Doctor Vikatan: Are Dates, Raisins, and Figs Safe For Diabetics?

Dates are rich in fibre and antioxidants, but they are also high in carbohydrates. Even though they are natural sugars, can diabetics still consume them? An experienced clinical dietician who practices, "Healing with Food" mantra has given insightful answers about whether diabetics can incorporate dates and dry fruits in their diet.

A concerned reader has asked, "Can diabetics eat dates?  Can they eat raisins and figs?'

Srimathi Venkatraman, a Bangalore-based clinical dietician and wellness  nutritionist with over 23 years of experience has given her valuable knowledge about whether diabetics can consume dates and dry fruits.

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Srimathi Venkatraman
Srimathi Venkatraman

Nutritionist's Guide

The Glycemic Index is an indicator of how much blood sugar level  increases after  eating any food. Many studies have shown that this glycemic index is high in dry fruits.

Dry fruits, especially dates, are healthy as they contain magnesium, potassium and iron.The glycemic index of dates is low. Dates can be consumed by people whose three-month average blood sugar level (HbA1c) is under control. But portion control is very important.

Dry Fruits
Dry FruitsPhoto by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash

Many studies have shown that eating dry fruits is better than eating fruit juice or bread. In that way, you can eat 2 dates, fresh dates contain 75 grams of  carbohydrate for every 100 grams. However, eating them does not increase the glycemic index level much.

It is important to note  that dates are also meant for people with diabetes and should not be taken by those whose blood sugar levels that has been out of control for three months . Raisins contain 60 percent sugar, so soaking them in water is a healthier option than eating them as is.

You can add it to yogurt, oatmeal porridge, salad preparation, etc. But it is all based on your average blood sugar levels over the past 3 months. If it is out of control you should not consume dry fruits and dates.


As far as figs are concerned, the glycemic index of fresh fruit is lower than the dry fruit version. It is rich in antioxidants hence can be taken. Fresh fruit is better than dried figs. Dried figs can be taken only by people whose blood sugar levels are under control.

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Doctor Profile

Sreemathy is a Bangalore based Qualified Clinical dietitian and Wellness Nutritionist. She has a vast clinical experience of 23 years and has specialised in “Diet in Health & Disease ” from USA.

She works on all gut health issues including IBS, food intolerances, IBD like Crohn’s & Ulcerative colitis. Our USP is “Healing with Food”.

  • Master level specialization
    Diet in Health and Disease
    Cal State Northridge & Seattle Pacific University

  • P.G. DND ( Nutrition & Hospital Dietetics)

  • Certificate course in Community Nutrition & Sustainability Development (IGNOU)

  • CDE– Certified Diabetes Educator (U.K. International)

  • Certified Bariatric Nutritionist

  • Certified LLL ESPEN (Critical care nutrition, GI nutrition)


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