A date with a plate…

As those of you who attend the weekly Norwich Pit Stop ‘Social’ on Tuesday afternoons will already know, I am a fan of the Medjoul date. Since starting in my role as Pit Stop Coordinator last November, I have added dates alongside the biscuits to give our members a bit more of a choice of snack. At first, this was greeted with a bit of caution by our members and hardly anyone tried them, but nowadays they seem to be a bit of a Pit Stop staple.

The introduction of the date option was intended to provide a sweet alternative to the ultra-processed foods that we tend to snack on. My decision to do this was inspired by my friendship with nutritionist, Glen Matten, who has an MSc in Nutritional Medicine and is always evidence-based. Earlier today, I asked him to say something about the Medjoul date that I could share here, and this is what he said:

‘Well, they’re 66% sugar, so you’d think they’d be a disaster health-wise. However, in contrast to refined sugar, when eaten in moderation, they have no real noticeable blood sugar raising effects. In fact, eating them is linked to having less diabetes and less heart disease. One of the reasons for this is that they contain an abundance of health-giving polyphenols. They are a prime example of why you shouldn’t be reductionist about complex foods, They mark the distinction between high sugar ultra-processed foods and a natural whole food. They are fundamentally different, despite a high sugar content. Having said that, I would stipulate that they should be eaten moderately – a guilt-free sweet treat!’