In this post, you will get the answer to the question “Are dates low FODMAP?”.
Moreover, this post also covers how to include dates in your diet and what nutritional value dates have.
If you are looking for a date substitute or want to discover which dried fruits you can eat on the low FODMAP diet, you also came to the right place!
What are dates?
Dates grow on the date palm tree called Phoenix dactylifera. They have been cultivated for thousands of years in regions with a hot and arid climate, primarily in the Middle East and North Africa.
Dates have a rich, caramel-like sweetness with hints of honey. The flavor intensifies as the fruit ripens.
Dates are small, elongated fruits with wrinkled skin and amber to dark brown color (depending on the variety and ripeness).
You can eat dates fresh or dried. Fresh dates have a chewy and sticky flesh, while dried dates have a firmer texture.
Nutritional value of dates
You should consume dates in moderation due to high sugar content – 100g contains approximately 65g of sugar (2).
They are also a source of fiber. Adding them in small quantities can help you reach your daily fiber intake and add diversity to your diet.
Dates are also rich in polyphenols, which help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals (3).
Some studies also suggest dates impact labor but the quality of those studies is low, so more research is needed to confirm those assumptions (4).
Are dates low FODMAP?
They are low FODMAP in small quantities. Monash University, a leading source of information on the FODMAP content of foods, tested two types of dates – classic and Medjool.
Sorbitol is a type of fermentable polyol, also present in apples and cherries. Fructans, another FODMAPs in dates, are fermentable oligosaccharides, which are also found in plums and pomegranate (1).
Are Medjool dates low FODMAP?
Medjool dates are low FODMAP at 20g. In larger portions, they contain the same FODMAPs as classic dates – sorbitol and fructans (1).
How many dates are low FODMAP?
The low FODMAP portion of dried, pitted dates is roughly 5 dates (1).
The low FODMAP portion of dried and pitted Medjool dates is 1 date (1).
Are dates OK for people with IBS?
Yes, dates are ok for people with IBS. However, you should stick to the low FODMAP portions during the restriction phase of the low FODMAP diet.
But there is no general answer for larger portions of dates, as the tolerance varies from person to person.
How to incorporate dates on the low FODMAP diet?
There are many delicious ways to incorporate dates into your meals and snacks:
- As a snack, grab a small serving for a quick and natural energy boost. Pair dates with a handful of almonds or walnuts for a satisfying snack.
- In smoothies: Add a date to your low FODMAP smoothie for natural sweetness. They pair well with berries, lactose-free yogurt, and spinach.
- In baking: Use chopped them as a low FODMAP sweetener in your favorite baked goods (hint: they work fantasting in energy bars).
- In salads: Dice dates and sprinkle them over a green salad with FODMAP-friendly ingredients like cucumber, lettuce, and carrots.
- Make stuffed dates: Stuff pitted dates with lactose-free cream cheese or low FODMAP nuts like macadamias and almonds for a tasty treat.
Low FODMAP date recipes:
Check our favorite recipes below to get more ideas on incorporating dates into your diet.
- Low FODMAP stuffed Medjool dates
- Low FODMAP sticky date self saucing pudding
- Low FODMAP dates & oats bites
- Low FODMAP Cranberry, chocolate, and date truffles
- No-bake low FODMAP fruit tart
- Low FODMAP carrot cake energy balls
- Gluten-free date squares
Low FODMAP substitute for dates
We got you if you are looking for a substitute for dates in delicious recipes. Choose the one that fits the best to your taste preference and texture needed in the recipes.
To sweeten your porridge, yogurt, or just as a snack, you can replace dates with a tablespoon of (1):
- Dried banana chips
- Dried cranberries
If you need to replace larger quantity in the recipes, you can use the following low FODMAP sweeteners (1):
- Maple syrup
- Rice malt syrup
- Sugar (white, brown, or palm)
To learn more about maple syrup on the low FODMAP diet, read our article “Is maple syrup low FODMAP?”.
We have also written a comprehensive guide on low FODMAP sweeteners. Read it here: “Which sweeteners are low FODMAP? Dietitians’ advice for IBS”
The low FODMAP serving of dates is 30g, which is approximately 5 dates. The low FODMAP serving of Medjool dates is 20g, roughly 1 date.
You can include them in numerous ways – you can have them as a snack, stuff them with nut butter, or use them in baking as a sweetener.
If you need a substitute for dates, you can choose between other dried fruits, such as raisins and banana chips.
Try maple syrup or other mentioned sweeteners as an alternative low FODMAP sweetener for dates.
Written by Barbara Lešnik, Student Dietitian, reviewed by Kirsten Jackson, Consultant Dietitian BSc Hons, RD, PG Cert
Serena is UK HCPC Registered Dietitian. She graduated from Coventry University in 2021 with an upper second class in Dietetics and Human Nutrition.
Serena has previously worked as an Acute Dietitian supporting inpatients with both oral nutrition support and enteral tube feeding. She is now currently working as a Specialist Weight Management Dietitian. Alongside this, Serena has worked for The Food Treatment Clinic since 2022 and has created our low FODMAP, histamine intolerance and SIBO ebooks.
Serena has a keen interest in IBS and gut health, most specifically the low FODMAP diet. She is dedicated to helping those with gut conditions to improve their overall quality of life.