The Power of the Food PyramidThe
United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Guide Pyramid is
an outline of what to eat every day for good health. The Pyramid shows
the importance of eating a variety of foods to obtain the nutrients you
need while consuming the right amount of calories to maintain a healthy
The Food Guide Pyramid recommends that you consume two
to four servings of fruit per day for the all-important fiber,
vitamins, and minerals they supply. Great tasting, power-packed
California dates are part of the Pyramid's Fruit Group. Enjoying
California dates can easily help you achieve the recommended goal for
servings of fruit each day.
Fat-Free, Cholesterol-Free California Dates
dates, being sodium-free, fat-free (including saturated fat-free),
cholesterol-free, and a good source of fiber, all of which are
important factors in reducing the risk of both heart disease and
cancer, fit very well into a healthy diet.
The USDA's Food Group
Pyramid focuses on choosing foods that are low in fat and sodium.
Health authorities, including the National Cancer Institute and the
USDA, recommend that Americans limit fat in their diets to 30% of their
calories. This has important health implications.
development of cancer depends upon many factors, a diet low in fat may
reduce the risk of some cancers. Also, diets low in saturated fat and
cholesterol and high in fruits, vegetables, and grain products that
contain fiber may lower blood cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart
How Many Powerful Dates?
may surprise you to learn that the average California date has only 23
calories. Five to six nutritious and delicious Californa dates, or 1/4
cup of chopped dates, equals one serving. The National Cancer Institute
recommends that you eat a minimum of five servings of fruits and
vegetables a day for better health. This recommendation is part of a
low-fat, high-fiber diet to help reduce the risk of some types of
cancer. A handful of dates will help you meet the five-a-day goal. It's
easy to remember: 5 A Day for Better Health!
Fiber-Filled California Dates
dates are a sweet and good source of dietary fiber. Many studies show
that diets low in fat and high in fiber-containing foods are associated
with reduced risks of some types of cancer.
The National Cancer
Institue recommends that you consume 20 to 35 grams of dietary fiber
per day. California dates are a "good source" of fiber. A serving of
power-packed California dates, just five to six of them, can help you
meeet this daily recommendation by providing three grams of dietary
fiber. This is 14% of your recommended daily intake of dietary fiber.
comes in two forms - soluble and insoluble. Each serves a valuable
function. Insoluble fiber increases the rate at which food moves
through the digestive system. Soluble fiber may help control diabetes
by decreasing elevated blood glucose levels. Soluble fiber also has
been found to help lower serum cholesterol levels, particularly
undesirable low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.
Carbohydrates - A Source of Energy Packed Into California Dates
serving of California dates contains 31 grams of carbohydrates, making
them a powerhouse of energy. The carbohydrates found in California
dates, including three grams of dietary fiber and 29 grams of naturally
occuring sugars, such as fructose, glucose, and sucrose, provide quick
energy and are readily assimilated into and used by the body. This
makes California dates a perfect choice as an energy-boosting snack.
Potassium-Packed California Dates
is an essential mineral needed by your body to maintain muscle
contractions, including the vital heart muscle. Potassium is also
needed to maintain a healthy nervous system and to help with the body's
metabolism. This is an important consideration for physically active
people because the body's supply of potassium can be reduced through
Eating California dates and dringing water is an
ideal, natural way to replenish the body's need for potassium. One
serving of California dates contains 240 milligrams of potassium, or 7%
of the recommended daily value (DV) of this essential nutrient. In
fact, weight for weight, dates contain more potassium than do bananas.
Vitamins and Minerals in California Dates
dates contain a variety of B-complex vitamins. They contain thiamine,
riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, and pantothenic acid. These vitamins
have a variety of functions that help maintain a healthy body. They
help metabolize carbohydrates and maintain blood glucose levels and
fatty acids for energy. They also help make hemoglobin, the red and
white blood cells.
Magnesium is essential for helpthy bone
development and energy metabolism. One serving of California dates
provides 4% of the suggested daily intake of this essential nutrient.
Foods are quite often nutritious because of what they do not have. Fruits, such as California dates, are important both for what they supply and for what they do not supply. California dates are sodium-free, fat-free, and cholesterol-free.
Sodium-Free California Dates
dates provide a great tasting snack food or recipe ingredient that will
not add any sodium to your diet. Most Americans consume more sodium
than the recommended amount of no more than 2,400 to 3,000 milligrams
per day. Consuming too much sodium may increase the risk of heart
disease and hypertension.
Information provided by: Oasis Date Gardens and The California Date Administrative Committee