than plums, which makes them not a particularly good choice for people suffering from diabetes, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, or a condition where carbohydrates are not absorbed well. Again, the amount of dried dates consumed is key here.