Calories in Dates: Facts and Details

Dates and Calories: Rich and Beautiful

Talking "calories" stirs up emotions: Some people count every calorie, others - to say it nicely - are done with talking about calories! So let's keep the emotions out of the matter, and try a plain analysis: dates have calories - and not too few of them.

But that does not make this "superfood" a shunned food for nutritionally conscious people: dates contain so many valuable ingredients - vitamins, minerals, trace elements and fibre - that their positive effect on human beings is unquestioned. Their high content of fructose and dextrose, which makes dates so rich in calories, is not bad either in and of itself. Fructose and dextrose quickly enter the bloodstream, providing the body with energy very quickly. This means that, for example, eating a date after a meal can effectively combat cravings for sweets. In addition, the feeling of satiation that dates cause lasts for a long time. No wonder, then, that dates are now even used in some diets. 

⇨ People who buy dates like replacing sugar in foods they prepare themselves with date sugar or simply with chopped dates.

High in Calories and Valuable: Dates, a "Superfood"

⇨ As a reminder: In everyday language we constantly use the term "calories". Correctly formulated, however, it is actually the specification of "kilocalories". The unit of measurement for calories i.e. kilocalories is "kcal".

Superfood Datteln und Kalorien

Superfood Dates and Calories

Calories provide the body with the energy it urgently needs. They are only contained in certain nutrients. Other nutrients such as minerals, vitamins or trace elements do not contain calories. Only the following, so-called "macro nutrients" (="macros") contain any calories, i.e. they serve as our energy providers:

  • Carbohydrates: about 4 kilocalories per gram
  • Proteins: about 4 kilocalories per gram
  • Fats: about 9 kilocalories per gram

What percentage of macros is contained in dates? Have a look at the detailed list. Variation depends on which type of date is analyzed, and on whether the dates are fresh or dry.

  • 100g dates can contain
  • 1,81 grams of protein
  • 0,15 g fat
  • 68 g sugar
  • This results in the following approximate calculation for 100 grams of dates, if you multiply these proportions by the calorie figures:
  • Protein: 7,24 kcal
  • Fat: 0,6 kcal
  • Fructose / dextrose: 272 kcal

= 279,84 kilocalories per 100 grams of dates

As mentioned above, the values vary for the different types of dates. However, if you compare different data, you will always get values between 276 and 285 calories per 100 grams of dates.

Dates - Calories in One Date

If you assume that a single date weighs between 7 and 10 grams, you get values between a minimum of 19,32 calories per piece and a maximum of 28.5 calories per piece

How many calories does a person need on average per day?

Age group  

Calories required for Men

Calories required for Women

16 to 18 years

2.500 Calories

2.000 Calories

19 to 24 years

2.500 Calories

1.900 Calories

25 to 50 years

2.400 Calories

1.800 Calories

A closer look: Dates and their Ingredients

These are the nutritional values of 100 grams of dates: 

Dates Calories

285 kcal

Protein           

2 g

Fat

1 g

Carbohydrates

66 g

Fibre

 9 g

Vitamin A

25 μg

Vitamin E

0,2 mg

Vitamin C

3 mg

Folic Acid

21 μg

Sodium

35 mg

Potassium

659 mg

Calcium

66 mg

Magnesium

51 mg

Iron

1,9 mg

 

Dried Dates: More Calories

The fruit of the date palm tree is actually one of the most calorie-rich fruit varieties: the high proportion of fructose and dextrose is the reason behind it. The longer the fruit dries, the more sugar it contains, because over time more and more of its constituents are converted into sugar as a result of breakdown processes. The fruits therefore become sweeter with increasing dryness and storage time, and they lose water. Both these factors mean that dried dates contain more calories than fresh ones. 

As a rule of thumb, the following calorie values and nutrient scores apply to 100 grams of dried dates:

  • 1.194 kJ / 285 kcal
  • 2 grams of protein
  • 1 gram of fat
  • 66 grams of carbohydrates (in total)
  • 24,9 grams of fructose
  • 25 grams of glucose
  • 9 grams of fibre

Dried dates, therefore, also contain more fibre than fresh dates, which in turn contributes to them being nutritionally interesting.

The values for one dried date per piece are approximately:

  • Energy: 29 kcal
  • Protein: in traces
  • Fat: in traces
  • Carbohydrates: 7 g
  • fibre: 1 g
  • Sodium: 4 mg
  • Potassium: 66 mg
  • Calcium: 7 mg
  • Magnesium: 5 mg
  • Iron: 0,2 mg
  • vitamin A: 3 µg
  • Vitamin E: in traces
  • Vitamin C: in traces
  • Folic acid: 2 µg

Fresh dates: Less calories

Many people find fresh dates taste even better than dried ones. The freshest ones reach the market during the date harvest: this is approximately between September and December. 

As a "rule of thumb", the following calorie values and nutrient composition apply to 100 grams of fresh dates:

  • 477 kJ / 114 kcal
  • 1 gram protein
  • 0 gram fat
  • 27 grams carbohydrates (in total)

The values for a fresh date per piece are approximately:

  • Energy: 8 kcal
  • Protein: in traces
  • Fat: in traces
  • Carbohydrates: 2 g
  • Fibres: in traces
  • Sodium: in traces
  • Potassium: 25 mg
  • Calcium: 1 mg
  • Magnesium: 1 mg
  • Iron: 0,1 mg
  • Vitamin A: in traces
  • Vitamin E: in traces
  • Vitamin C: 4 mg
  • Folic acid: 1 µg 

Special Delicacies: Bacon-coated Dates and Medjool

If you are popular, you also have to put up with a lot of scrutiny. For this reason, we would like to take a closer look at two favourites among appetizers:

Medjool Datteln im Speckmantel

Bacon-coated Dates - Calories:

  • between 70 and 73 kcal
  • about 5 grams of fat
  • 2 grams protein
  • 4 grams of carbohydrates

Note: If you buy bacon-coated dates as a finished product, you may receive a food product that contains even more calories than homemade bacon-coated dates. If you want to reduce the number of calories even further, simply fry or barbecue the sweet and salty treats a little longer.

Medjool: Less Calories Than in Deglet Nour Dates

The Medjool date, known as the "queen of dates", is indeed something special: it is comparatively large, very juicy, of soft consistency and particularly aromatic. Compared to other varieties, such as the widely available Deglet Nour, the Medjool date contains fewer calories. Instead, it evidently provides slightly more calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin A. The variety, therefore, ranges at the lower end of the calorie spectrum, and contains about 277 calories per 100 grams.

Here is an overview of the calories and nutritional values of Medjool dates per 100 grams:

  • Calories: 277 kcal
  • Water: 21,32 g
  • Carbohydrates: 74,97 g
  • Fat: 0,15 g
  • Protein: 1,81 g

Conclusion: Extra Sweet and Precious Fruit 

In comparison, dates are an exceptional food and, as a fruit with a high sugar content, certainly occupies a special place in the diet. We were surprised by the huge difference between dried and fresh dates, when we researched and compiled the calorie chart.

We hope that an important finding will continue to prevail: Those who only rely on calculating calories in their diet lose sight of the importance of other nutrients that are immensely important for our body: minerals, vitamins, trace elements, carotenoids or various amino acids - and they are all contained in dates in extraordinary abundance and composition.

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