Dates are very sweet but they don't raise blood
sugar levels and do help protect against the clogging of arteries
(atherosclerosis), according to new research at the Rambam Medical
Center and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.
According to a study by Technion Prof. Michael Aviram that will soon be published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
dates offer a bonanza of health benefits. They improve cholesterol
profiles and suppress the oxygenization of cholesterol, which causes
fatty plaque to stick to the endothelium of the vessels in the heart
and those leading to the brain.
Aviram has long studied the benefits of specific fruits and
vegetables on health and was the first to cite the pomegranate, red
wine (grapes) and olive oil in suppressing the development of heart
disease and stroke.
"There was a suspicion that dates are sugar bombs," said the
Technion/Rambam researcher. But studies on healthy people found that
eating 100 grams of dates a day for a month did not cause an increase
in blood sugar but did significantly bring down levels of triglyceride
fats in the blood. It also minimized oxygenization of cholesterol.
He studied two date varieties - Halawi and Medjool -
and found that Halawi dates were slightly better at protecting against
atherosclerosis than the Medjool, though both are beneficial.