Raisins vs. Dates: Nutrition, GI, Diets, & Health
Raisins are higher in calories, sugars, GI, proteins, and antioxidants, whereas dates are over 2 times richer in dietary fiber. Raisins contain 79g of carbohydrates, whereas dates contain 75g.
Raisins are richer in vitamins B1, B2, and C, whereas dates are richer in vitamins B3, B5, and B9 (folate).
Packed with vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and phytochemicals, they beneficially affect health.
Raisins and dates are dried fruits that are nutrient-dense versions of fresh fruits with lower moisture content. Traditionally, raisins and dates do not contain added sugars and are already naturally loaded with sugars responsible for their sweet taste.
Appearance & Use
Raisin (Vitis vinifera) is a dried large grape with a dark color. It is produced in many countries and consumed raw as a snack or used in cooking, baking, and brewing.
Date (Phoenix dactylifera) is the edible fruit of date palm and has a dark brown to bright red or yellow color. Date can be consumed fresh or dried and sometimes added to sweet and savory dishes.
The average serving size of raisins can be considered 50 raisins, equal to 26g, slightly less than 1 ounce, consisting of 60 raisins.
One date weighs around 7.1g, whereas one cup of dates weighs 147g. The average serving size of dates is one-quarter cup.
This article compares 100g of seedless raisins and deglet noor dates.
Dried fruits are nutrient-dense and similar in macronutrient profiles. Raisins consist of 15% of water and 85% nutrients, and dates consist of 21% of water and 79% of nutrients.
A 100g of raisins and dates provide 299 and 282 calories, respectively, making raisins slightly higher in calories.
As both raisins and dates are consumed in smaller amounts, they are not considered high in calories.
Raisins are slightly higher in proteins and consist of 3g of proteins, whereas dates consist of 2.5g of proteins.
Raisins and dates are very low in fats; they contain less than 0.5g per 100g serving.
Raisins and dates are very high in carbs. Raisins comprise 79g of total carbohydrates, whereas dates comprise 75g of total carbs.
Dates are over 2 times richer in dietary fiber: dates and raisins contain 8g and 3.7g of dietary fiber, respectively.
As for sugars, raisins contain mainly glucose (28g) and fructose (30g), with some starch and sucrose. In comparison, dates contain similar amounts of glucose (20g), fructose (20g), and starch (24g), with negligible amounts of maltose.
Carbohydrate type comparison
Both raisins and dates are high in FODMAPs, sugars that the small intestine digests poorly. Only small portions of these dried fruits can be considered low FODMAP.
Raisins and dates are sources of mainly B-complex vitamins and vitamins C and K.
Raisins are richer in vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin E. On the other hand, dates are richer in vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B9 (folate), and vitamin A.
Both raisins and dates are the richest in copper, potassium, and iron and the lowest in zinc, calcium, and selenium.
Raisins are richer in calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese, whereas dates are richer in magnesium, zinc, and selenium.
Dried fruits are naturally very low in sodium.
Raisins are studied to have a greater antioxidant activity than dates.
Dates and raisins are rich in phenolics (anthocyanins, various subtypes of flavonoids, phenolic acids, and stilbenes) and phytoestrogens (isoflavones, lignans, and coumestan). Dates are also a source of carotenoids (β-Carotene, lutein + zeaxanthin) (1).
Glycemic Index & Load
Dates likely have a lower glycemic index due to a higher dietary fiber content.
You can visit our "The Usage of Glycemic Load" to learn about the differences between glycemic index and load and their usage.
The insulin index of foods measures how much blood insulin levels are raised after food consumption. For further information, visit our "Glycemic Index vs. Insulin Index" page.
The PRAL or Potential Renal Acid Load value of a food calculates the acid or base-producing activity of a food.
Raisins and date have a PRAL value of -12 and -11.9, respectively. The negative PRAL value indicates that the food is base-producing.
Weight Loss & Diets
Dates are preferred for low-GI, low-fat, low-calorie, and high-fiber diets. Raisins are a better choice for high-protein diets.
Raisins and dates are not the best choices for diets restricting carbs, such as low-carb, keto, and Atkins, but may be consumed in low amounts.
Dried fruits may be consumed only in moderation during the Paleo diet, as they are high in carbs.
Dried fruits fit well into vegan, Mediterranean, and anti-inflammatory diets.
Dried fruits are rich in phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, which are responsible for their health effects. Regularly consuming dried fruits may decrease the risk of developing chronic diseases and cancer.
Compared to fresh fruits, the health effects of dried fruits are less studied. The information provided below will likely need further evaluation and randomized controlled trials.
Low fruit intake is one of the leading dietary risk factors for cardiovascular deaths. Healthy diets with adequate amounts of fresh and dried fruits are associated with better heart health, low blood lipid and glucose levels, increased endothelial function, and decreased inflammation and blood pressure (1, 2).
According to the Nurses' Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study cohorts, including over 150,000 individuals, intake of ≥4 servings/week of grapes and raisins was associated with an 8% lower risk of high blood pressure (1). Several other studies have also reported a correlation between decreased blood pressure levels and raisin intake (3, 4).
According to a study, dates may modulate blood lipid levels, decrease oxidative stress and inflammation, and, thus, improve cardiovascular health (5).
Dried fruits may beneficially affect postprandial glucose levels and blood sugar control in diabetic and overweight individuals due to their mainly low GI and high fiber, mineral, and phytochemical contents (2).
Dried fruits may also induce satiety and improve appetite control and body weight (2).
According to several studies, raisin consumption may significantly reduce postprandial glucose and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels (1, 3, 4).
Interestingly, another study concluded that date and raisin consumption does not affect insulin sensitivity and resistance, beta cell function, or blood sugar control in 12 weeks (6).
Diet plays a significant role in gut microbiota composition, diversity, and metabolite production. A healthy microbiota is not only essential for gut health but also for health overall.
Raisin consumption may enhance Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Ruminococcaceae, necessary for the breakdown of complex carbs, and decrease Klebsiella spp. and Prevotella spp., risk factors for UTIs and chronic inflammation (2).
On the other hand, dates may have a greater impact on increasing stool weight and bowel movement frequency, improving symptoms of chronic constipation (2).
Dates and raisins are advised to be limited for people with diarrhea, IBS, and gastrointestinal motility disorders, such as gastroparesis, as they may cause digestive symptoms.
Raisins and dates contain minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin K that are essential for bone tissue homeostasis (7).
Raisins also contain boron, a trace element suggested to have beneficial effects on calcium metabolism and bone formation, as well as reproduction and development, brain function, insulin and energy metabolism, immune function, and more (8).
Dried fruits may decrease cancer risks due to their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory activity, and estrogen metabolites (3).
A few epidemiological studies show that raisin and date consumption is linked to reduced incidence of stomach, pancreatic, and bladder cancers. Raisin intake is also associated with a reduced risk of nasopharyngeal cancer, whereas date intake is also associated with reduced colorectal cancer risk (9).
Raisins and dates may benefit age-related neurological diseases due to their high phytochemical (antioxidant) contents.
According to animal studies, date, and raisin consumption may reduce the risk or delay the development of Alzheimer's (10, 11).
A study has concluded that daily consumption of 50g of raisins will likely slightly improve cognitive performance, quality of life, and functional activities in older people (12).
Several studies found that date consumption may reduce labor induction and the active phase duration (13, 14). The mean latent phase of the first stage of labor may also become shorter in women who start consuming dates 4 weeks before their estimated delivery date (14).
Fat Type Comparison
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in price|
|Rich in minerals|
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in Glycemic Index|
|Lower in Cholesterol||Equal|
|Rich in vitamins||Equal|
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
|Omega-6 - Gamma-linoleic acid||0.001g||0g|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Glycemic Index diet|
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Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.
- Raisin - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168165/nutrients
- Dates - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171726/nutrients
All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.