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Better Than Chocolate | Medjool Vs. Deglet Nour Dates

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From Our Mailbag:

Hey Dr. Ben!

I've been loving pecans and dates together since your post. For years I've had some chocolate in the evening with my tea, and with the pecans and dates combo I haven't had any cravings for chocolate!

I realized this morning that my bowel movements have been much easier and regular since around the time I started the pecans and dates, and since I haven't changed anything else up I'm fairly sure that something in one or both is helping me!

Thanks so much for all the tips you give through your newsletter. So much of what you say is simple and doable!

Keep up the terrific work and have a great weekend Dr. Ben!

Lisa

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Many thanks to Lisa for writing in with her positive experience with pecans and dates. The post that she mentioned was an impromptu one that can be found here:

Dates with Pecans and Almond Butter

I had a few others write to me about regular consumption of dates and how their high natural sugar content can cause dental pain in those who have sensitive teeth. If this is a concern but you would like to benefit from the high fiber, potassium, and magnesium content of dates, I suggest that you stick with Deglet Nour dates, which are mostly grown in Tunisia and Algeria, with smaller quantities being grown in the southwest United States. Though similar in nutrient profile as dark and chewy Medjool dates, Deglet Nour dates have a lighter, almost see-through amber colour and are not as sticky as Medjools which can have a caramel-like consistency.

Yes, if you want to enjoy dates on a regular basis, your teeth will be happier with the Deglet Nour variety, which are often available at most Costco locations and most often indicated as being a product of Tunisia. Or if you happen to live near a Persian food store, you are almost certain to be able to find Deglet Nour dates there.

I hope this distinction is helpful. When eaten in moderation and with other foods that are rich in fiber (like almond butter), dates can be a healthy food choice for most of us.

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