Dates and their Calories: How many do they have?


calories in 3 dates

Even the Berbers and nomads of Morocco recognized the added value of dates. When the clans roam around the desert, they need a lot of energy to cover long distances. Therefore, dates play a significant role not only because of their calories. The affectionately called "bread of the desert" is stored fresh in the refrigerator or in a dried state in a cool and dry place.

The shriveled and not-so-pleasant-looking date fruit has surprisingly high calories. But what about its nutritional value? Dates are considered a well-known "superfood". Can the calories in dates do more than just make you gain weight? In this report, we'll delve into this topic and show you what matters when it comes to calories in dates.

The most important thing in short

There are different types of dates, especially in terms of their calories. So which dates have the most calories, and how do they differ from each other?

Dates are not "empty calories" like conventional sweets. In addition, they contain many vitamins, minerals, and trace elements that are important for daily requirements, such as niacin, magnesium, and iron.

Glucose and fructose are the two monosaccharides that make up the high-calorie count in dates. They are easier for our body to digest than other sugars. However, dates can help counteract cravings.

Dates and their calories: What you should know

There are now more than 1500 different types of dates known worldwide. Dates have a honey note, caramel note, or toffee note. The riper the fruit, the sweeter it is.

The palm plant is usually found in warm regions, so dates are often offered dried or ripened in retail. So, the question arises: does drying affect the calorie content of the date?

Calorie-conscious: Dried or fresh dates

Fresh dates, usually the Deglet Nour (Finger of Light) and Medjool (King Date) varieties are exported and end up in our supermarkets. Dates can weigh approximately 8 g. However, the King Date can weigh a proud 24 g per piece. If you are counting calories, pay particular attention to the weight of the date without the pit.

About 282 kcal are provided by 100 g of dates. That's about 22.6 kcal per date. With a Medjool date, we already have nearly 68 kcal per date. In addition, the calories come exclusively from carbohydrates, meaning 63 g of sugar and 8 g of fiber per 100 g of dates.

5 dates calories
The weight of a date can vary from 7-10g. Only the "Medjool" date, also known as the king of dates, reaches the maximum weight of 10g.

For dried dates, we have an even higher calorie content. The drying process dehydrates the date and removes water. This process causes the sugar in the data to crystallize, altering the calorie content. Therefore, 100 g of dried dates weigh in at 350 kcal.

An 8 g date, therefore, has 28 kcal per piece. Once again, the Medjool date is in the lead, with 84 kcal per 24 g piece.

How nutritious are dates?

Dates are a source of energy. The high amount of carbohydrates in the form of simple sugars are converted into the body. Afterward, a portion enters the blood and provides us with energy, causing an increase in insulin levels. Let's take a look at the calories in dates and where they come from.

Ingredients of Dates per 100g
Carbohydrates, of which sugar 63g
Fat content 0.4g
Protein 2.45g

The calories in dates come from the two sugars fructose and glucose. This means that dates consist of 81-88% sugar. But that's not all that's contained in dates. They also contain many vitamins, minerals, and trace elements.

These are important for a balanced diet. Below we will show you which important nutrients, besides the calories in dates, are important:

Ingredients of Dates per 100g
Dietary fiber 8 g g
Niacin 28 mg mg
Vitamin B-6 0.17 mg mg
Vitamin K 19 μg
Vitamin C 0.4 mg mg
Vitamin E 0.05 mg mg
Folic acid 2.7 μg μg
Sodium 2 mg mg
Potassium 656 mg mg
Calcium 39 mg mg
Magnesium 43 mg mg
Iron 1.9 mg mg
Selenium 3 μg μg

Based on the table, it is clear that dates are much more than just a calorie bomb. They contain a lot of potassium, which supports the cardiovascular system. In addition, the antioxidants in dates help with cognitive abilities.

Are Dates Healthy or small fattening agents?

We now know how many calories dates have, but does that mean that dates are small fattening agents? Dates are not like conventional sweets, which are "empty calories", as they contain many minerals, vitamins, and trace elements. Therefore, cravings can be curbed by consuming dates.

Moreover, dates have an anti-inflammatory effect on the joints, which is especially important for athletes during recovery time. The responsible substances for this are the secondary plant compounds lutein and zeaxanthin, as well as zinc and vitamin E. The high proportion of magnesium in dates supports the cooperation of nerves and muscles. This leads to further relief of pain, such as muscle soreness.

The main vitamins in dates are the B vitamins and can cover 7-20% of the daily requirement. B1 and B3 support the nerves, while B5 and B6 are good for the brain. The iron content of up to 1.9 mg per 100 g of dates covers up to 13% of the daily requirement.

Dates contain mostly water-soluble fiber. These absorb water and enlarge, thereby promoting digestion and gentle cleaning while passing through the fiber.

When and how many dates should you eat per day? 

In the table above, we have already shown you what nutritional value dates can provide. However, this does not make the calories disappear. So how many dates are good for each of us? Generally, it can be said that three dates per day are sufficient for the body and its well-being.

Dates can help with iron deficiency or during pregnancy. Especially in cases of insomnia caused by iron deficiency, dates support hemoglobin production. Therefore, the recommendation is to eat up to three dates several weeks before going to bed, two to three hours before sleeping. In pregnant women, dates can help strengthen the uterine muscles and promote bowel movements during this time.

Dates are mentioned in books and used in various religious traditions in different world religions. As in Islam, by the scholar Sahih Al-Bukhari. He said, "Whoever eats seven dried dates from Medina every morning, no poison can harm him until nightfall." During Ramadan, dates are often consumed in the morning hours as they provide a lot of energy for the whole day.

Do Dates Support Weight Loss?

To answer this question, we need to take a closer look at both the calories and the carbohydrates that cause them. The calories can make up to 314 kcal per 100 g of dates. But what causes the high-calorie content in dates?

The quality of carbohydrates in dates gives us the answer. They consist of 50% glucose (grape sugar) and 50% fructose (fruit sugar). These simple sugars do not raise blood sugar levels as quickly, so they help suppress cravings. To save unnecessary calories when eating dates, you should check the packaging. Some dates have added sugar.

Medjool dates calories
Dates have only 0.4 mg of fat per 100 g. Therefore, they are particularly suitable in combination with nuts. Dates and nuts have many calories, vitamins, and minerals.

Despite the high-calorie content of dates, they contain many macro and micronutrients. Dates are also found in our protein cereal test. So you can use dates as a topping for your cereal, sweeten dishes with them, or even prepare your protein bars. However, be sure to pay attention to your calorie intake.

What are the alternatives to dates in terms of calories?

Dates themselves are a good alternative to avoid or reduce regular sugar. However, use dates sparingly as they are high in calories. You can make sugar-free ice cream or sweeten a cake with dates. The honey-like sweetness can be varied as desired. Dates are therefore the vegan alternative to honey. However, there are other alternatives that we have summarized for you:

Birch sugar

Birch sugar is xylose, a type of sugar extracted from birch wood. You may also know it by its other name, xylitol. Legally, birch sugar is considered a sugar additive. However, it can still be used as a replacement for regular sugar. This sugar is tooth-friendly and can even protect against cavities. The disadvantages of birch sugar are bloating and diarrhea.


Bananas have a similar sweetness to dates, and their textures are also very similar. Like dates, you can puree or mash bananas with a fork. The pureed mixture can be used in cakes or sweet dishes.


The Stevia plant from South America was only allowed in Europe since 2011. Stevia is calorie-free but up to 400 times sweeter than regular sugar. Because it is insulin-independent, it is suitable for diabetics.

Be careful not to use too much of the substitute product, as it can quickly become too sweet. Stevia can also be used to sweeten drinks. The taste of Stevia can vary depending on its purity and can sometimes taste like licorice.


The calories in dates should not be underestimated. However, you should not only focus on calories. As the nutritional values and versatile uses of dates have shown, they can offer more than just calories. By replacing regular sugar with dates, you can still save some calories.

So, it's better to view dates as an upgrade to your meals rather than as a main meal. Consider your diet and where you can add dates without guilt. You can also eat them alone to curb your cravings and benefit from the many vitamins, minerals, and trace elements that dates contain. Therefore, we believe that dates are truly underestimated due to their high-calorie content.

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