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Are Dates the Ultimate Paleo Fruit?


The paleo diet is really gaining notoriety and momentum in the healthy living segment. Just to give you a refresher on what the Paleo diet it is; it’s a diet based on a variety of foods presumed to have been consumed by the earliest people that inhabited that planet (caveman and women). By definition then the diet would mainly consist of meat, vegetables, fruit, and fish, but excludes processed products such as grains and dairy. It promotes high fat, low carbs and protein would be mainly animal based. If you don’t like to calorie count then this is your diet. Experts in the Paleo field say that they prefer you to eat when hungry and don’t hold back, that’s some advice I can get behind.

So the question is should the date be a cherished commodity while on a paleo diet? Well it is one of the oldest fruits known to man. I could imagine early man climbing some palms for some sugar field treats. Palm trees would have been pretty easy to climb…right? Add to that the many dates will fall off the cluster, so good old cromagnum could have theoretically just hung out and gathered as he wished. To me (very biased towards dates) it would seem that dates would have been a key ingredient to early man diet. Full of fiber, high sugar content that’s high glycemic for sustainable energy and they taste like heaven. Common, this is a no brainer. Also, sugar is a natural preservative which allows for long periods of storage, so being able to store and eat a fruit without spoilage would be very useful.

Now the experts. Paleo diets do not promote high sugar fruits. I’m going to assume this comes from wanting people to lose weight and this direction of low sugary fruits hits towards calories-in vs. calories burned. But, I’m going to make the case that early man did not have a television, iPhone and car taking up his valuable time. Early man was a hunter and gather as well as a protector. I can’t begin to imagine the amount of calories that would have been exerted in a typical day during the stone-age. And what about not counting calories as the experts advise? Other than caloric intake there really is just no other justification not to keep dates in your paleo arsenal. They are versatile in cooking or substituting for processed sugar, the taste profile is that of caramel and they are high in fiber, iron and calcium. All essential in a sustaining a diet that will yield results. There is only so much lettuce one can eat without wanting to jump off a cliff.

All that said, what I am I missing? I want to know why dates are not heavily promoted in the paleo world. Let me know your thoughts or if you are astute to the argument of why Medjool dates should not be implemented regularly, please let me hear it.

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