Dates are a delicious, sweet and sticky fruit that we usually find on the supermarket shelves around Christmas time. They might be a bit of a sweet Christmas tradition but dates can be lovely dried, fresh or preserved at any time of year.
Many bakers choose to add some dates into their baking as an alternative to lots of sugar! However, it can be difficult to add fruit into a low FODMAP diet, especially dried fruit. So, can you eat dates?
Are Dates Low FODMAP? No, unfortunately, if you are a fan of dates then they are not considered low FODMAP at all. They are high in sugars and FODMAPs and should be avoided as much as possible. Try using different fruits that are low FODMAP instead.
Dates on a FODMAP Diet
Unfortunately, the incredibly high sugar levels and high fructose levels mean that dates are high FODMAP and should be avoided. We would not recommend even introducing just a small quantity into your diet.
Because dates are so highly concentrated, just one date can be enough to cause a flare-up.
Are Dates IBS-Friendly?
No, dates are not an IBS-friendly fruit. They are known to lead to severe gas, trapped wind and stomach bloating. The concentrated nature and high fructose levels of dates make them a no-go for anyone suffering from IBS.
Low FODMAP Alternatives to Dates
If you had your heart set on eating some delectable dates then unfortunately if you want to stick to your low FODMAP diet and avoid upsetting your digestive system then you do need to stay away from these fruits.
Here are a few alternatives you can try instead:
Bananas might seem like a very different fruit to dates. This is true, they are different. But bananas have the fantastic quality of being low FODMAP as long as you stick within reasonable portion measurements. Stick to one small banana at a time and you shouldn’t find they affect you adversely.
The reason we have included bananas as an alternative is that they can be used in much the same way as dates can be. They are a highly sweet fruit that can be used as a snack on their own but also to add much-needed sweetness.
If you are looking for the tropical sweet flavours that dates can offer then pineapple might be a good solution. The taste isn’t quite the same with pineapple being a fresher taste than dates typically are but it is still delicious and adds the perfect amount of sweetness to your recipe.
The best thing about using pineapple as an alternative to dates is the amount you can have. Many fruits can only be consumed in fairly low quantities to be considered low FODMAP but with pineapple, you can eat a whole cup measurement of chopped pineapple!
Figs are a great alternative to dates. They can be used in very similar ways and have a very similar texture and feel to them. You do still need to keep your portion sizes of figs fairly low and only eat a 20g portion in one go.
If your recipe requires dates then try swapping them out for figs. You shouldn’t notice too much difference and you will have the benefit of the sweetness of the figs without the digestive system flare-up.
If you’ve still got a question or two about dates and eating them on a low FODMAP diet then these common queries might help:
Is Date Sugar Low FODMAP?
What Dried Fruit is Low FODMAP?
Dates are not considered low FODMAP which means that they should be avoided if you struggle with FODMAP’s causing digestive system flare-ups.
But, all is not lost because you can use 20 grams of figs as an alternative or use other fruits instead such as pineapple or banana.
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