Are Dates Keto Friendly?

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Following the keto diet can lead to quick weight loss, but it can be challenging to find tasty foods that are keto friendly. The ultimate goal is to eat foods that will keep you in ketosis. This requires keeping your net carbohydrate level low.

One thing that many people miss on the keto diet are fruits. One popular fruit that people around the world enjoys are dates, but are dates keto friendly?

In this article, we’ll explore data and take a look at their nutritional values to determine if they get into a keto diet. We’ll also take a look at some of the benefits of eating dates.

Keep reading to find out if dates are ok to eat on a keto diet.

How To Determine If a Food Is Keto Friendly

As you may know, the keto diet is a low-carbohydrate diet, but it’s also considered to be a high-fat diet with moderate protein content. The main requirement for a food to be keto friendly is for that food to have a low net carb count. The net carb count is calculated by taking the total amount of carbs and subtracting the dietary fiber.

How many net carbs can you eat on the keto diet? This is up to each person, but in general, most people try to stick to around 20g of net carbs per day. Some people will eat up to 50g of carbohydrates per day, but that puts you at risk of going out of ketosis. So, we use 20g as our typical baseline net carb amount.

There is a little bit of flexibility, but for a food to be keto friendly, it has to have less than about 8g of carbs per serving. We don’t want to use up our entire day’s worth of carbs in a single serving.

Now that you know the criteria for a keto food, let’s find out if dates are keto friendly.

What Are Dates?

Dates are a fruit that comes from the date palm tree. The date is an oval fruit that is about 1-2 inches across and has brownish wrinkled skin.

Dates are very sweet and have a chewy texture. They are often rich in minerals, vitamins, and fiber. Some people describe dates as having a caramel flavor.

People will eat dates as a snack, bake them into many different dishes, use them as a sweetener, and put them in shakes or smoothies.

Are Dates Keto Friendly?

Unfortunately, dates are not keto friendly because a single date has 17g of net carbs. Most people eat more than a single date in a serving. If you were to eat 100g, then you would be consuming about 68 grams of net carbs. That is more than most people eat on keto in 3 days. See more nutritional information about dates.

While dates do have some nutritional benefits, the amount of sugar contained in them makes them off-limits for keto. Consuming just 1 date is likely to kick your body out of ketosis and it can take a long time to get back into ketosis.

If you want to stick to the keto diet and keep your body in fat-burning mode, you need to avoid dates.

Do Dates Have Health Benefits?

Even though dates are not keto friendly, you may wonder if they have any benefits. Dates, as with most fruits, do have some benefits.

  • Rich in nutrients: Dates are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber making them a good source of nutrition.
  • High in antioxidants: Dates contain several types of antioxidants that help protect your cells from damage.
  • Improve digestion: Dates are rich in fiber, which can help improve digestion and prevent constipation.
  • Boost energy: Dates are a great source of carbohydrates, making them a quick and easy snack to boost energy levels.
  • Support bone health: Dates are rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, which are essential for strong bones.
  • Promote heart health: Dates contain several nutrients that may help reduce the risk of heart disease, including fiber, potassium, and antioxidants.

While dates have several health benefits, we do not recommend them for the keto diet due to a high carb count.

What Are Some Alternatives to Dates on the Keto Diet?

When trying to replace a fruit that is not keto, berries are the clearest choice due to their relatively low net carb count, even though they taste sweet and acidic. Using berries to replace high-carb fruit is a good idea. Here are some of the best berries for the keto diet:

  • Blackberries: 4.31 grams of net carbs per 100 grams
  • Raspberries: 5.44 grams of net carbs per 100 grams
  • Strawberries: 5.68 grams of net carbs per 100 grams
  • Gooseberries: 6.63 grams of net carbs per 100 grams
  • Elderberries: 7.03 grams of net carbs per 100 grams.
  • Boysenberries: 7.38 grams of net carbs per 100 grams
  • Cranberries: 8.38 grams of net carbs per 100 grams
  • Blueberries: 12.11 grams of net carbs per 100 grams

Common Questions About Dates

What is a date?

A date is a sweet fruit that comes from the date palm tree.

What is the most common type of date?

Medjool dates are the most common type of date.

Are dates high in sugar?

Yes, dates are high in natural sugars.

What is the nutrition info for dates?

100g of dates have 277 calories, 1.8g of protein, no fat, and 75 carbohydrates. If you subtract the 6g of fiber you will see that date has a net carb count of 69

Can dates be used as a natural sweetener in recipes?

 Yes, dates can be used to sweeten smoothies, desserts, and other recipes.

How long do dates last?

Fresh dates can last up to a week in the refrigerator, while dried dates can last for months in an airtight container.

How can you tell if a date is ripe?

Ripe dates are soft and have a wrinkled appearance.


It can be difficult to find fruits that you can eat on the keto diet. While dates are tasty and have some health benefits, they are not keto friendly. 100g of dates have 69 grams of net carbs. This is more than enough net carbs for 3 days on the keto diet.

Eating dates will certainly kick you out of ketosis, which means you will have to work to get back into the fat-burning state. There are some alternatives to dates, such as many types of berries. You can enjoy these as a substitution for dates.

The Author

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John has been learning about and experimenting with low carbohydrate diets since the around 2006. He has successfully used the keto diet to lose over significant amounts of weight in the past and currently follows a low carb diet for a variety of reasons including general health, weight management, and managing mood levels.

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